Dmitry Medvedev to Take Part in the Russia–Africa Economic Conference

On 21 June, Chairman of the Russian Government Dmitry Medvedev will speak at the Russia—Africa Economic Conference, which is timed to coincide with the Afreximbank Annual Meeting. The key theme is «Partnership with developing countries in the age of protectionism». The Annual Afreximbank Shareholder Meeting is a major event for African states, with political and business leaders from all over the continent taking part in it.

The Conference will also discuss the development of investment projects in Africa, cooperation in the mining industry and the energy and financial sectors, and the development of railway infrastructure, digital technologies, and cyber security. Other business programme sessions will be dedicated to health, education, and food security.

Russia is actively developing trade and economic relations with African countries; by the end of last year total exports had grown by 18% to USD 17.5 billion, and turnover is to increase threefold in the next three years, including a significant increase in the volume of non-primary exports.

Afreximbank is a supranational financial institution uniting 51 African countries. Its main objectives are the development and promotion of trade between African countries as well as outside the continent. In 2017, the Russian Export Center became Afreximbank’s third largest shareholder among non-African financial institutions and organizations, which significantly accelerated the implementation of investment, trade, and economic relations between Russia and Africa.

The Afreximbank Shareholder Meeting in Moscow is the second offsite event in the history of the Bank. The event will be attended by over 1,500 people and include representatives from government, business, and public organizations in Russia and Africa.

The Conference is an important step on the way to the political Russia—Africa Summit to be held in Sochi in October 2019 under the co-chairmanship of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Chairman of the African Union. This is the first event in the history of Russian—African relations to which the heads of all African states have been invited, as well as the leaders of major sub-regional associations and organizations.

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