Russian Export Center and Afreximbank to Co-organize Russia–Africa Economic Forum

The Russian Export Center and African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank) will once again join forces with the Roscongress Foundation to organize events in the Russia–Africa format. The Russia–Africa Economic Forum, which will take place in Sochi on 23–24 October 2019, will build on discussions concerning Russian-African cooperation on the agenda of previous Russian events. Following a dialogue on the sidelines of the SPIEF 2019, the annual meeting of Afreximbank, and the Russia–Africa Economic Conference in Moscow, the first Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will serve as the basis for the further development of collaboration between Russia and African countries.

The events in Sochi will be the largest-scale event in the history of Russian-African relations. They will be attended by more than 40 heads of African states and 3,000 participants, including representatives of business, political elites, and experts, who will get together on the sidelines of the Summit and Forum to identify key priorities for joint activities for years to come.

Russian Export Center CEO Andrey Slepnev commented on the upcoming Russia–Africa Economic Forum: “We can safely say that the Russian and African sides have extremely high expectations for the upcoming meeting. The Economic Forum in Sochi will definitely be an unprecedented event and essentially a new starting point for the further development of trade relations between Russia and Africa. Our shared responsibility as a host, and the REC is a co-organizer of the Forum, is to prepare for the event in such a way as to reach out to our African partners with concrete proposals and facilitate the conclusion of a number of successful export contracts”.

Slepnev said the Russian business world has had an opportunity to appreciate the huge potential of the African continent this year. At Russia’s invitation, Afreximbank held its annual shareholders meeting in Moscow this summer, the first time it has held such an event outside the African continent in seven years. 

Afreximbank President Benedict Orama noted: “Over the past two decades, trade between Russia and Africa has increased by roughly thirteen-fold – from USD 5 billion in 2001 to more than USD 20 billion in 2018. This impressive growth reflects both growing demand and the expanded geographical reach. Afreximbank works closely with the REC to inform Russian exporters and investors about opportunities on the African market. The events of the annual general meeting of the bank’s shareholders held this summer in Moscow are part of our efforts. The next milestone in this regard will be the Russian–African Summit held together with the Roscongress Foundation”.

The programme architecture of the RussiaAfrica Economic Forum is available here.

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