Joining Forces for Common Goals: Roscongress and Association of Economic Cooperation with African States Agree on Partnership
The Roscongress Foundation and the Association of Economic Cooperation with African States (AECAS) held a ceremony in Moscow to sign a cooperation agreement as part of a presentation of the Secretariat of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum. The agreement was signed by Roscongress Foundation CEO and Chairman of the Board, Head of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum Coordinating Council Alexander Stuglev and the Head of AECAS Alexander Saltanov.
The Association of Economic Cooperation with African States was established as a non-profit organization on 12 April 2020 in accordance with a directive of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin dated 21 March 2020 with the assistance of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The partnership agreed upon by the parties aims to establish effective communication between the expert, business, and political communities of the Russian Federation and African countries.
“The Russia–Africa agenda has taken on special relevance today: the first Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum demonstrated the true potential of strategic relations between our countries. So we are very excited about our new partners in this area. We are ready to make efforts and, jointly with the Association, help to create a favourable business climate, while serving as a bridge between Russian and African businesses and providing both sides with high-quality conditions for collaboration,” Stuglev said.
Joining efforts will enable the Roscongress Foundation and AECAS to develop shared communication platforms at the global level in order to boost interstate cooperation in various sectors; promote the consolidation and development of long-term partnerships between the business communities of the Russian Federation and African states, and also maintain a dialogue on cooperation in the investment and financial sphere, export-import activities as well as tourism and cultural interaction.
Saltanov said during the signing ceremony that the AECAS would provide comprehensive assistance, aid, and support in opening African markets for Russian businesses. “Russia’s interest in economic, scientific, and cultural cooperation with African countries is long-term, sustainable and, also importantly, has historical roots. For their part, African countries are interested in Russian investments, technologies, and opportunities for training skilled personnel. The Association’s current goal is to actively search for new growth points and build a structure to expand the scope of common interests and further cooperation with the African continent,” Saltanov said.
The first Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum was held in Sochi in October 2019 under the slogan ‘For Peace, Security, and Development’. The event was attended by over 6,000 participants, including representatives of all 54 African countries, 45 of which were represented by heads of state and government.
The Summit culminated in the adoption of a final declaration that sets out the goals and objectives that have been endorsed for the further development of Russia–Africa cooperation in all its dimensions and also designates the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum as a new regular mechanism for dialogue in addition to summits in the Russia–Africa format once every three years. The second Russia–Africa Summit will be held in 2022.