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Health Minister commissions Fifth Atomic Energy Board

Health Minister commissions Fifth Atomic Energy Board

The Minister of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), Hon. Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, on Monday, commissioned the 5th Atomic Energy Board (AEB) and the Namibia Medicines Regulatory Council (NMRC).

This is the Fifth AEB to have been appointed and commissioned since the promulgation of the Atomic Energy and Radiation Protection Act of 2005.

In his remarks at the ceremony in Windhoek, Shangula said one of the functions of the board is to make recommendations to the government on the peaceful use of nuclear science and technology.

According to him, the previous boards have been instrumental in supporting efforts to ensure the legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear safeguards, radiation safety, and nuclear security is operational and responsive to the national scope of applications.

The newly appointed board members are Dr. Shitaleni Herman, Chairperson of the Board, Mr. Timoteus Mufeti, Mr. John Titus, Ms. Petrina Nghidengwa, Mr. Collin Namalambo, and Ms. Natasja Cupido.

“We have learned from the experiences of other countries that the foundation of a mature nuclear science and technology hinges on the effectiveness of the institutions tasked with this responsibility,” Shangula said.

The minister said to this effect, they are content that legislative and regulatory frameworks continue to be assessed and improved in line with the international standards recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) serving as the reference indicators.

Shangula said the board would hit the ground running in carrying out their mandates, including a proposal of initiatives that can benefit Namibia through the IAEA and African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), as well as ensuring that Namibia meets and is at all times compliant with our international obligations regarding the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Shangula also commended the board’s recent consultations with policymakers and other stakeholders that led to the hosting of the first and most successful Nuclear Science and Technology Conference in November last year.

“I direct that the board continue to consult with relevant stakeholders and advise on the best practice approach to creating a national institutional framework for promoting nuclear science and technology,” he added.

Meanwhile, he urged the board to ensure that they advise on nuclear energy and radiation sources, indicating they should take the lead to mobilize stakeholders and develop agenda for the enhancement of nuclear science and technology in Namibia.

The minister said they held various engagements with AFCONE at the level of the regional framework and, thus, recommends that Namibia takes a proactive approach to advance its interests and promote regional collaboration within the framework of the Pelindaba Treaty, which established AFCONE.

“Namibia has adopted two important Policies, namely, the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Policy and the Nuclear Science and Technology Policy. I emphasize the obligation of the Board to assist the government in translating these policies into meaningful socio-economic and development impacts that benefit our people in all parts of the country. You are aware of the fiscal constraints facing our country,” he stated.

Shangula said the new board brings broad experience, expertise, skills, and collective wisdom to bear for the benefit of our nation.

“I do not doubt that all board members possess the full depth of this mandate and shall contribute to the work of the Board with the necessary commitment, dedication, and diligence,” he said.


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