Three Kenyan youths were recognized by Rosatom for demonstrating how nuclear technologies can contribute in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) during a youth forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The trio – Wafula Lukorito, Job Ogenche and Felix Kipng’etich – were feted for winning this year’s Atoms for Africa Online Competition that required African youth to demonstrate the impact of nuclear technologies in the continent.
They won an all-expenses paid trip to Russia to visit various state-of-the-art nuclear facilities, Moscow landmarks, top nuclear universities as well as other scientific and technological facilities. The winners will also meet African students currently studying various nuclear disciplines in Russia.
According to Gaopalelwe Santswere, African Young Generation in Nuclear Interim President and South African Young Nuclear Professional Society Executive Chairperson highlighted that over past 10 years, more and more African countries began to explore various nuclear technologies as viable options that contribute to sustainable development.
He added: “Countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia are all currently actively exploring various nuclear technologies to solve a number of issues hampering development. Opportunities like “Atoms for Africa” competition allow young generation to truly understand the immense benefits that nuclear technologies can bring to their countries and the wellbeing of their people.”
Mr. Dmitry Shornikov, CEO of ROSATOM Central and Southern Africa underscored the company’s commitment towards supporting the development of young nuclear professionals. “One of our key missions at ROSATOM is to assist the brightest young minds from across the globe to shape the future of energy by solving global challenges”.
He added: “This is a great opportunity for young people from very different walks of life who share a common passion to build a bright and sustainable future for Africa to discover more about various nuclear applications and their vast benefits for the region”.
Atoms for Africa is an online competition organized by Rosatom in cooperation with EnerConnect as well as the African Young Generation in Nuclear and South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society.This year’s competition run from 1 August until 30 September 2019. The other winning teams included Nigeria and Tanzania who also received over 2000 votes. After 14000 votes were cast online, the public chose three winners out of top 10 that were pre-selected by the jury from 66 applications. The winners of the competition were announced during the 2nd Annual Nuclear Youth Summit held in South Africa.
Participants were required to film a short video about their research findings and promote it on Facebook. The competition was open to everyone aged 18-30 residing in Sub-Saharan Africa, and was not limited to engineering and science students. Young people from Central and Southern Africa were invited to research how nuclear technologies can assist in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) on the continent. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals address poverty, hunger, human health, clean water, affordable and clean energy, industry and innovation as well as climate change, to name but a few.