The African Young Generation in Nuclear (African YGN) marked yet another successful conference at the Mulungushi Conference Center in Lusaka, Zambia from 29 to 31 August 2018. The conference on Enhancing Africa’s capacity on Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards in SADC countries saw over 100 participants from various African countries including Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana and the host country, Zambia. The event was a collaborative activity under the project MC. 5.01/15B: Support to Southern African States in Nuclear Safety and Safeguards, funded by the European Union through International Science and Technology Center (ISTC).
The Zambian government played the perfect host as well as the implementers of the project through its Radiation Protection Authority and the Nuclear Programme Implementing Organization (NEPIO) with close support from Southern African National Nuclear Regulatory body as project implementing partners. The activity was aimed at creating public awareness on matters nuclear safety, security and safeguards in SADC countries and Africa at large as well design a roadmap in building sustainable nuclear safety regimes in the project participating countries – Namibia, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. The event also provided a platform to spread the word on the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology in Africa and highlighted the progress made by Zambian government in making nuclear part of its strategy to addressing challenges facing the Zambian people.
African YGN presented the idea on Innovation for Nuclear (I4N) as one of the main activities of the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC) to promote innovation among young people all over the world. It was well supported and various organizations shared across their websites and social media pages.
The last day of the event, was dedicated to a Rosatom-sponsored activity that targeted 100 students from the local top performing high schools with the aim to sensitize them on Science, Technology, Engineer & mathematics(STEM) careers and the role of nuclear science and technology in national development. The students were curious and delighted about milestones realized by the Zambian government in pursuit of peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, creating education opportunities for young people both locally and overseas. The students were also excited with the I4N idea and showed their interest to participate in the student competition. The representatives from Rosatom Africa, Mr Ryan Collyer, hinted their commitment to partner with Africa YGN to sponsor the I4N 2019.
To bolster the AYGN’s efforts, a Zambian YGN was officially launched as a national network for which the government announcement full support.
The 3-day event culminated in Technical tours and the inaugural Nuclear Walk. The participants in technical tour visited the Zambia Cancer Diseases Hospital in the morning and had the opportunity to observe a state-of-the art facility that has brought hope to cancer patients in Zambia and the SADC region at large. Whereas the 5km Nuclear Walk within the city was marked in the afternoon and it drew a lot of attention from the public. Participants in the walk distributed pamphlets, brochures and books on nuclear in order to enlighten the public with this wonderful message of benefits of nuclear technology. The message was well accepted with some of the local citizens joining the walk that was well secured by the traffic police to win the confidence of the public.