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Public lecture held in AASTU on “Using Nuclear Science and Technology to Leapfrog Socio-economic Development in Africa: from Potential to Prosperity”

With the cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University’s Nuclear Technology Center of Excellence organized a half-day public lecture on “Using nuclear science and technology to leapfrog socio-economic development in Africa: from potential to prosperity.”

The program was officially launched by the president’s delegate, Dr. Temesgen Wondimu, the Institutional Development and Business vice president of the university.

In his welcome and opening remarks, Dr. Temesegen Wondemu stated that even though Addis Ababa Science and Technology University is the younger university, it has been working as a hub of science and technology with a significant national mission. In addition to establishing eight centers of excellence, the university has developed a curriculum for nuclear science and technology. As a result, the university will continue to collaborate with partners in the thematic areas of the Center of Excellence.

Similarly, the research and technology transfer V/President Dr. Aberham Debebe explained the overview of the university. In his briefing, Dr.Aberham stated that among the eight centers of excellence in nuclear technology, the one directly aligned with the issue raised in the lecture. Thus, this lecture is an opportunity to learn from the scholars.

The lecture was presented by Professor Shaukai Abdulrazak, Director of the Division for Africa at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). His presentation comprises and focuses on the potential capabilities of African countries to develop nuclear technology for development. Dr. Shaukai overlooks the issues that challenge African development and the rich potential of the continent in his wonderful presentation. According to him, Africa couldn’t achieve its development goals without the development of technology and science. Therefore, it should work on the development of technology like nuclear technology to foster the undeveloped sectors. However, although Africa has rich potential in agriculture, health, the environment and water, energy, and other sectors, it is underdeveloped and has a low utilization rate for utilizing these potentials. According to Shaukai, many sub-Saharan countries in Africa have low access to modern energy; it is the region most affected by climate shock; they are not self-sufficient in their agriculture productivity, health treatments, or social stability. As a result, Africa should use peaceful nuclear technology to leapfrog the socio–economic development of the continent.

Moreover, professor Shaukai stressed that Africa can be able to produce and manage nuclear technology when the intellectuals and institutions work together.

Finally, delegates from different African countries and National Liaison Officers paid a visit to the Center of Excellence and other infrastructure constructed by the university.

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