A Nuclear Africa: How Russia Helps the African Continent Escape Anglo-Saxon Colonisation

Translated by Ollie Richardson



About the new prospects for developing the African continent…

The recent visit of the Russian Foreign Minister S.V. Lavrov to the countries of Africa revealed the line of the new policy of development that began long ago, but still remained in the shadow. These are the plans to create a nuclear power on the African continent.

However, these plans did not appear just today. The first president of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah in 1957, while planning socialist transformations in the country, began the construction of a research nuclear reactor and a laboratory for the production of isotopes. However, after the revolution of 1966 and the overthrow of the government of Nkrumah, the new authorities, using the advice of British “friends” (the former colonialists of Ghana), closed these and many other buildings that were created with the help of the USSR. And in 2018 the government of Ghana reported that it had signed an agreement with Rosatom for the construction of a nuclear power plant.

The coups of 1960-1980 and then the destruction of the USSR and the world socialist system cooled the enthusiasm of many African countries to achieve not only political, but also economic independence. However, after the process of restoring Russia began, the return of Africa to plans for real economic revival also began.

Now Russian nuclear projects of various types are being realised in Sudan, Zambia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Congo, Nigeria…

In Zambia the Kariba hydroelectric power station constructed by Soviet experts became one of the largest in Africa at the time. However, after many years of lapses Kariba and other Zambian hydroelectric power stations couldn’t provide growth in the economy any more. In February, 2017 Russia and Zambia signed an agreement on cooperation for the construction in Zambia of a center of nuclear science and technologies. Later, in the development of this contract, more detailed agreements were signed, including carrying out engineering survey work. The main object that is now under construction is the research reactor.

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During the recent visit of the Russian foreign minister S.V. Lavrov to Addis Ababa the details of the course of the realisation of cooperation in the nuclear sphere, which began without excessive advertising several years ago, became known. And in 2016 an agreement on the peaceful use of atomic energy in medicine, agriculture, and industry, as well as on the development of programs that will increase the knowledge of the population about nuclear technologies and about their use was signed. In the future a nuclear power plant will be built.

All of this should be considered in the context of plans for the construction of a “Dam for the great revival of Ethiopia”, which could create the most serious problems for both Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia (should the conflict develop in a military way). In these conditions Russia proposed a nuclear alternative to hydropower to all three main users of the Nile: Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. In December, 2014 a contract for the construction of the El Dabaa nuclear power plant was signed between the Russian Federation and Egypt, and in 2015 three countries signed an agreement on the division of the waters of the Nile…

The agreement on the construction of the first nuclear power plant by Russia in Egypt should provide economic cooperation with Russia for a century! Four blocks of the El Dabaa nuclear power plant that is currently under construction will be built over ten years, and then their work over 80 years is guaranteed. This nuclear power plant is the only nuclear power plant that is under construction on the African continent. Construction is being done at the expense of Egypt’s money and the State export loan granted by Russia.

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The cooperation agreement in the field of using atomic energy for peaceful purposes between the government of the Russian Federation and the government of the Republic of the Sudan was signed in November, 2017 during the visit of the President of Sudan O. al-Bashir to Russia. In March, 2018 Russia and Sudan signed a road map for the construction of nuclear power plants… This agreement creates a legal basis for interaction between Russia and Sudan in the field of the peaceful use of atomic energy for the creation and improvement of Sudan’s nuclear infrastructure, as well as regulation in the field of nuclear and radiation safety and supervision of physical protection of nuclear materials, radiation sources, points of storage of nuclear materials, and radioactive materials; it allows to carry out research in the field of using atomic energy for peaceful purposes and to cooperate in the application of radiation technologies, nuclear medicine, and the training of specialists in the nuclear industry.

In 2009 Russia and Nigeria began nuclear cooperation by signing the Intergovernmental cooperation agreement in the sphere of the peaceful use of nuclear technologies. In the development of the agreement contracts were signed on the design, construction, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear power plants and a nuclear center with a multi-purpose research reactor (MPRR). In October, 2017 Russia and Nigeria signed a road map for the implementation of these agreements.

Nigeria considers itself to be the main economy of Tropical Africa, and its nuclear plans have special value. The main competitor of Nigeria for the rank of the first economy of Africa is the Republic of South Africa. The need for serious economic transformations is evident here too, which is reflected in the plan of radical economic transformation, but the internal opposition places an obstacle in front of the plans of the government. After the signing between Russia and South Africa of agreements for the construction of nuclear power units, the owners of the economy of the Republic of South Africa managed to block an already signed contract in court.

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There is nuclear prospects also for the Republic of Congo, which in February, 2018 signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in peaceful atoms with Rosatom. In addition to the traditional directions, this agreement ensures the use of radioisotopes and radiation technologies in Congo’s industry, agriculture, and medicine, and also the creation of a center of nuclear science and technologies on the basis of a research reactor of Russian design.

The majority of the aforementioned countries proceed from different types of nuclear cooperation, i.e., contracts were signed not with just one State, but with a whole group of importers of nuclear technologies, including the US, France, South Korea, etc. For example, Kenya, despite having cooperation agreements with Russia in the nuclear domain, signed a contract for the construction of a nuclear power plant not with Russia, but with China. However, cooperation with Russia has its advantages, which the countries of Africa know very well from the Soviet period: this is both the lack of political conditions and more affordable prices, and the most important thing – honest cooperation assuming assistance with development, but not the involvement of Africa in new dependence.

With the arrival of nuclear power, new plans for the economic revival of Africa receive real outlines…

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