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 RussiaAfrica Partnership Forum. The agreement was signed by Roscongress Foundation CEO and Chairman of the Board, Head of the RussiaAfrica 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.

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