On 12 February 2021, the Radiation and Health Physics Unit, University of the Witwatersrand and the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) hosted an online African regional workshop to continue to discuss the establishment of an African Nuclear Disarmament Verification innovation hub.

The establishment of such a hub in Africa would provide a centre for seasoned scientists and technical experts as well as a new generation of experts to co-operate and play an important role in international disarmament verification debates. The hub would also assist in developing appropriate methodologies and techniques for nuclear disarmament verification in the medium to long-term.

The workshop was the second of a series of four regional workshops being organised by VERTIC and the Radiation and Health Physics Unit.

Participants were drawn from the following entities: the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE); South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO); the South African Council for the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (NPC); the universities of Johannesburg, South Africa (UNISA), North West, KwaZulu-Natal; the Institute for Security Studies; the South African Institute of International Relations; the South African Young Nuclear Professional Society. The Nuclear Regulatory Authorities of Ghana and Zimbabwe as well as the African Center for Science and International Security based in Accra, Ghana also participated. In addition, in attendance were: the Brazilian Association for the Development of Nuclear Activities; the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies’ (CNS) Program for Education and Training; the Division of Disarmament and Sensitive Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil; and, the Quad Nuclear Verification Partnership (the Quad). Participants also included several consultants and private companies with many years of experience on nuclear-related issues.

The meeting concluded with a proposed way forward for the establishment of an African Nuclear Disarmament Verification innovation hub based on the presentations and discussions.