Burkina Faso signs nuclear power plant agreement

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Traore Seeks Putin's Backing
Traore Seeks Putin's Backing

In a bid to alleviate its electricity supply challenges, Burkina Faso’s military junta has formalized an agreement with Russia for the construction of a nuclear power facility.

The genesis of this pivotal pact can be traced back to discussions between the junta’s leader, Ibrahim Traore, and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Russia-Africa summit held in July.

Traore seeks Putin’s backing

Traore appealed to Putin, seeking his support to establish a nuclear power plant within Burkina Faso’s borders, citing the pressing energy demands in the country.

He accentuated the critical necessity for more energy resources, underlining the strategic importance of constructing a nuclear power station, considering the nation’s central position in West Africa and the energy deficit experienced in the sub-region.

Burkina Faso encountered significant political turmoil when its military assumed power on September 30, 2022.

The coup stemmed, in part, from dissatisfaction due to the government’s inability to curtail a relentless jihadist insurgency that had infiltrated from neighboring Mali since 2015.

Since the coup, the junta has sought economic and military support from Russia.

Burkina Faso currently ranks among the countries with the lowest access to electricity globally, with just 21 percent of its population linked to the power grid.

This recently solidified agreement is an integral component of the country’s aspirational target, which aims to provide electricity access to 95 percent of urban areas and 50 percent of rural regions by 2030.