Burkina Faso’s military junta on Friday, signed a deal with Russia to build a nuclear power plant to boost the electricity supply in the West African nation.
The deal followed talks between Ibrahim Traore, leader of the junta, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in July, during the Russia-Africa summit, according to Energy News Africa.
Traore requested Putin’s support in setting up a nuclear power plant in Burkina Faso, which he said would help meet the country’s energy demands.
“We have a critical need for energy. This is an important point for me because we need, if possible, to build a nuclear power station in Burkina Faso to produce electricity. Our position is rather strategic because we are in the heart of West Africa and we have an energy deficit in the sub-region.”
The report pointed out that Burkina Faso is one of the countries with the least access to electricity globally, with only 21 per cent of people connected to the grid.
The deal is part of the country’s target to achieve 95 per cent electricity access for urban areas and 50 per cent for rural areas by 2030.
Some of the countries in Africa that have initiated processes to establish nuclear power plants include Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but South Africa is the only African country that produces nuclear power on a commercial scale.
In 2017, Russia signed a US$20 billion deal to build two nuclear power plants in Nigeria but the project is yet to begin.