Using Minerals in Africa for the Benefit of Its Peoples

KEY CONCLUSIONS

 

The importance of the African resource potential is growing

 

“The competition for some of the very scarce resources today reveal that Africa is becoming very attractive and competitive in certain markets. Without a doubt, the point of our relations today is to develop the potential that already exists and create wriggle room for the future,” Dmitry Kobylkin, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.

 

“Africa is rich in resources and leads in a number of minerals, such as bauxites, gold, phosphorites, and diamonds,” Sergey Gorkov, General Director, Chairman of the Management Board, Rosgeologia.

 

“We are aware of the incredible resource potential that exists in Africa in terms of its minerals,” Alexander Chernikh, General Director, Central Research Geological Exploration Institute of Non-Ferrous and Precious Metals (TSNIGRI).

 

“We have to understand the integral role the natural resources play in the development of the world in general. There is not a natural resource that would not contribute to the comfort of our lives,” Francis Gatare, Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

 

Russia is a reliable partner for Africa

 

“Over the past three decades relationship between Russia and our country has been very pleasant, and we would like to thank President Vladimir Putin for maintaining this relationship,” David Francis, Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

 

“During the past 2 years we have invested USD 9 million that went towards building roads, developing water supply infrastructure, building canteens and schools in rural areas, furnishing computer classes, handing out university scholarships for the talented youth, and more,” Viktor Radko, Chief Executive Officer, United Manganese of Kalahari.

 

Africa improves its investment attractivity

 

“For the 50 years since we gained independence and until 2010, we have attracted no more than 5 billion in investments. However, during the last 10 years, thanks to our reforms we have reached USD 10 billion,” Abdoulaye Magassouba, Minister of Mines and Geology of the Republic of Guinea.

 

 

PROBLEMS

 

Lack of adequate social effect from resource profits

 

“We understand there are tensions in many countries of our region because the people that live in the oil and mining fields do not feel they get any share of the industry’s profits. That is why it is paramount to build social infrastructure, like schools and other socially important elements,” Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mines and Environment of the Kingdom of Morocco.

 

“The businesses should contribute to the development of those communities in direct proximity to the fields. Currently, there are difficulties between population that lives by the field and the companies that develops the field,” H.E. Adil Ali Ibrahim, Minister of Energy and Mining of the Republic of the Sudan.

 

Insufficient exploration of the territory

 

“In Kenya we do not explore enough, we got room for improvement. When we look at the potential of the country, we understand how enormous it is. Prospecting surveys reveal there are deposits of high-quality gold in the country’s West,” Christopher Kiptoo, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives of the Republic of Kenya.

 

“We know what to do with underexplored territories. Africa is such territory and – surprisingly – Russia is still such territory. Our exploration level is 3 times lower than that of Canada and Australia,” Evgeniy Kiselev, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation.

 

Lack of financing

 

“New geological exploration instruments are in demand. The old tools are not enough anymore. The main problem we are facing right now are limited financial resources for geological exploration. This concerns most African countries,” Sergey Gorkov, General Director, Chairman of the Management Board, Rosgeologia.

 

 

Violating environmental standards

 

“Apart from social responsibility, business must be environmentally conscious. For the majority of African countries that mine gold this is a huge problem,” Boris Ivanov, Managing Director, GPB Global Resources

 

 

SOLUTIONS

 

Improving the legislature

 

“Everything that has to do with legislature and regulation plays the key role in finding the proper balance between investments and benefits for the country,” Francis Gatare, Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

 

Cooperating with competent and socially conscious partners

 

“Our company possess notable competences that allow us to compete with our colleagues in the industry and we are ready to share them,” Vladimir Marchenko, Vice-President, ALROSA.

 

 

“When we search for new ways of uranium extraction, we look for innovative, environmentally friendly and safe solutions. It is not purely economical, it is a moral choice for us,” Marina Liborakina, Deputy General Director for Corporate Development and Communications, Techsnabexport.

 

Accounting for territorial specifics

 

“Africa is a self-sufficient, independent, sizeable, living business-organism with a wealth of particulars and traits. Without taking them into account it is not possible to work in the country,” Alexander Ivanov – First Deputy General Director for Mining and Metallurgy Projects, Vi Holding.


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