The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has pledged more support to Uganda by extending the existing Country Framework program to 2023.
This was during the signing of the Country Program Framework 2019-2023 at the margins of the 63rd Regular Session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference, Vienna, Austria on Wednesday 19th September 2019.
Eng. Irene Muloni, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development and Mr. Dazhu Yang, the Deputy Director General/Head, Department of Technical Cooperation, IAEA signed the Country Programme Framework 2019 – 2023 on behalf of the Government of Uganda and the IAEA respectively.
The document serves as the frame of reference for the proposed technical cooperation between the Government of Uganda and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the period 2019-2023. It reflects an agreement between the Government of Uganda and the IAEA where nuclear science and technology can contribute directly and cost-effectively to national development priorities and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The document is the fourth revision and highlights the accomplishments and progress made under previous and present IAEA-supported projects.
Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony, Eng Muloni lauded the IAEA for the continued support to Uganda’s nascent Nuclear Energy Program for use in peaceful purposes.
“Uganda appreciates the Agency’s continuous efforts in facilitating this cooperation and supporting Member States to benefit from the peaceful use of Nuclear Energy”, said Muloni.
Muloni added that this mutual agreement on Technical cooperation with the Agency will focus on Building Capacity in the areas of Food and Agriculture, Human Health, Water, Energy, Industry, Research, Nuclear Security and Radiation.
Ms. Sarah Nafuna, the head Nuclear Unit at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development revealed that over the past years, the IAEA made significant contribution towards supporting the national capacity to use nuclear applications for the social wellbeing of Uganda.
“Some of the key highlights for the technical assistance received included: the restoration of radiotherapy services after the breakdown of the only teletherapy machine in 2016, enhanced capacity for radiation safety, enhanced capacity to respond to food safety emergencies and support towards prefeasibility studies for the nuclear power programme. In all the areas of cooperation IAEA assistance was in terms of human resources development, provision of experts and state-of-the-art equipment”, said Nafuna.
In this framework, the Energy Ministry will continue coordinating and monitoring the technical cooperation programme between the Government of Uganda and the IAEA to realize the following outcomes across the various sectors;
(i) An improved regulatory infrastructure for peaceful application of ionising radiation in Uganda to ensure protection of people and the environment.
(ii) Improved capacity for early and efficient diagnosis, reporting and control of animal and zoonotic diseases.
(iii) Increased /improved marketability and competitiveness of food agricultural products including exports to the international markets.
(iv) Improved cassava and coffee production and productivity for sustainable end-user food security and welfare.
(v) Tsetse flies suppressed in Kalangala islands using the area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) programmes that include the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT).
(vi) Improved radiotherapy services in terms of availability, accessibility, and quality and radiation safety for both curative and palliative purposes for patients suffering from cancer, especially of women, in Uganda.
(vii) Improved diagnostic procedures in Nuclear Medicine for non-communicable and communicable diseases.
(viii) Improved accuracy of body composition assessment.
(ix) Established role of Vitamin A-rich banana in addressing Vitamin A deficiency among adolescents in Uganda.
(x) Improved knowledge and understanding of Uganda’s groundwater resources recharge and distribution.
(xi) Strengthened legal and institutional framework and infrastructure for the development of nuclear energy for power generation other nuclear practices (i.e. Research reactor facilities, Irradiators).
(xii) Enhanced knowledge on the viability of the four geothermal resource sites and other geothermal areas of Uganda.
(xiii) Continued enhanced national capacity for uranium exploration and evaluation.
(xiv) Enhanced knowledge in industrial applications, especially NDT, and the establishment of an irradiation facility.
Uganda continues to assess all the available energy resources to ensure sustainable exploitation of these resources. Prefeasibility studies conducted have shown that Nuclear Energy will play a role in the Electricity Generation Mix with a hope of about 1000MW being generated from the Nuclear Energy Plant.