Africa Day: Joint Efforts against Present-Day Challenges

All over the world and on the African continent, 25 May is celebrated as Africa Day. It is exactly 57 years ago in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) that the Organisation of African Unity was founded, whose role today is played by the African Union that joins together 55 countries. The day is also known as the African Freedom Day and proclaims the political and economic integration of the countries of the region, as well as complete eradication of colonialism and neo-colonialism on the African continent.

Bear in mind that the first RussiaAfrica Summit and Economic Forum took place in Sochi in October 2019 under the slogan ‘For Peace, Safety and Development’. Based on the results of that event, priority areas of economic cooperation were determined and official delegations and business representatives from the countries of Africa expressed high level of interest in development of cooperation with Russia, its extension and intensification.

“Mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Africa has a long history, and these days, important strategic significance for the economy of our countries as well. We are glad of the new opportunities of partnership with Africa and we are ready to put into practice the potential stored over the decades. The regularly held Russia–Africa Summits and Forums will become one of the tools for intensive strengthening of the dialogue between the countries,” noted Anton Kobyakov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation.

The key result of the event was adoption of the final declaration that includes the agreed-upon goals and objectives of further development of the Russian-African cooperation in all areas: political, security, economic, scientific and technological, and cultural and humanitarian. The declaration also secures the new dialogue mechanism – the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum, whose Secretariat will deal with preparing and holding the second high-level Russia–Africa meeting in 2022.

Results of the in-house investigation on the impact of the pandemic on the African continent ‘African Socio-political Context in the Midst of the Pandemic: Further Stabilisation or a Powder Keg Effect?’ will soon be published via online resources of the Roscongress Foundation.


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