Humanitarian projects Are Cornerstone of Russia–Africa Cooperation

The preparation for the 2nd Russia–Africa Summit that will take place in 2022 is becoming more active. On Wednesday, the Public Council under the Secretariat of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum held an online/offline meeting to discuss initiatives to strengthen Russian–African cooperation in education, culture, sport, as well as programmes for youth and Russian university alumni. 

Yevgeny Primakov, Chairman of the Public Council and head of Russia’s Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo), indicated the proposals that needed fine tuning and emphasized the importance of promoting studying in Russian universities. “African alumni need to be ambassadors of Russian education in their home countries – it is important for Rossotrudnichestvo. We are ready to facilitate long-term and productive liaison with this part of the African society,” added Mr. Primakov.  

As the organizer of the Economic Forum that took place alongside the Russia–Africa Summit, the Roscongress Foundation noted its preparedness to promote the positive image of Russia in African countries through business, cultural, and sporting events. “Clearly, Russian-African cooperation must be multifaceted and exist at various levels instead of just the liaison between their officials and members of the business community. The biggest share of any country’s population is general public. Fruitful cooperation between countries takes understanding their views and needs,” noted Armen Khachatryan, Deputy CEO and Programme Director of the Roscongress Foundation.  

“The upcoming Russia–Africa Summit will focus on humanitarian projects. As was noted by the African party, such projects are the cornerstone of cooperation between two countries. For our part, we will need to prepare the concept for the Russia–Africa dialogue,” summarized Ambassador-at-Large and Head of the Secretariat of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum Oleg Ozerov.  

At the meeting of Public Council under the Secretariat of Russia–Africa Partnership Forum, participants represented the following organizations: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Rossotrudnichestvo; the Roscongress Foundation; Rosmir; the National Youth Council of Russia; the World Alumni Association; the Association of Economic Cooperation with African Countries (AECAS).

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