“Africa Cannot Afford a Nuclear Accident” – Director- General, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission

The Director General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Prof B.J.B. Nyarko has called for maximum attention on Safety, Security and Safeguards in the use of Nuclear Technology in Africa.

Prof. Nyarko made the call in a ceremony held at the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS), GAEC, in Accra Ghana, to welcome the 8thbatch of the annual Post Graduate Education Course (PGEC) in Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources for participants from English speaking African countries, under the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA)

The participants, numbering 22 comprising eight females and 14 males were selected from countries including Ghana, Egypt, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, Libya, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Namibia and South Africa.

According to Prof Nyarko, safety issues in Africa are unique due to the negative connotations associated with accidents.   He stated that accidents in Africa are usually blamed on incompetence, lack of technical know-how as well as inadequate capacity building programmes, whereas similar accidents by countries in other regions are usually treated as genuine faults.

“This puts Africa in a unique position to work harder to avoid these accidents”, he said.

The programme according to him was developed under the regional corporative framework for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology to tackle areas such as Health, Agriculture and Environment as well as Safety and Security, especially for countries embarking on Nuclear Power Programmes.

He stressed on the need to avoid making mistakes in nuclear applications in order to place Africa in a positive light. He advised the participants to take their lessons seriously so as to achieve the desired standards in safety, security, and safeguards as well as peaceful applications of Nuclear Technology in Africa.

“You cannot do the same thing always and expect a different result, you need to change and have better ways of doing those things to achieve the required results”, he said.

He commended the AFRA Technical Cooperation (TC) member states for committing a total of four hundred thousand Euros (€ 400,000) to sponsor beneficiaries from within the African Sub-region.

The Director and Dean for the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS) Prof. Yaw Serfor- Armah, in his address, entreated the students to strictly adhere to the safety regulations by the school.

He finally welcomed them and advised that they take full advantage to this glorious opportunity given them and take their training programme seriously.

The five months training programme commenced on 1st April, 2019 and scheduled to end 23rd August 2019.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey – Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA), GAEC