Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum
Over the years of its existence, the African Union has established itself as an effective mechanism for multilateral political, economic and humanitarian cooperation. This influential international organisation plays an important role in settling local conflicts and crises and strengthening neighbourly relations, security and stability on the African continent.
For Russia, African states have always been and remain important and reliable partners. We are united by the desire to build a just multipolar world order based on true equality and the rule of international law, free from any form of discrimination, coercive diktat or sanctions pressure.
The first ever Russia-Africa summit held in 2019 created good conditions for stepping up our traditionally friendly relations, both bilaterally and multilaterally. I am confident that the second summit in this format, to be held in St Petersburg in July, will allow us to set new goals for expanding cooperation between the Russian Federation and its African partners in a wide range of areas, such as addressing topical issues on the regional and international agenda.
It will be my pleasure to welcome you in St Petersburg. I look forward to continuing to work together constructively for the benefit of our countries and peoples, and in the interests of the peaceful and prosperous development of the African continent.
The Russia–Africa Summit, which is taking place in Sochi on 23–24 October 2019, encapsulates the historically friendly relations between the African continent and the Russian Federation. This Summit carries great significance as it is the first of its kind to emerge during a period of major global and international transformations. In response to the aspirations of the people it is representing, the Summit intends to build a comprehensive framework for expanding Russian–African relations into broader horizons of joint cooperation across different fields.
The African nations and Russia share a common understanding of international relations, based on the principles of respect for the rule of international law, equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Both sides affirm their commitment to support multilateral actions to oppose new international threats, be they terrorism and extremism in all their forms, or declining growth rates. The two sides share a firm conviction regarding the importance of developing trade flows and supporting mutual investment in such a way as to ensure security, peace and development for the African and Russian people.
African countries have huge potential and opportunities that will allow them, once efforts to streamline their economies have been achieved, to emerge as real global players. In recent years, the nations of this continent have achieved major successes spanning the political, economic, social and administrative spheres. Africa has flourished in terms of growth over the past decade, reaching a continent-wide growth rate of 3.55% in 2018.
The African Union Summit, which was held in Niger in July 2019, continued the efforts of the African countries and saw the African Continental Free Trade Agreement come into force, along with its operational instruments. The agreement is one of the key objectives of Agenda 2063, an African development strategy that has been created to address the African people’s desire for prosperity and decent living standards.
These successes are opening up wide-ranging prospects for cooperation between African countries and the Russian Federation, and confirm the determination of African governments and their people to cooperate with multiple partners in order to establish mutually beneficial relations.
With this in mind, we express our hopes that the Russia–Africa Summit will help in the establishment of constructive strategic relations, based on partnership between two sides across various fields, and in the service of fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the African people and their friends in Russia.
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt