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Home >> Business
UPDATED: 13:34, June 01, 2006
Nuclear power part of answer to fuel Africa: business leader
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Participants to the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa have said that nuclear might be an option to fuel Africa's economy development.

"Nuclear is one of the selections even it is not the unique option to fuel the continent's development," Jaco Kriek, chief executive officer of Pebble Bed Modular Reactor, South Africa, said in a closed panel discussion on an energy topic set for the summit.

High energy costs, which even account for up to half of total production costs in some African countries, are jeopardizing the profitability of industries as they struggle to compete in an increasingly cut-throat global marketplace, and strangling the sustainability of African development.

The participants argued that alternative sources of energy and technologies will be needed in the future to complement conventional energy sources, as demand continues to grow along with an average growth rate of over 5 percent on the continent.

Among African countries, uranium deposits have been recently detected in Zambia. Energy Regulation Board of Zambia has called on the government to formulate a nuclear policy so as to give the country a framework on the effective usage of uranium.

Solar energy will be another option for the African countries though there would be a long way to transmit the technology, participants suggested.

They also urged the African nations to speed up electric power infrastructure construction so as to help alleviate severe shortage of electricity.

The Geneva-based World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships for the global public interest.

The 16th World Economic Forum on Africa themed "Going for growth" opened here on Wednesday, drawing over 700 political and business leaders to discuss the poor continent's future development.

Source: Xinhua

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