However, uranium exploration in Africa may be on the verge of a resurgence. According to African Business Magazine which mentions projections from the International Atomic and Energy Association, “global nuclear power generation could increase by as much as 94% by 2030″. This is good news for uranium-producing Namibia, which has over six uranium mines supplying power stations in Japan, France, the USA and the UK, and Niger, which ranks as the fourth largest producer of uranium in the world.
Interest in nuclear power has increased for a number of reasons among which are:
- Global demand for energy is growing – world energy demand is expected to grow by 40% from 2007 to 2030 and demand for electricity is expected to increase by 76% over the same period.
- Concern about climate change is encouraging the search for energy sources with lower carbon emissions.
- Global supply of uranium is less uncertain than other energy sources such as oil and gas.
So, more exploration is taking place on the continent in countries such as Algeria, Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. And some analysts say that the continent could be the world’s second largest supplier of uranium in the near future, after Australia.
How Namibia can supply power to several developed countries without fully sorting out its own domestic power supply issues is beyond me. How the continent can have such vast resources of energy but still struggle with generating power within its borders is also alarming. So what the resurgence of this industry means for Africa in terms of progress and development remains to be seen because if Africa’s history has shown us anything, it’s that the continent has the misfortune of benefiting the least from its resources.