Ouagadougou announced that it has signed an agreement with Russia for the construction of a nuclear power plant as it seeks energy self-sufficiency.
As Russia and Burkina continue to strengthen ties an agreement has been signed according to reports of a proposed plan to build a nuclear power plant in the sahelian country where less than a quarter of the population has access to electricity.
The signing of this agreement took place on the occasion of the Russian Energy Week which was held in Moscow, in which the Minister of Energy of Burkina, Simon-Pierre Boussim, participated.
On the Russian side, the document was signed by Nikolay Spasski, deputy director general of the nuclear agency Rosatom.
At the end of 2020, only 22.5% of Burkinabè (67.4% in urban areas, 5.3% in rural areas) had access to electricity, according to figures from the African Development Bank.
Many analysts say it is a welcome development and it would see it break free from dependence on Ghana and Ivory Coast for power.
It seems to be a departure from the relationship it has had with its former ally France whome many hold has been exploitative. It does give an opportunity for Russia to define how the west should deal with Africa as a partner and not a dependent.
Nigeria as Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation might have one or two lessons to learn here in its dealings with western interests. It revives the discussion over what should be Nigeria’s foreign policy direction and African nations as members of the African Union (AU) block.
If the continent is to rise and assert itself as a force to content within the global marketplace, from a source of raw materials for the west to production of finished goods. It must see the example of Burkina Faso as a template when dealing with industrialised nations like China, America and the like, who have exploited Africa for decades.
The announcement of the construction of the nuclear power plant in Burkina,is however, seen by some as a new illustration of Russian propaganda on the continent but that should not deter other African nations from borrowing a leaf and even seeing to the success of the deal.
For the Burkinabè Minister of Energy, Mines and Quarries, Simon-Pierre Boussim, Burkina Faso hopes to be able to build this nuclear power plant by 2030 to thus resolve the problem of energy shortage, a vital energy for the national industry.