Nuclear Power & Governance Frameworks: Egypt, Ghana and South Africa

Image: Getty, 4X-image
Image: Getty, 4X-image

This report examines three African countries that are at different stages in using nuclear energy to achieve developmental outcomes.


  • African countries are looking at ways to reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and make headway on priority areas of Agenda 2063. The safe use of nuclear energy is one viable option.
  • Egypt, Ghana and South Africa are at different stages in their journey towards the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Egypt is building its first power plant, Ghana aspires to do so, and South Africa is currently the only country on the continent with a functioning power plant and a reactor.
  • All three countries are planning to use nuclear power to diversify their energy supplies and increase citizens’ access to electricity.
  • Given criticism of nuclear energy as a solution to a ‘non-existent problem’, the Egyptian government will need to convince people that the project has economic benefits, even if only in the long term.
  • Ghana is setting a good example for other aspiring countries by following the internationally accepted comprehensive framework for developing infrastructure for nuclear power, ie, the IAEA Milestones Approach.
  • South Africa’s nuclear power plant and nuclear reactor have reached their end-of-life cycle, requiring urgent investment to secure the extension of their lifespan, as well as additional investment to meet the broader energy demands of the country.
  • African governments should share lessons learned and best practices with each other, as well as closely cooperate with established nuclear actors in the North and South and continental and regional organisations such as AFCONE and the IAEA.