The Art of Cooperation: Creative Business Forum Develops Links with African Countries

Expanding cultural ties and developing cooperation with Africa will be discussed at the Creative Business Forum's field session at the Second Russia–Africa Summit and Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum

The Innosocium Foundation, the social platform of the Roscongress Foundation, will host a field session of the 7th Creative Business Forum (CBF) at the Second Russia–Africa Summit and Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum, which will take place in Saint Petersburg on 27–28 July 2023. The event is the largest in Russian–African relations and is designed to define the forms and directions of cooperation for the long term. The humanitarian component plays a significant role in this interaction, which is reflected in the name of the event.

The programme of the CBF field session focuses on exploring the potential of creative industries as a tool for creating a sustainable future through ergonomic solutions, the synergy of innovation and creativity, and the harmonious integration of traditional culture into a world where modern technology and scientific advances play a central role. The main theme of the session will be the development of a creative economy based on domestic potential and national identity.

“The renewed format of the Creative Business Forum expands the geography of its topics. Developing ties with African countries in the fields of education, science, culture, inter-civilization dialogue and civil society dialogue is more relevant today than ever before. Given the turbulence of the global economy and the transformation of international economic associations, this facilitates the exchange of knowledge and experience and the establishment of effective partnerships in the creative industries,” said Anton Kobyakov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation.

During the field session, there will be a discussion titled “Creative Economy: Developing Cultural Projects and Brands. Prospects for Russia's Interaction with the African Continent”. Participants will discuss new opportunities for cooperation, the development of culture and the arts, the expansion of cultural ties and the implementation of joint creative projects between Russia and African countries. Among the invited speakers are Olga Lyubimova. Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, Alexander Sedov, General Director of the Museum of Oriental Art, Alexander Zharov, Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom-Media Holding, and Valery Belgorodsky, Rector of the A.N. Kosygin Russian State University. Also invited are representatives of African countries: Mourad Chouikhi, Director General of the National Centre for Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (Algeria), Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, Rector and President of the Cheikh Anta Diop University Assembly (Dakar), Mamadou Diombera, Director General of the National School of Traditional Arts and Crafts (Senegal), Benedict Okey Orama, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export–Import Bank (Afreximbank), Ahmed Mohamed Zahi, Founder of the Al Fustat Centre for Traditional Crafts, Pottery and Ceramics (Egypt), Professor Avo Mana Asiedu of Ghana State University's School of Stage Art, Lulseged Retta, Chairman of the Ethiopian Artists Association, who happens to be a graduate of the V.I. Surikov Academy of Fine Arts, and Usman Diona, General Director of the Daniel Sorano National Theatre Company (Senegal).

“We highly value the results of our joint work at the summit. I am sure the achieved results are creating a good foundation for further deepening the Russia-Africa partnership in the interests of our nations’ prosperity and wellbeing.”

President of the Russian Federation
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