Assistance provided to African countries to control the spread of the novel coronavirus infection

A total of 29 African states, as well as the African Union respectively, have appealed to Russia for help controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Thus far, assistance has been provided to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (28,000 units of single-use laboratory equipment and over 8,000 units of personal protective equipment), Djibouti (over 20 medical units for various uses, tents and equipment to create two medical units), South Africa (50 sets of test kits) and Guinea (test kits for 6,600 studies). Methods of supplying medical equipment and materials to Guinea are being developed through RUSAL and Rospotrebnadzor.

Moreover, since the pandemic began, commodities have been shipped to the Comoro Islands (172 tonnes) and Madagascar (approx. 500 tonnes). 

This year, an additional annual contribution is set to be made to the UN World Food Programme to the tune of USD 10 million (equally distributed among Burundi, Djibouti, Somalia, Sierra Leone and South Africa) as well as an allocation of USD 10 million to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to control the locust infestation in East Africa (USD 3 million to Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia respectively and 1 million to South Africa).

Priority areas of cooperation between Russia and African countries were discussed at the first RussiaAfrica Summit and Economic Forum, which was held in Sochi in October 2019 and entitled ‘for peace, security and development’. A final declaration was adopted at the end of that historic event, which strengthened the new Mechanism for Dialogue Partnership, whose Secretariat will organize and hold the second high-level RussiaAfrica assembly 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