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Russia firm eyes to invest in Malawi's nuclear energy, rare earth mining, medicine

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As Russia moves to build closer ties with Africa, officials of one of the global leaders in  nuclear energy, Rosatom, have expressed interest to invest in Malawi.

Rosatom's nuclear plants in Egypt Rosatom's nuclear plants in Egypt

Dmitry Shornikov, Rosatom’s Central and Southern Africa Chief Executive Officer disclosed this on Friday after meeting Malawi President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika in Russia.


“Rosatom is interested in investing in Malawi in areas of nuclear energy, rare earth mining and medicine,” said Shornikov.


On his part, Malawi’s Foreign Affairs Minister Francis Kasaila said: “These are global experts in as far as nuclear technology is concerned, and they met President Professor

Mutharika to rollout series of discussions that will lead to these experts investing in Malawi. Soon after the President returns to Malawi, a delegation from Russia will be coming to meet their energy counterparts in Malawi.


“Rosatom will also work to modernise our current hydro energy system as well as rendering their expertise in rare earth mining,” the Minister added.

What is Rosatom?

Rosatom is a Russian state corporation headquartered in Moscow that specialises in nuclear energy. Established in 2007, the organisation comprises more than 360 enterprises, including scientific research organizations, the nuclear weapons complex, and the world's only nuclear icebreaker fleet.


The state corporation is one of the leaders in the world's nuclear energy industry. The organisation ranks first as the largest electricity generating company in Russia, producing 202.868 billion kWh of electricity, 18.9 percent of the country’s total electricity production, in 2017.


The corporation also ranks first in the largest portfolio of foreign construction projects: 33 nuclear power plant units in 12 countries. Rosatom also manufactures equipment and produces isotopes for nuclear medicine, carries out research, material studies; it also produces supercomputers and software as well as different nuclear and non-nuclear innovative products.


Rosatom’s strategy is also to develop renewable energy, and has announced it will invest in wind power. Rosatom with its one-third of world market share takes the lead in global uranium enrichment services and covers 17.7 percent of the global nuclear fuel market.

From Asia, Europe to Africa

Currently, Russia conducts more trade with Asia and Europe than Africa. During this same period India, China and the US have been the big players in Sub-Saharan Africa and even the EU, Japan and the US have invested more when compared with Russia.


However, in his key note address during the just ended first ever Russia-Africa Summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that it’s Russia’s priority to strengthen relations with African countries.


“This is not accidental, as Africa increasingly becomes a continent of opportunities. It possesses vast resources and potential economic attractiveness,” he said.


Russia has strong reasons to get involved in Africa as the continent holds a huge amount of natural minerals such as iron ore, phosphate, manganese and chromium, which are crucial for the nuclear industry.  Russia has tremendous experience in the energy sector and its expertise will pay off in African countries.

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