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Background

The African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) is an inter-governmental Agreement, which stems from an initiative of African Member States who requested the Agency in 1988 to help them establish a regional arrangement for cooperation in the field of nuclear science and technology in Africa similar to the existing ones in Asia and Latin America.

It took almost two years to complete all consultations with the African Member States and to secure the approval of the Board of Governors of the IAEA in February 1990.

The AFRA Agreement

entered into force on 4 April 1990.

As of January 2013, AFRA  membership includes 39 African countries, namely: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, D.R. of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

(See Member States).

The AFRA Agreement is a legal document, which guides and regulates the implementation of the AFRA activities in the region, and defines the interfacing between the AFRA Member States and its partners, including the IAEA.

The scope of AFRA activities includes the peaceful application of all technically and developmentally sound nuclear techniques, which can contribute significantly towards the achievement of national and regional development objectives.

The IAEA is not party to AFRA, but has the mandate to provide technical and scientific backstopping as well as financial and administrative support in accordance with its rules and procedures that govern the provision of technical assistance to its Member States.

Through a regional approach to development, AFRA seeks to accelerate development towards self-sufficiency in nuclear scientific disciplines and appropriate technologies in Africa. This is achieved by coordinating intellectual and physical resources and implementing innovative methods and practices cost-effectively.

AFRA’s development efforts are guided by a mandate, a vision and mission, all of which were developed and endorsed by the AFRA member states.