AECAS Held General Meeting

Moscow’s World Trade Center hosted general meeting of the Association of Economic Cooperation with African Countries (AECAS).

In his welcome address, Head of the Secretariat of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum Oleg Ozerov said that the Secretariat established the Coordinating, Public, and Research Councils, as well as the Media Work Group for specific suggestions for further development of economic, research, technical, and humanitarian cooperation with Africa. 

“AECAS functioning is driven by its non-profit status on one hand and by political and diplomatic support from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Secretariat on the other,” stated Oleg Ozerov. 

The Head of the Secretariat of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum emphasized that the Russia–Africa track offers a significant window of opportunities. This is why the task of doubling the commodity turnover with Africa in the next several years set by Russian President Vladimir Putin looks optimistic.  

AECAS Deputy Chairman Sergey Luksha spoke about negotiations with government representatives from Senegal, Mali, and Guinea that took place in Africa. He shared that these countries as well as other ones were still ready for economic cooperation with Russia. 

“During our meetings, these countries expressed their intention to maintain economic and cultural ties with Russia. Preparation for the 2022 Russia–Africa International Forum demonstrates great potential for developing big plans, including joint ones,” said Sergey Luksha. 

Executive Director of AECAS Anna Belyaeva spoke about key development tracks and focused on the media-related aspect. She emphasized that the preparation for the 2022 Russia–Africa International Forum takes a meticulous and thorough approach to media coverage of this international project.   

“At the same time, I must say that we both – Russians and Africans – need to take a through approach to the media coverage and pay extra attention to it. In this regard, I should say that AECAS and TASS have signed a memorandum of cooperation, which will allow both parties to inform the Russian and African communities on our high-priority plans and their implementation in a timely fashion,” explained Anna Belyaeva. 

She also noted that a media conference involving Russia’s and Africa’s leading media outlets was planned as part of preparation for the next Forum. 

Andrey Pylyov, Advisor to AECAS, focused on humanitarian projects that were in high demand in Senegal, for example. 

“This country plans a series of sporting events that have sparked interest among other African countries. Our experience in such events shows a great interest in them among younger generations above all, which brings them to healthy lifestyles,” shared Andrey Pylyov. 

He also announced that bridging between Russia and Africa involved humanitarian ties that played an important role in the political and economic cooperation.  

The Roscongress Foundation participated in this meeting as a member of the Association. The general meeting announced that Roscongress joined AECAS. 

“Developing the Russia–Africa agenda has been our priority for a while now. We initiated a successful communication with a potential for a partnership back at the first Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum in October 2019. Today, our efforts in this area are becoming more significant: the creation of a whole number of Councils under the Secretariat of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum helps us act in a number of fields quickly and efficiently.   We are happy that our partnership with AECAS and membership in the Association will become another tool for establishing ties between countries. I am confident we will be able to demonstrate our African colleagues the full potential of Russian business. We look forward to interesting partnerships and effective cooperation with the African continent,” said Alexander Stuglev, Head of Coordinating Council under the Secretariat of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum; CEO and Chairman of the Roscongress Foundation. 

The speakers answered questions of the Association members. 

To participants in the Russia–Africa Economic Forum

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you at the opening of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum.

The rich history of relations between Africa and Russia has never seen an event of a similar scale. Members of government agencies and business community, and experts are meeting at this Forum to substantively discuss the current status and prospects of cooperation and a wide range of topical issues of the world economy.

Today, the countries of Africa are well on their way towards social, economic, scientific and technological development, and are playing a significant role in international affairs. They are strengthening mutually beneficial integration processes within the African Union and other regional and sub regional organizations across the continent.

In recent years, the traditionally friendly ties of partnership between Russia and Africa have gained new momentum, both at a bilateral level and in various multilateral formats. In addition to preserving our past experience of successful cooperation, we have also managed to make significant new steps forward. Trade and investment are growing dynamically, and new joint projects are under way in extractive industries, agriculture, healthcare, and education. Russian companies are ready to offer their scientific and technological developments to their African partners, and share their experience of upgrading energy, transport and communications infrastructures.

I hope that the Forum will help identify new areas and forms of cooperation, put forward promising joint initiatives that will bring the collaboration between Russia and Africa to a qualitatively new level and contribute to the development of our economies and the prosperity of our peoples.

I wish the Forum’s participants fruitful work and all the best.

Vladimir Putin

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
Abdelfattah ALSISI