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Russia to build nuclear plant to meet Burkina Faso’s energy needs

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Burkina Faso’s military leaders have signed a deal with Russia to build a nuclear power plant to increase electricity supplies.

This move aligns with the junta’s recent disagreements with Western partners, as Burkina Faso is one of the least electrified countries globally, with only 21% of people connected to power. The deal is part of Burkina Faso’s target to achieve 95% electricity access for urban areas and 50% for rural areas by 2030.

Burkina Faso primarily gets its electricity from biofuels like charcoal and wood, while oil products account for one-third of the total energy supply. The country also has one of the highest electricity costs in Africa, according to the International Energy Agency. South Africa is the only African state that produces nuclear power commercially, but more nations are moving in this direction.

Russia is helping Egypt build a nuclear power plant at a cost of $30 billion (£24 billion) following a deal signed by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and President Putin in 2017. Russia also signed a deal to build power plants in Nigeria in 2017, but the project has yet to begin. Kenya plans to build its first nuclear power plant by 2027, but it is still deciding on its international partner. Rwanda has opted for the Canadian-German company Dual Fluid Energy to build a nuclear reactor by 2028, aiming to meet central African energy demands and build resilience due to climate change.