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Russia and China throw weight behind Africa's nuclear power drive

Continent's growing energy needs tie into tug of war for regional influence

South Africa's Koeberg plant, near Cape Town, is currently Africa's only nuclear power station.

CAIRO -- African countries turning to nuclear power as electricity demand soars are finding partners in Russia and China, offering them an avenue to expand their influence in this fast-growing region.

Egypt broke ground Wednesday on the country's first nuclear power plant at El-Dabaa, 300 kilometers northwest of Cairo. Director General Alexey Likhachev, of Russia's state-run Rosatom, which is building the facility, called this the "largest project of the Russian-Egyptian cooperation since the Aswan High Dam."

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