Roscongress Foundation’s Building Trust Area to Present Thematic Programme at Russia–Africa Economic Forum

The Building Trust Area will be operating during the first Russia–Africa Economic Forum in the Park of Science and Art "Sirius" in Sochi on the sidelines of the Russia–Africa Summit on 23–24 October 2019. Per tradition, the unique platform, which unites two projects of the Roscongress Foundation – the Innovation Space and the Innosocium LAB will present a thematic programme whose main goal is to create a social agenda and build a dialogue between the parties involved in the innovation and social ecosystem.

The main theme of the Forum – ‘Uncovering the Potential for Cooperation’ – and the slogan ‘For Peace, Security, and Development’ approved by the participating countries formed the basis for the events and sessions of the Building Trust Area business programme and focus on the idea of improving people’s quality of life and exchanging experience between Russia and African countries as well as the specifics of business development and the use of an innovative approach in solving strategic problems. The programme is being run by the Innosocium Foundation – the social platform of the Roscongress Foundation.

“The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will bring together at least 3,000 business representatives from Russia and Africa and will serve as a unique platform to not only discuss and develop trade, economic, and diplomatic relations between our countries, but to also take such as issues as social and humanitarian interstate development and cooperation to a global level. We hope that the discussions will reach far beyond the scope of the event and will serve as a new impetus for positive changes both in our countries and at the global level”, Adviser to the Russian President Anton Kobyakov said.

On 23 October, there will be four thematic sessions at which participants and experts will discuss prospects and opportunities for technological and cultural interstate cooperation. Today’s programme will include a search for solutions to implement joint projects in high technologies and business partnerships between Russian and African companies, which will be addressed during the first session ‘Innovation Without Borders: New Cross-Border Business Opportunities’.

“Given the global turbulence, issues concerning humanitarian values are taking on particular importance. Based on the idea of a stable social society, the Forum’s slogan ‘For Peace, Security, and Development’ perfectly reflects the theme of our programme. Such issues as women’s integration into the global agenda, the development of women’s leadership and entrepreneurship, the development of the country’s scientific and technological potential through the prism of the asset of young people, and the use of modern technologies in healthcare, business, and urban studies are the themes that make up the foundation for the formation of a stable society. During the sessions, we will try to lay the foundations for future positive changes and come up with the mechanisms and tools that are essential to forming a stable society at the global level”, Roscongress Foundation Deputy CEO and Innosocium Foundation Director Elena Marinina said.

Participants in the session ‘Promotion of Russian Culture Among Foreign Youth’ will discuss the development of Russia’s scientific and technological potential, the role played by the realization of young people’s creative potential in such areas as science and innovation as well international cultural and scientific exchanges, and also what mechanisms and programmes can be implemented to expand international relations.

During the discussion ‘Telemedicine. How Will Digital Technology Change the Face of Healthcare Systems in African Countries?’, experts will try to answer the question of whether the transition to digital healthcare can significantly reduce the disease burden in African countries and prevent the economies of African countries from lagging behind global indicators as well as how the most promising Russian telemedicine solutions and artificial intelligence products in healthcare can help the African region.

The first day of the programme will wrap up with the benchmarking session ‘Startups vs SMEs: Partnership in Innovation 2020’, which will be devoted to the development of modern business by comparing startups and SMEs. During the discussion, participants will consider the trend of accelerators in large business structures that try to grow startups within companies, and will try to answer such questions as how can these two structures benefit one another, which methods of two-way interaction are most effective, and what risks might they face, among other questions.

The second day of the business programme will kick off with the session ‘Russia–Africa: What’s Next?’ The participants will continue to discuss prospects for cooperation in such areas as education, culture, and innovation as well as the potential for economic, political, and humanitarian cooperation with African countries.

The Business Priority project will be presented during the pitch session ‘Business Priority: Perspective’, which will feature a discussion of the prospects for exporting Russian technologies as well as a presentation of the seven best tech startup projects selected by members of an expert council. The ‘Open-Talk: Traverser le Désert’ will then address the development of end-to-end technologies in such areas as water supply, water treatment, and alternative sources of fresh water.

The pitch session ‘Smart City 2020’ will focus on the theme of territorial development and innovative solutions in this area. One such solution – the Smart City 2020 system – is an interconnected system of communication and information technologies with the Internet of Things (IoT), which simplifies the management of internal processes in a city and improves the population’s standard of living.

Issues concerning the development of women’s leadership, the more active involvement of women in economic and social processes as well as integration into the global agenda are among the priorities of the Roscongress Foundation’s social platform. During the session ‘Women at the Forefront of Humanitarian Aid’, participants will talk about humanitarian initiatives, international projects, and ways to increase humanitarian assistance and cooperation through the prism of the gender agenda as well as the role of women as agents of global change.

As part of the thematic pillar ‘Collaborating in the Humanitarian and Social Sector’, one of the key events of the business programme of the second day will be the panel session ‘Women in Russian–African Relations: Gender Balance in Politics, the Economy, and the Social Sector’. The session participants will discuss what support measures for women are most important today and what can be introduced into the economy and social sector of Russia and African countries in order to promote the development of women’s economic rights and initiatives.

The Space of Trust programme can be viewed in greater detail on the official website of the Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum.

The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will be held on 23–24 October 23 at the  Sirius Park of Science and Art in Sochi. The Roscongress Foundation is the event organizer, and the co-organizers of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum are Russian Export Center and Afreximbank. The Building Trust Area programme was prepared by the Innosocium Foundation – the social platform of the Roscongress Foundation.

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