Expanded Programme Released for Russia–Africa Economic Forum

The official website of the Russia–Africa Summit and the Economic Forum has published the business programme for the event with session abstracts. The largest event in the history of Russian-African relations will take place on 23–24 October in Sochi. The Forum will become a regular event and help to maintain a constant business dialogue between Russia and African countries. The Roscongress Foundation is organizing the event.

The business programme focuses on key areas of cooperation between Russia and African countries and is centred around three thematic pillars: ‘Forging Economic Ties’, ‘Creating Joint Projects’, and ‘Collaborating in the Humanitarian and Social Sector’.

“The Forum programme was put together with the participation of the African side based on a thorough analysis of the prospects for cooperation between the countries. Thanks to the joint work of business associations, experts, diplomats, and scientists, the Russia–Africa Forum will serve as a comprehensive platform and give a new impetus to the development of joint projects on both continents”, Advisor to the Russian President Anton Kobyakov said.

The ‘Forging Economic Ties’ pillar will feature sessions and discussions on ways to strengthen economic interaction between the countries. The participants will discuss such issues as expanding funding for joint Russian-African transactions, prospects for the development of integration processes and cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Community and Africa, digital transformation and cybersecurity, and the economic sovereignty of African countries. Businesses and the government will use the conclusions reached during the Forum’s discussions to make the necessary decisions aimed at stimulating economic cooperation.

The ‘Creating Joint Projects’ pillar will focus on existing and potential joint projects in the oil and gas, agro-industrial, transport infrastructure, construction, and nuclear power sectors. One of the central themes will be the Russian Industrial Zone that is to begin operations in Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone. The project to create the Russian Industrial Zone, which was conceived and is being implemented at the level of governments, state development institutions, and the business community, is a trial balloon that has no analogues in terms of public investment and the support mechanism that is being created. The initial successes and conclusions regarding the project’s implementation as well as the potential of its scaling will be discussed during a special session for the first time.

The ‘Collaborating in the Humanitarian and Social Sector’ pillar will look at ways to improve the quality of life on the African continent, provide security, and the requisite level of education and healthcare for the people of Africa.

Over 3,000 representatives of African business as well as CEOs of Russian companies and leading international experts will take part in the events of the Russia–Africa Forum business programme. The Forum will be the largest and most representative event in the history of Russian–African relations and will further develop mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and the African continent.

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