South Africa agrees to cooperate with Algeria

27 May 2010

South Africa has signed an intergovernmental agreement with Algeria on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the South African Press Association reported. In addition to energy, the two countries will cooperate on "exchanges in the production of medical radioisotopes," which would see them swap staff and expertise. The agreement was signed by South Africa's energy minister Dipuo Peters and her Algerian counterpart Chakib Khelil during a state visit to the North African country by South African president Jacob Zuma. Peters said: "We believe that the peaceful use of nuclear energy among the African countries is critical in contributing to the decimation of energy poverty on our continent and will catapult out two countries onto an even higher economic development." She added, "South Africa has moved from being a pariah for its use of nuclear technology in furtherance of the objective of the apartheid state, to a country that respects and conforms to all international conventions on the peaceful use of nuclear energy." Peters noted, "Accordingly, we have become the leading producer and supplier of the much sought after medical radioisotopes which are based on low-enriched uranium fuel."