4 December 2019. Representatives of ISTC and the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have recently established formal contacts. A meeting between ISTC Senior Programme Manager & Diplomatic Advisor Kamen Velichkov and Ms. Mapalao Rosemary Mokoena, Director Infrastructure, Directorate of Infrastructure, SADC Secretariat, on the possibilities for cooperation within the framework of the EU-funded ISTC-implemented projects MC 5.01/15 Support to the Southern African States in Nuclear Safety and Safeguards took place at the SADC Headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana, on 28 November 2019.
The SADC official was debriefed on the mission and current priorities of ISTC, and the transformation of the organization through its geographic and thematic expansion. Director Mokoena learned more about the ongoing EU-funded under the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC), and ISTC- implemented project in Southern Africa on nuclear safety and safeguards. The project is the INSC’s first outreach to Africa, a continent where growing peaceful use of nuclear energy and nuclear applications requires increased levels of nuclear safety culture.
The project is a vehicle for transmission of European experience to the SADC region. Like the EU, SADC unites countries that are on different levels of use of nuclear technology. Therefore, like the EU, SADC may provide a platform for regulatory approximation and even harmonization among its member states, as well as synchronized policies in ensuring safety of the environment and the communities, particularly during transportation of nuclear and radioactive material. While the Project aspires mainly after improving safety on the road, it also has a security dimension helping the participating states fulfil their international obligations under a number of conventions, treaties and protocols.
The meeting at the SADC Headquarters took place along the sidelines of the 4th Joint Meeting of the SADC Nuclear Regulators Network and the 6th Steering Committee of Project MC5.01/15B Support to Southern African States in Nuclear Safety and Safeguards held in Gaborone, Botswana on 27th and 28th November 2019. K. Velichkov thanked Director Mokoena for addressing the participants of the joint meeting on behalf of the Executive Secretary of SADC. Ms. Mokoena highlighted two specific objectives of project MC 5.01/15 B that are of great importance for the SADC region: harmonization of legal frameworks and training and capacity building of people and institutions.