A Nuclear Energy Economic Platform Is The Future for Africa

The only nuclear power plant on the African continent, is in Koeberg, South Africa

Nuclear Energy gives you the benefit of industrialization, and beneficiation within the [African] economy, translating to a higher and inclusive growth path and job creation.”

This is the edited transcript of the presentation of Gaopalelwe Santswere to Panel 2, “Physical Economy: Developing the Nӧosphere,” of the Schiller Institute’s Nov. 12, 2022 Conference, “The Physical Economy of the Noӧsphere: Reviving the Heritage of Vladimir Vernadsky.” Mr. Santswere is a nuclear physicist and senior scientist at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. He is the President of the African Young Generation in Nuclear (AYGN). (EIR magazine. Nov 25, 2022)

Africa’s Need for Nuclear Power and Nuclear Medicine

Gaopalelwe Santswere (Courtesy of EIR magazine)

Gaopalelwe Santswere: Thank you very much for the opportunity to be part of the speakers today on a very important topic of the growing youth movement for nuclear power and nuclear medicine in Africa. We’ve seen that Africa has adopted what is called the Agenda 2063. One of the ancestors of Agenda 2063 is the need for integration, as one of the key foundations for assuring Africa achieve its goals for inclusive and sustainable growth and development. There we have seen that within the African Agenda 2063, there are about seven aspirations. Just to give you one of the most fundamental ones, which is Aspiration 2 of this Agenda 2063, placing import on the need for Africa to develop world-class infrastructure that criss-crosses Africa and which would improve connectivity through newer and bolder initiatives to link the continent by rail, road, sea, air, and develop regional and continental power pools, as well as ICT [Information and Communication Technology].

So there’s a need for us, if you look at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, to assure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Now, if you take a look at Africa, we’ve got about 620 million Africans who are sitting without power. So out of 1.2 billion, you can see that almost half of Africans don’t have access to electricity. Therefore, Africa has not the opportunity to industrialize to have a future in the continent which would create sustainable jobs, to improve the conditions of the Africans in order to ensure that they can move forward.

There has been quite a robust debate within the continent as to what sort of technology should the continent adopt in order to ensure that we can move forward, and also develop the continent for the sustainability of most of the continent’s population, which are young people. So, when we look at the types of energy sources that we have, we know that there is some potential hydro in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which can potentially give us 40,000 MW of electricity. But we know what is the problem there: The geopolitical instability, regional instability that has caused the delay of this project seeing its life.

So we have seen, recently also, in the topic of hydro, Ethiopia has just launched or commissioned a hydropower plant that is supplying most of the East African countries there. But it also was not completed without political tension with Egypt and Sudan, because they’re saying that as it continues to fill up, it could potentially dry up some of the [downstream areas in Sudan and Egypt] and also affect the income.

Now we have seen the potential contention between the use of coal or hydrocarbons within the world: The world is saying that we need to move away from hydrocarbons and move to more clean energy that will sustain the world moving forward. But that being said, we’re seeing that world has not been achievable because of what we have seen in terms of the energy crisis in Europe and so forth.

So for Africa to develop, one of the energy sources that we foresee potentially could develop Africa is the use of nuclear power. We know that in Africa we’ve got two units at Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant in South Africa, that are continuously supporting South African electricity to almost 2,000 MW. But it’s the only two power reactors that are currently existing in the continent.

We have seen a number of countries expressing interest within the African continent, countries like Kenya, countries like Nigeria, countries like Ghana and so forth, who want to introduce nuclear power, due to the demand or energy poverty that their populations are subjected to. We have seen recently that Egypt has started construction on 4,800 MW of new nuclear power plants in the continent. This is very much welcome, because we have seen that now nuclear is starting to expand within the continent, and this will bring much relief in terms of the energy poverty that the continent has been experiencing for decades. We know that Africa is mostly referred to as “the darkest continent” because of lack of access to electricity.

So, one of the things that we need to do, in Africa in terms of energy, is to have a strategic plan that will ensure its society or citizens’ wellness within the continent; energy security which takes consideration of the environment; and competitiveness, including affordability and funding, in order to ensure that we have got economic growth and transformation, job creation, and equitable share in fulfillment of the African objective.

Now, when we look at a nuclear power plant, it is one of the most affordable [sources of] electricity. We can take cognizance that when you look at the power generation in South Africa in terms of the cost per kilowatt, nuclear is very, very low compared to other energy sources. Most of the developed countries in the world, they exist because the economy is based also on the development of nuclear power, so therefore, Africa must take some of the lessons from the world to ensure that they also can emphasize energy security, they also improve the lives of their citizens, by developing the nuclear power plan.

So, one fact is that we have over the years developed what we call the African Young Generation in Nuclear, which has enabled the young generations within the continent to emphasize why there is a need for us to go nuclear. We have emphasized that the bottom aspect of this is because Africa has to develop its own capacity and ensure that it addresses the socioeconomic issues of the continent through the promotion of nuclear power technology in Africa.

So, we need to do this. We have been doing it by degrees, to define, first, nuclear technology and educating the public about the benefits of nuclear for the public. We have facilitated the student government platforms and knowledge transfer platforms between the current generation of leading nuclear experts and the young generation about the nuclear profession.

What we are doing is, we have offered the platform to share, exchange ideas, and network on issues related to nuclear science and technology. Because what we have seen is that once we have addressed the energy issues, we have addressed a lot of things. And we strongly believe that nuclear has the capacity to address what Africa is lacking currently. And just to mention a few: We’ve seen that when you develop nuclear, you develop an economy in terms of energy security and by socioeconomic development. We align with national goals in terms of national development plans for energy transfer, and diversifying the African continent’s energy mix, which opens up an array of opportunities within the energy sector. It gives you the benefit of industrialization, and beneficiation within the [African] economy, translating to a higher and inclusive growth path and job creation. Of course, this will increase the pace of inclusive growth, which will face the biggest challenges on the continent.

Also bearing in mind, for sustainable economic growth we need to develop a technology that can develop and advance the economic wellbeing of the African continent.

So what we need also to recognize is that nuclear technology is not only power related. We can also apply it in different sectors like agriculture, nuclear medicine, and so forth. We know, just from the International Atomic Energy Agency this year there was a scientific forum focusing on the Rays of Hope initiative to ensure there can be access to cancer care. So we strongly believe that the nuclear technology can address that kind of issue.

We know that the continent has been losing quite a lot of money, where the patients are taken out of the continent to get care in the East or in Europe. So therefore, we strongly believe in the development of cancer treatment within the continent through radiotherapy, through access to nuclear medicine. Of course, we understand that cancer is one of the most killing diseases of the continent. So diagnosis and treatment of cancer will ensure that the development of Africa moves forward.

Just to give you an example: For a treatment for cancer, for example prostate cancer, we’ve seen South Africa developing the [radioactive isotope] Lutetium-177 production facility, which we have seen can treat prostate cancer much better.

So with that, I would like to say thank you for the opportunity. Thank you very much, and we look forward to the discussion.

Read my earlier posts:

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

South Africa: A Leader on the Continent for Nuclear Energy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Nuclear Energy Challenges Western Colonial Mind-Set: Cheikh Anta Diop & John Kennedy Would Concur

Cheikh Anta Diop, IFAN laboratory, Dakar, 1976. Photo by Jake Scott,

The article below by my colleague, Nancy Spannaus, creator of the website americansystemnow.com provides a useful up-date on momentum for expanding the world’s production of nuclear energy. This is of vital importance for the future of the African continent, and its growing population. Almost one third of African nations are involved  in some stage of acquiring nuclear energy. A growing number of African leaders are pushing back against the Western dictates, that Africa nations must forgo the use of their own natural energy resources in order to “save the planet” from climate change. These demands are dripping with a racist-colonial mentality that demands Africans cannot use their natural hydrocarbon resources to generate electricity for their people. On a continent with over 600 million without access to electricity and over 450 million Africans living in poverty; this is criminal and immoral.

Nuclear energy must become an increasing portion of energy consumption for African nations. It provides abundant long term energy, it is ideal for desalination, and produces important medical isotopes. On a continent starved for energy, nuclear fission and ultimately fusion, are essential. As importantly, African nations that embrace nuclear energy will lift their economic mode of production to a more advanced energy infrastructure platform. This will prepare these economies to operate an even higher level of technology in the future; fusion power. The application of nuclear technologies, along with space exploration, will force an upshift in the skill level of the labor force, requiring more scientists, engineers, and training centers.

This concept was understood by the great Senegalese scholar, Cheikh Anta Diop more than six decades ago. He optimistically wrote in his renowned book, Black Africa: The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State:

“If we wish to see the African Nation everyone is talking about these days adapt itself to the needs of a modern technical world, we have from its very beginnings to provide those technical institutions that guarantee the life of a modern nation . We should forthwith create the following institutions:  

A) an institute of nuclear chemistry and physics;

B) an electronic institute;

C) an aeronautics and astronautics institute;

D) an institute of applied chemistry for industry and agriculture;

E) an institute of tropical agronomy and biochemistry

F) an institute of health, specialized in the study tropical diseases.”

Diop strongly believed it was important for African nations to be engaged in the development of thermonuclear (fusion) energy, which is orders of magnitude more powerful than fission. He wrote, “…Africa should be following: first, to bank on the triumph of thermonuclear energy and immediately create a pilot fusion center in an appropriate African country open to all African researchers willing to follow this line of pursuit…”

President John Kennedy also reflected the same technological optimism of Diop. He supported the right of African nations to developing their economies by utilizing their natural resources and having access to technology. Speaking in 1960, Kennedy said:

“Call it nationalism, call it anti-colonialism, Africa is going through  a revolution…Africans want a higher standard of living. Seventy-five percent of the population now lives by subsistence agriculture. They  want an opportunity to manage and benefit directly from their resources in, on, and under the land…The African peoples believe that the science, technology, and education available in the modern world can overcome their struggle for existence, that their poverty, squalor, and disease can be conquered.” (Emphasis added)

Should we do less than emulate the thinking of Kennedy and Diop, today?

Read below my earlier posts on nuclear energy for Africa:

Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

Mozambique is Obligated to Exploit Its Resources For the Development of Its Economy

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Africans Should Understand: Physical Economy Creates Wealth and Elevates the Human Mind

Lawrence Freeman giving a presentation on applying the economic principles of Alexander Hamilton and the American System to the development of African nations.

Below, you can read a transcript or watch my video presentation on the essential concepts necessary to understand physical economy, whose principles should be applied to all African nations to end poverty and hunger. Courtesy of PD Lawton, creator of the website: africanagenda.net

Africa Can Create Real Wealth Through the Development of the Physical Economy: Presentation by Lawrence Freeman

This presentation by physical economist and Africa analyst, Lawrence Freeman, was part of an international conference entitled `Solutions for African Economic Development` hosted by Christophe Ndayiragije and PD Lawton. You can find more from Lawrence Freeman at his website: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. You can watch the video at the end of the transcript.

Now people don`t understand that the purpose of an economy for society is the development of human beings. There is no contradiction between the development of human beings and the development of the physical Universe. Human beings are governed by a creative mental process and the Universe is governed by a creative process. And therefore the Universe is there to be intervened upon by the human mind for the advanced propagation of the human race, itself.

I call myself a physical economist because I am trying to change the conception that people have of an economy in their minds. One of the biggest problems we face in the world , in the West, as well as in Africa, is that people have a very poor, if totally erroneous conception of what wealth is.

People think wealth is money, making money on Wall Street, derivatives, stock trading, day trading, and this really is not wealth at all, from my standpoint. A financial system is not wealth. A financial system is necessary, although I would term it more appropriately, a credit system. But the system iteslf which is necessary to facilitate aspects of the physical economy, is not the economy.

What is the economy?
Well, most people say it is to do with free trade, buying low, selling dear, all beginning with Adam Smith. In fact the original conception that Smith has comes from Bernard Mandeville, who wrote a poem about bees. And basically his theory was that the interaction of all these bees , which are equated to human beings, desiring pleasure and avoiding pain, by all their individual pain and pleasure reactions, they serve the greater good. And this supposedly is the Invisible Hand. Of course the Invisible Hand is always there to steal your money. But idea is that the Invisible Hand is somehow the interaction of various human beings in seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, is how an economy operates. And of course there is no truth in that whatsoever.

An economy is actually the self organization, determined by human beings to organize their society in such a way that it continues to perpetuate itself. And it will perpetuate itself if it is a successful economy. The criteria is that you will produce an increase in the standard of living for your population and you will increase the number of people. So you have two criteria which are connected, the increase in total wealth and the increase in total population, and this is what a productive economy should be able to do. And we are talking about tangible wealth, physical wealth in terms of what has just been presented [previous presentation by Knox Msebenzi], in energy, railroads, agriculture and physical, tangible products that society needs.

Now the production of wealth is done by a productive labour force, that is within the entire workforce of an economy, there is a section of that workforce that actually performs what we would call productive labour. There are many other occupations which are necessary, complimentary and essential like education, scientific development, classical education development. But the actual labour force is involved in acting on the physical Universe, to transform the physical Universe in to producing the existence for Humankind.

And that, therefore, what we are primary concerned with in physical economy is how do we make improvements to raise the productivity of the productive labour force. This is our main concern that we are involved in, is acting on the physical Universe to produce more wealth from one production cycle to the next production cycle.

Now how do you produce more wealth from one period to another?
And this brings in the essential questions of science and technology. Each economic mode of production, for each production cycle, is governed in a sense by the level of education and scientific knowledge and technology available for that production cycle. If we change the dynamics of that production cycle then we can change the outcome.

How do we change the dynamics?
It is through science and technology. The human mind, is the only force we know in the Universe that can actually discover new physical principles embedded in the Universe. And as we discover those physical principles, the results are seen to us in new technologies. We bring in a new technology into a current mode of production, current economic system, and we find that we can produce more wealth with the same or less effort. For example what the previous speaker brought out.

If the African continent, the nations, would begin to proliferate nuclear energy in their economies, which is something Cheik anta Diop discussed 60 years ago! But if the African nations were to do that, we would not only see an increase in energy production, but we would see an increase in the entire physical economy. And we would see an increase in the level of education, skill labour, science centres, because you would be mastering a new technology, that is not new to the world but is not being applied in Africa. This would be an upgrade or an upshift of the entire economy.

Now how does this work?
The human mind makes a discovery in the physical Universe which is then transformed by other humans into a technology. How does that technology then change the economy? For example: machine tools. Machine tools produce all other machines. If you change the technology of machine tool design, you change all other forms of production in your economy because you would be producing those new machines based on a new design of machine tools which are the essence of an industrialized economy. How many machine tool plants do we have in Africa today? Just like how many nuclear energy plants, we know we have one in South Africa.

The other area where we change the economy, improve the economy is through infrastructure. Again as you bring in a new technology, again such as fission or lets say, more advanced, such as fusion, that new technology embedded in your infrastructure platform changes the total ptoductivity of every member of your society.

Every farmer becomes more productive when he is surrounded by density of energy, by a density of clean water for society, by a density of railroads. So the density of infrastructure and the technological level of the platform of infrastructure are fundamental ways you actually change the economy. You bring in something new that has been discovered by man for the economy.

Now people don`t understand that the purpose of an economy for society is the development of human beings. There is no contradiction between the development of human beings and the development of the physical Universe. Human beings are governed by a creative mental process and the Universe is governed by a creative process. And therefore the Universe is there to be intervened upon by the human mind for the advanced propogation of the human race, itself.

And therefore in changing and improving the physical economy we are not only increasing the physical output of goods but we are actually increasing the power of each individual member of that society. Even if the majority members of society do not partake in the productive process, they participate in an economy of a rising standard of living and of an improved technology and scientific capability.

Now this also begs another question that is involved in physical economy; which is your scientific, cultural educational level. Is a society producing the scientific level that is necessary for new discoveries? Is the educational level of the population sufficient for the members of the population to assimilate that new technology, that new scientific level, and are they able to transmit that?

So by looking at the physical economy from the standpoint of the mind of man, you see that the entire society should be organized to promote this quality of development, of the human being, which leads, and is completely connected to the quality of development of human life itself.
Now many people think Africa is overpopulated, I had this problem with many of my friends who are somewhat ignorant on the issue, over the last 30 years I have been travelling to Africa. Africa is not over populated, there are not too many people. There is not enough people. There`s entire parts of Africa that are completely underdeveloped. There`s entire parts of Africa where agriculture is completely underdeveloped. So it is not a question of population. It is a question of development.

And what we need to do is we need to have African leaders begin implementing, as was discussed earlier with the question of Ghana and other nations, have to begin understanding the coherence of one concept of a physical economy in a society and promoting those policies that will actually raise the level, qualitatively and quantitatively. Now this also has a very serious implications for education. This has very serious implications for security. Because we are approaching the security question. in many cases, all wrong.
So therefore, what I think about and what I suggest what other leaders think about is what inputs do we make in the long-term which then reflect in to what we have to do in the short term that actually change, improve, advance the physical economy as part of the entire development of society.

Source: Africa Rising Soon TV

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

Nigeria and Ghana making nuclear power part of their future

A nuclear power plant

A nuclear power plant

March 12, 2021

It is essential that African nations advance their plans to build nuclear plants as part of their energy grid. That is why the efforts of Nigeria and Ghana should be hailed as progress for the continent. Africa`s Future Depends on Adopting Nuclear Power Generation

The lack of energy is killing more Africans that any other cause of death. My estimate is that the nations of Africa should acquire at least 1,000 gigawatts-1,000,000 megawatts-of electrical power to raise the standard of living of the populations to that of a modern industrialized society. Nuclear energy must be an increasing share of the continent’s energy generation.

Construction and operation of nuclear energy will also elevate the skill level of the domestic workforce. Nuclear energy complexes will serve as  training centers for skilled workers, engineers and scientists to operate a higher level of technology.

Energy is an indispensable element of the infrastructure platform that every nation requires to expand its economy. Energy poverty sustains poverty because electricity

Energy is vital for:

  1. industrialization
  2. manufacturing
  3. agricultural & agricultural processing
  4. transportation,
  5. schools
  6. hospitals
  7. vaccine production and distribution
  8. homes  
  9. elimination poverty & hunger

Let us encourage more African nations to expand their energy grid with nuclear power

Nigeria invites bids as it prepares to construct its first nuclear power plant, amid security concerns

Busineess Insider Africa

EMMANUEL ABARA BENSON March 2, 2022 10:41 AM

  • The nuclear power plant is projected to become Nigeria’s largest power plant and could potentially solve the country’s electricity challenges.
  • However, there are have been concerns about the country’s ability to manage a nuclear power plant, considering its peculiar security challenges.
  • Note that the bidding process is very critical to any nuclear power project, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Nigerian Government said it has commenced the bidding process in preparation for the construction of a 4000 megawatts nuclear power plant in the country.

The Director General of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Dr Yau Idris, disclosed this while speaking during the Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja, yesterday. According to him, the nuclear power plant is projected to become Nigeria’s largest power plant, and could significantly improve the West African country’s power generation capacity.

Meanwhile, there have been concerns about Nigeria’s ability to manage a nuclear power plant, considering the delicate nature of such a project as well as the country’s peculiar security situation. Dr Idris addressed these concerns during his speech, stressing that it is wrong for anyone to assume that Nigeria’s is incapable of managing a nuclear project.

“There are mechanisms put in place that ensure any country can build a nuclear power plant. Nigeria is trying to deliver 4,000MW of electricity through nuclear power. We are trying to construct four units and we are at the bidding stage,” he was quoted by local media to have said.

It should be noted that the bidding process is very critical to any nuclear power project. A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE) titled “Invitation and Evaluation of Bids for Nuclear Power Plants”, detailed the requirements and processes for ensuring a successful bid.

“The development of a nuclear programme is a major undertaking requiring attention to many complex and interrelated tasks over a long duration. One of them is the bidding process, which includes the development of bid invitations specifications, the evaluation of bids and the contracting with the successful bidder (contractor). The necessary infrastructure should be developed to the point of readiness for a bidding process to acquire a nuclear power plant (NPP). Therefore, the preparatory phase preceding the bidding process includes numerous activities, such as but not limited to, energy system planning, siting and feasibility studies, environmental impact assessment, development of nuclear related legislation, financing, organization of the regulatory authority, etc,” part of the report said.

Nigeria is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and as such is required to strictly adhere to the requirements for bids. And ultimately, the goal is to ensure that the successful bidder (i.e., the winning contractor) has all it takes to enable the licensing, construction, commissioning and operation of a nuclear power plant.

https://africa.businessinsider.com/local/markets/nigeria-invites-bids-as-it-prepares-to-construct-its-first-nuclear-power-plant/tdn7nn2

Ghana looks to small modular reactor technology for nuclear deployment

ESI Africa

ByTheresa SmithMar 9, 2022

network resilience
[SERZ72] © 123RF.COM

The US and Ghana will partner under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) to support the West African country’s foray into the nuclear sector.

The FIRST programme, led by the US Department of State, will support Ghana’s adoption of small modular reactor (SMR) technology. This includes support for stakeholder engagement, advanced technical collaboration and project evaluation and planning. Japan has been a valuable partner with the US on the FIRST programme and will build on its existing partnership with Ghana to advance Ghana’s civil nuclear power aspirations.

Have you read?
US and Ghana sign memorandum with a focus on nuclear

Speaking at a virtual launch of the programme, US Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan said clean, reliable and safe nuclear energy could provide significant benefits to the people of Ghana, including clean energy, agricultural improvements, clean water and advanced medical treatment. “Next-generation nuclear energy, like what we’re working on today, must be part of the solution,” said Sullivan.

According to Ghana’s Minister of Energy Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the decision to include nuclear power in the nation’s energy mix has led to establishing Nuclear Power Ghana Limited as an Owner Operator and project developer. The FIRST Programme will help Ghana develop the competencies of the Nuclear Power Ghana Limited to build and operate safely Ghana’s first nuclear power plant.

From the archives
The drive for an African nuclear energy market

Drawing on 60 years of US experience working with nuclear energy, the FIRST programme provides capacity-building support to partner countries as they develop their nuclear energy programmes. To date, the US Department of State has announced $7.3 million to support FIRST projects around the world.

Professor Samuel Boakye Dampare, Director General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission the capacity building activities are meant to strengthen their national technical support organisation. “For us regulators, our success will be a very stringent, logical and transparent licensing regime that emphases safety throughout the lifetime of our future power plants(s), whether SMRs or larger reactors,” said Dampare.

Initial training in Ghana during 2022 will focus on stakeholder engagement, licensing and regulatory development, financing, workforce development and nuclear security, safety and non-proliferation.

https://lnkd.in/gKAH-teY

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.