Kenyan Young Generation in Nuclear (KYGN) hosted the inaugural African Youth Nuclear Summit, dubbed AYNS2017 that took place on the 27th to 30th March, 2017, at Kenyatta International Conventional Centre (KICC), Nairobi. The participants were drawn from academia, research and development institutes, radiation services providers, health institutions, nuclear facilities and regulatory bodies. They shared experiences, exchanged ideas and built networks on issues related to safe application of nuclear science and technology.
The theme of the summit was “Nuclear for a Sustainable future”. The discussions which were conducted through plenary, panel sessions and workshops were centered around three thematic areas: Nuclear powering Africa, Radiation Protection and safety culture; and application of nuclear science and technology for a sustainable future.
The summit was attended by key speakers from across the globe. Among the speakers included Mrs. Agneta Rising, The Director General, World Nuclear Association. She pointed out that nuclear energy has made a major contribution to world energy output and was set to increase by two and half time by 2040. She further challenged governments to: provide strong political and industry leadership to communicate long term benefit versus risk; embrace a holistic approach to society risks from electricity generation so that health and environmental benefits of all sources are maximised; recognise the health impacts of the alternatives to nucl1ear energy; reward nuclear energy for not polluting; and introduce accident response measures that genuinely increase public wellbeing – to limit overall impact, not just radiation. Prof, Shaukat Abdulrazak, Director of the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation, Africa Division represented International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the summit. He was accompanied by Ms. Tamara Lynne Yankovich, a radiation protection specialist and Melina Belinco an intern at IAEA. Prof. Shaukat shared on importance of nuclear science and technology for a sustainable socio-economic development in Africa. He highlighted the many areas IAEA has helped member states in improving the life of its populations. He emphasised the need to empower the youth by providing suitable opportunities for training and employment in areas of nuclear science and technology. He challenged the participants especially from Africa to apply for the opportunies and fellowships at IAEA. He further challenged the organizers of nuclear conferences to speak to the world by inviting journalist to their meetings.
The one of the key sponsors of AYNS201, the European Union Project 60, managed by International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC), Khazakhstan was represented by Prof. Kamen Velichkov, a Senior Programme Manager and Diplomatic advisor. He highlighted the main activities of project 60 whose focus is to strengthen the nuclear security culture in East and Central Africa by through improved regulation, training, capacity and awareness. He further mentioned that project 60 will provide valuable contribution to the growing collaborated efforts of national and international stakeholders in the nuclear field in Africa. Prof Kamen committed to further engagement with Kenyan Young Generation in some of the public awareness activities of Project 60. Eng. Collins Juma, the acting Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board who on represented the Principal Secretary, Dr. Eng. Joseph Njoroge expressed the commitment the government had in supporting the activities of Kenyan Young Generation in Nuclear. This was evidenced by the generous support of the summit, as the welcome reception sponsors, in addition to silver sponsors and many high level meetings they held with the participants at different times during the summit.
Ms Mercy Nyambura, Laboratory Manager, Soil Plant Spectral Laboratory, World Agro Forestry Centre and Dr. Jeska Sidika Wambani, a Chief Radiologist shared on the key role that nuclear science and technology play in , in sustaining social economic development in Africa. Ms Nyambura shared on the key areas in which nuclear science and technology has been able to enhance and sustain life from agricultural perspective while Dr. Wambani shared on how nuclear science and technology has been able to provide solutions to the health of many people in Africa including cancer diagnosis and treatment.
During the closing ceremony, Mr. Chacha Muita, Director, for Basic Education, who represented the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education congratulated the Kenyan Young Generation in Nuclear for successfully hosting the inaugural African Youth Nuclear Summit. He advised the senior professionals in nuclear science and technology to take up the challenge and seriously advocate for the inclusion of nuclear energy in the energy mix, noting that nuclear power will spur economic growth in Africa. He reassured the Ministry’s commitment in supporting Kenyan Young Generation in Nuclear activities especially in mentoring students at Primary and Secondary level.
Other key speakers included: Dr. Peter Ozemoyah, President Canadian Nuclear Society, Canada; Prof. Jan Blomegren, Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Nuclear Business Excellence, Sweden; Prof. Ayoade Oludaye Kuye, Director, Centre for Nuclear Energy Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria; Janin Denis, President, International Youth Nuclear Congress,Gemany/France; Mrs. August Rose Fern, Co-Founder, International Youth Nuclear Congress, United States of America; Prof. Erastus Gatebe, Chairman, Radiation Protection Board, Kenya; Maina Joseph , Acting Chief Executive Officer, Radiation Protection Board; Dr. David Otwoma, Chief Scientist, National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation, Kenya; Dr. Anthony O. Esilaba, Soil Scientist, Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation; Dr. Ir. Kevin Govers, Researcher, Nuclear Fuel Materials, SCK-CEN Belgian Nuclear Research Centre; Ms, Belgium; Ntabatse Matube, Executive Manager, NESCA Learning Academy, South Africa; Dr. Hashim Nadir; Chairman, Physics Department at Kenyatta University and National Liaison Officer, AFRANEST; Mr. Mangala Michael, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, University of Nairobi; Mr. Basset Buyukah, Director, Advocacy and Communication, Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board; Dr. Rose Nyabanda, Head of Radiology Department, Kenyatta National Hospital; Dr. David Ndirangu, Head of Nuclear Medicine, Kenyatta National Hospital, Ms. Nthule, Marketing Director, NTP-NESCA, South Africa; Prof. Wayne Kinnson, Research Scientist, Nuclear Power Institute; Texas A &M, United States of America; Mr. Riccardp Chieralli, Senior Manager, World Association of Nuclear Operators, United Kingdom; Dr. Chuna Pin Lee, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan; Prof. Dmitrii Samokhin, Head of Nuclear Power Station Reactor Development and Design Department, Obnink Institute for Nuclear Power Engineering of the National Research Nuclear University, Mephi, Russia; Dr. Pius Maasai, Deputy Director, National Disaster Management Unit, Kenya; Mr. XIAO Mengchao, Senior Engineer, State Nuclear Power Engineering, China; among many others.Over 200 delegates from across the globe participated in this summit. Students from the Alliance High School, St. Georges’ Secondary School, Technical University of Kenya, University of Nairobi, Kenyatta, University and Jomo Kenyatta University were invited to attend special sessions. On the 30th March, participants had the privilege of visiting Secondary Dosimetry Laboratory and Non-Destructive Testing Centre at Kenya Bureau of Standards, the Cancer Treatment Centre at Kenyatta National Hospital and the Nairobi National Park. Many other side activities were also organised including an electrifying Welcome Reception at the Hilton Hotel and a farewell dinner at the Safari Park Hotel, a well organised International Youth Nuclear Congress Executive Committee and Officer Meetings at the Laico Regency Hotel, and a nuclear leadership simulation training moderated by Prof. Jan Blomegren.
Key highlights in news at the International Level
- Meeting the Next Generation of Nuclear Scientists: IAEA at the First African Youth Nuclear Summit
- Project 60 supports the launch of the African Youth Generation in Nuclear, a new professional international network
- ISTC connects the “Nuclear Youth” of Kazakhstan to the African and Global Young Generation in Nuclear
AYNS2017 through photos