Afreximbank Annual Meetings publishes its extended business programme

The Afreximbank Annual Meetings will be held in Moscow on 18–22 June. The open Russia—Africa Economic Conference will also be part of the meetings. More information about the Conference can be found on the Roscongress Foundation website. The business agenda will focus on key issues such as trade and economic cooperation, the export potential of African countries, and the strategic aspects of Russia’s cooperation with countries from the African continent.

A rational balance between the protection of national economic interests and the advancement of economic globalization will be the main discussion topic. The key business programme session ‘Prospects for Multilateralism in an Era of Protectionism’ is to focus on this very issue. African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry H.E. Albert M. Muchanga and Member of the Board and Minister for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission Veronika Nikishina will attend the session.

Day two of the meetings will start with an address by Afreximbank President and Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. Benedict OkeyOramah, who will present the launch of the 2019 African Trade Report, an analytical survey of African trade. Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Anton Kobyakov noting the importance of multilateral cooperation between Russia and Africa: «The current situation in the world is such that we are witnesses to the formation of new centres of economic growth in Africa. Competition for African markets is growing accordingly. There is no doubt that Russia’s non-commodity exporters will benefit from cooperating with Africa on manufacturing, technologies, finances, trade, and investment». The Russian Export Center has told the Roscongress Foundation that in 2018 the export volume from the Russian Federation to African countries supported by the Russian Export Center totaled USD 2.5 billion. The key countries to promote non-commodity export are: Egypt (supported export worth USD 411 million), South Africa (USD 338 million), Zambia (USD 286 million), Morocco (USD 254 million), Algeria (USD 186 million), Nigeria (USD 146 million), and Kenya (USD 146 million).

«It goes without saying that the Russian Export Center sees the African region as an important area to promote Russian non-commodity export. Our objective is to use today’s positive market environment to open the access to African markets to as many exporters as possible and expand our usual geography. Afreximbank Annual Meetings is one of the largest events of the African continent. For us it is a unique chance to meet key figures of the African business, dive into the real situation on the continent, and establish effective relations for the future», said Andrey Slepnev, General Director of the Russian Export Center.

The Afreximbank Annual Meetings will also include the Seminar and Meeting of the Afreximbank Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa and meetings between Russian and African political and business leaders to discuss trade, industrialization, export, and the implementation of joint investment projects. The business programme events will be attended by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation of the Arab Republic of Egypt H.E. Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Economy, Planning, and Development Programming of the Gabonese Republic H.E. Jean-Marie Ogandaga, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Africa Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Rwanda Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) Hani Salem Sonbol, and executives from Russian and African companies.

Over 1,500 delegates are expected to attend the Russia—Africa Economic Conference. The event is organized by the African Export-Import Bank, the Roscongress Foundation, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, and the Russian Export Centre.

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