The Senegalese government is considering building a nuclear electricity plant with French assistance to improve its erratic power supply, the weekly newsletter issued by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Nepad Today, reported Wednesday.
Currently, only South Africa has nuclear power plants on the continent.
The issue of nuclear power was raised by Energy Minister Samuel Améte Sarr at a cabinet meeting, chaired in Dakar by President Abdoulaye Wade.
Sarr said the French government had offered Senegal aid to build its first nuclear power plant.
He reported that he had participated in a Paris conference about access to civilian nuclear technology, following the invitation of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
At that conference, the French nuclear industry, which is strongly export-oriented, had explained the “need for scientific and financial commitment” by countries considering to embark on a nuclear electricity path.
Sarr explained that he had been offered French help to establish a nuclear industry in Senegal.
According to Nepad Today, the minister was to follow up by participating in an April conference in Washington, US, at the invitation of President Barack Obama and a Senegalese drive to emphasize on nuclear energy within the framework of NEPAD.
Sarr announced that Senegal would ask NEPAD to establish an African Commission for Nuclear Energy with headquarters in Dakar.
The cabinet meeting granted approval to Senegal to start its process to concentrate African scientific and financial resources related to nuclear energy in the country.