Zambia and Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to waive visa requirements for diplomatic passport holders.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Malanji who signed on behalf of the Zambian Government said the move comes after completion of internal requirements and procedures by the two governments on mutual abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic passports.
The Minister said the development cooperation between Zambia and Ruusia was growing and that waving visa requirement was one step that would increase exchange programmes between the two countries.
And Mr. Malanji said Government decision to engange Russia on possibilities of setting up a Nuclear Technological Centre that would in the long run result into the establishment of a Nuclear power plant was a clear response to the effects of climate change that has affected the rain pattern and in turn impacted negatively the generation of electricity.
The Minister further said embracing Nuclear technology had a lot of advantages that included having radiation facilities for the treatment of cancer and the preservation of Agricultural produce.
Mr Malanji was speaking on the sidelines of the just ended inaugural Russia Africa Summit that was held in Russia’s Tourist Capital Sochi. The Minister has since left Russia for Azerbaijan where he will represent President Lungu at the 18th Non –Aligned Movement Head of States and Government Summit.
And Zambia Atomic Agency Director General Dr. Roland Msiska says Zambia on average makes losses amounting to 30 percent on Agricultural produce per year due to lack of adequate technology to properly store and preserve agricultural products..
Speaking as one of the panelists in Russian at a side event on the sildelines of the Russia Africa Summit dubbed “the Contribution of Nuclear Technologies in the Development of Africa “,Dr. Msiska said the losses incurred could have been avoided if Zambia had nuclear radiation facilities that would help preserve agriculture products especially for export.
Dr. Msiska further said it was difficult for Zambian mangoes to be exported out of the country even after value addition as they had a high fibre content that could be used reduced through the use of radiation facilities.
He further emphasized that Government was committed to embracing nuclear science and was contemplating adding nuclear science in the school curriculum.
Dr. Msiska further said nuclear science would further have a positive effect on the mining industry as value addition would be added to copper which would lead to the extraction of other minerals like cobalt.
And on the construction of the Nuclear Power plant, Dr. Msiska said it will take about 10 to 15 years for Zambia to come up with the power plant as a lot of mechanisms had to be put in place before this could be done.
This is according to a statement issued by Inutu Mwanza, First Secretary for Press at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia.