Nuclear Education and Prospects for Russian-African Relations: Russia-Africa Forum at RUDN University

Nuclear Education and Prospects for Russian-African Relations: Russia-Africa Forum at RUDN University

November 23, the II Youth Forum “Russia-Africa: Nuclear Education for Sustainable Development” was held at RUDN University. The agenda featured the search for new forms of cooperation in the field of sustainable development of African countries through nuclear education promotion. The forum was attended by representatives of Russia, Ghana, Egypt, Zambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tunisia, Uganda and South Africa.

Vladimir Filippov, academician of the Russian Academy of Education, President of RUDN University, welcomed the forum participants stressing that the forum is dedicated to new forms of cooperation in the field of sustainable development of African countries through nuclear education promotion.

“The topic of the forum is the future of many countries and peoples. Forum participants can make a significant contribution to their well-being finding new forms of cooperation in the field of sustainable development of African countries, first of all, through the promotion of nuclear education. It is about promising areas in the field of higher education, about training highly qualified personnel in the field of nuclear technologies for the African continent. We need to focus on how to keep pace due to a pandemic and lowered mobility,” said Vladimir Filippov.

The organizer and active participant of the youth forum is the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom. At the plenary session, Nikolai Spassky, Deputy General Director — Director of the ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation, made a presentation.

“We have professional relationships with over 25 African countries. This relationship will lead to new equality and practical projects. This will bring clean energy, new technologies and work opportunities to countries. The guarantee of this cooperation is higher education and work force. At the moment, more than 400 students from Africa are studying in nuclear areas in Russia. And this is just the beginning. Our mission is supported by 12 famous Russian universities, but, of course, it is RUDN University that plays a special role here, having many years of experience and traditions in cooperation with African countries. We are looking forward to seeing thousands of talented young people from Africa master the nuclear profession in Russia,” said Nikolai Spassky.

Russian state authorities paid attention to the forum, Konstantin Kosachev, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council, in his address noting the work of Rosatom to promote Russian nuclear education.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the management of ROSATOM. It constantnly helps search for new forms of cooperation in the field of sustainable development of African countries, promoting nuclear education. It all allows realizing the potential of young people in high-tech areas of science and technology”, — said Konstantin Kosachev.

Vladislav Storzhanetsky, Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, spoke at the plenary session, noting that more than 27 thousand African students are trained in Russian universities, the tuition of 5 thousand of them is paid from budgetary funds according to the quota of the Russian Government.

“The nuclear industry is a rapidly developing area with ambitious plans needing highly qualified personnel. In this context, the experience of leading Russian universities in training specialists for the peaceful use of atomic energy is of particular interest to African partners ”- said Vladislav Storzhanetsky.

Pavel Shevtsov, Deputy Head of Rossotrudnichestvo, spoke about the work of Rossotrudnichestvo in Africa.

“Rossotrudnichestvo pays a lot of attention to the African continent having centers all over Africa. We can see great interest on the part of African countries in teaching young people in Russian universities. We have a long history of relationship with Africa both in education and joint business projects. Rossotrudnichestvo, of course, develops and supports ideas that originated many years ago, and our task is to continue, including in education,” said Pavel Shevtsov.

Secretary General of the African Commission on Atomic Energy Messoudou Baaluamer also spoke on the situation with nuclear energy on the African continent and the prospects for cooperation with Russia.

The parties also exchanged practical and scientific experience in overcoming pressing problems, as well as discussed in more detail possible ways of cooperation in five sections:

  • “Nuclear Education”,
  • “Energy”,
  • “Agro-technologies”,
  • “Ecology”,
  • “Nuclear Medicine Today and Tomorrow”.

RUDN University coordinated the “Agro-technologies” section. Speakers from RUDN University, Lorkh Federal Potato Research Center, Lomonosov Moscow State University and the All-Russia Research Institute of Radiology and Agroecology discussed the possibilities of radiation technologies in the production, storage and processing of tubers and root crops, as well as production of environmentally friendly products. The section was moderated by Sergey Elansky, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor of the Agrobiotechnological Department of RUDN Agricultural and Technological Institute, and Masamba Kakh (PhD), expert of RUDN Department of International Projects.

African graduate and postgraduate students of MEPhI, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Mendeleev University, Alekseev Nizhny Novgorod Technical University and University of Sfax (Tunisia) spoke at the sections.

For reference

Forum organizers: State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom and Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia.

The event was organized in the frame of the agreement signed in 2019, at the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi between RUDN University and the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.

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