Lusaka ~ Fri, 02 Oct 2020
By ZR Reporter
On September 24, 2020, the first meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee established under the intergovernmental Agreement between Russia and Zambia on peaceful uses of nuclear energy took place.
The coordination meeting was headed by Mrs. Kayula Siame, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education of Zambia and Mr. Kirill Komarov, First Deputy Director General for Corporate Development and International Business of the Russian State-owned nuclear corporation, Rosatom.
The parties agreed that due to the current economic situation in Zambia caused by severe drought and the global COVID-19 pandemic, a phased approach for the construction of the planned Centre for Nuclear Science
and Technology project was the optimum solution for its successful implementation.
It is envisioned that Phase One of the CNST project will see the construction of a Multipurpose Radiation Centre in Zambia.
“A phased approach will allow us to ease the burden on the Zambian budget while at the same time focus our efforts on establishing a crucial element of the Healthcare and Agricultural sectors in Zambia. The MIC will not only strengthen food security and increase agricultural export potential but will also enable the localization and the sterilization of disposable medical equipment, a pressing need, especially in times of a pandemic,” Komarov said.
The Parties highlighted the positive results of the evaluation survey that was conducted before, allowing to proceed to practical works on the selected CNST site in Chongwe under the currently agreed phased approach.
Both parties expressed gratitude to each other for the great deal that has already been achieved in the sphere of human resource development and public awareness for the CNST project.
Thus far, 91 scholarships have been approved and more than 60 students accepted the challenge to study various nuclear disciplines in Russia.
Nine graduates are already available to contribute their knowledge and skills for the benefit of the Zambian nuclear programme.
“I am well assured that after completion of their studies, all of our students will find proper recruitment and will contribute meaningfully to the success of Zambia’s nuclear programme. We believe that a phased approach to the CNST project is a responsible fiscal approach to unlocking the immense socio-economic benefits that this project has to offer,” Mrs Siame said.