KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda said on Wednesday it had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Russia to help the East African country build capacity to exploit nuclear technology for energy, medical and other peaceful purposes.
The government of President Yoweri Museveni has previously said it is eager to use the country’s uranium deposits to boost energy production capacity.
In May last year Uganda also signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to help Uganda build capacity in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.
In an emailed statement, Uganda’s energy ministry said the IGA with Russia was signed in Vienna on Tuesday between Energy Minister Irene Muloni and Nikolai Spasskiy, the deputy director general of Russian state corporation ROSATOM.
Under the agreement, the statement said, Russia will help Uganda with development of nuclear infrastructure and production and application of radioisotopes for industrial, healthcare and agricultural use.
“Spasskiy expressed the commitment and readiness of ROSATOM to support Uganda’s plans to develop the peaceful use of nuclear energy especially in the nuclear power plant development,” the statement said.
Uganda’s energy needs are expected to jump in coming years as it prepares to start producing crude oil in 2022 from fields in its west where reserves of 6 billion barrels were discovered in 2006.
Uganda’s ministry of energy and mineral development has previously said the country has substantial deposits of uranium but reserve estimates are not known as the mineral has not been commercially explored.
Reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala; Editing by Matthew Lewis