Introducing Russia to Africa

KEY CONCLUSIONS

Africa is attractive for investment and trade

“A promising area of cooperation involves attracting big Russian investors in industries strategic for many African countries, such as agriculture, mining or processing raw material,” Andrey Kostin, President and Chairman of the Management Board, VTB Bank.

“Africa is a large consumer of agricultural produce. Last year, the volume of our export exceeded USD 4.6 billion,” Sergey Yushin, Head of the Executive Committee, National Meat Association.

“We watch Africa closely and with affection. We see the continent’s great opportunities and readiness to cooperate with Russian companies,” Mushegh Sahakyan, Director for International Development, Yandex.Taxi.

Russia has the right technologies to develop the African region

“The key objective is to take the level of life on the African continent up to the global standards of developed countries. Its basic aspect is food security, while the ultimate priority includes providing a variety of good and healthy food. It is paramount that all African residents have access to such ration. It is a strategic goal, and we are able and willing to help our African partners with it,” Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, URALCHEM.

“Russia is the world’s only market where local online services win over their American rivals in an open and fair competition,” Mushegh Sahakyan, Director for International Development, Yandex.Taxi.

“It is the synergy of using digital technologies that gives the positive effect that we see in our country’s budgetary segment,” Alexey Overchuk, Deputy Commissioner, Federal Tax Service of Russia.

“Russia is the pioneer of nuclear energy. The world’s first nuclear power plant was launched in no other place than here 65 years ago, and throughout the course of history we have been the world’s leader in developing innovative nuclear technologies. <…> We work around the globe and pay a special attention to the African continent, which is undoubtfully an area of growth,” Kirill Komarov, First Deputy General Director, Director of Development and International Business Unit, ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation.

“Existing competencies of Russian Railways will be demanded in Africa. African countries are about to reach leading social and economic performance. By 2050, over one third of global population increase will occur in African countries. Keeping this pace, ensuring the quality of economic growth and life is only possible through developing railways. This has been proved by the world’s experience,” Oleg Belozerov, Chief Executive Officer – Chairman of the Executive Board, Russian Railways.

“In our country, vast territories belong to the zone of risky agriculture, therefore over the decades Russian companies have accumulated unique agricultural competencies. <…> Our companies are becoming primary partners in the African continent in both produce and technology export,” Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, URALCHEM.

“We possess colossal information on African countries’ geology. No other country in the world has this information. We boast 40 years of experience in 26 African countries, which is fairly big. We understand how complicated geological aspects can be tackled. We bring new technologies. <…> This allows us to create new jobs and infrastructure and be the cornerstone for the economy of whole regions and countries, which apart from other things plays a major role in export and impacts social stability,” Sergey Gorkov, General Director, Chairman of the Management Board, Rosgeologia.

 

PROBLEMS

New challenges and risks

“We look at the world around us. We look at the new digital economy challenges and realize that government agencies in charge of state revenue should meet these challenges and be one step ahead of them. This concerns value added chains – we are getting new ones now; the role of intangible assets is growing; new virtual transborder goods and services, as well cryptocurrencies appear. These are the new challenges that tax services all over the world face,” Alexey Overchuk, Deputy Commissioner, Federal Tax Service of Russia.

 

SOLUTIONS

Developing legal environment for cooperation

“Potential partnership with the countries of the African region is based on developing the contractual basis of our bilateral cooperation in healthcare,” Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.

“Successful development of relations requires lower non-tariff barriers, that is why we count on well-balanced phytosanitary requirements set by importing countries, as well as clear, precise and transparent business rules. <…> Government policy aims to deliver organic, environment friendly and safe produce,” Sergey Yushin, Head of the Executive Committee, National Meat Association.

Cooperation in innovative technologies

“Joint development of technologies with the use of artificial intelligence has a great potential for our cooperation. Artificial intelligence technologies develop swiftly and will help resolve the most pressing issues impacting African countries and will result in the growth and development of the most important segments of the economy,” Alexander Vedyakhin, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank.

“Russia has a high level of digitalization, talented engineers, that is why we plan to invest in Russia in the future,” Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, Chief Executive Officer, Naspers Ltd.

For more information, visit the Roscongress Foundation’s Information and Analytical System www.roscongress.org

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