African Continental Nuclear Institutions: A Review

Image: Getty, Amr Nabil_AFP
Image: Getty, Amr Nabil_AFP

Nuclear energy is expected to play an increasingly important role in Africa’s energy programmes. At least 16 countries are looking at ways to include nuclear as part of their energy mix, with emphasis on electrification and energy security.


  • This paper reviews African continental nuclear institutions and their legal frameworks.
  • Nuclear power is expected to play an increasingly important role in Africa’s energy supply.
  • Currently, South Africa is the only country in Africa with a nuclear power plant. At least 16 other African countries are also looking to establish nuclear programmes: Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, Sudan, Tunisia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Egypt has progressed the furthest, having already begun construction on a power plant.
  • Nuclear disasters can have devastating consequences. Nuclear energy is therefore highly regulated, with emphasis on safety and security, waste removal, and prevention of unauthorised use.
  • To regulate the industry, global regimes were established that legally bind member states to implement legislation on nuclear disarmament, safety and security, and non-proliferation.
  • This paper examines the key African frameworks and institutions: The 1996 Treaty of Pelindaba and its oversight body, the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE); the Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA); and the Africa Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA).

19 Nov 2021