Digital Transformation a Prominent Discussion Topic at Russia–Africa Forum

Digitalization is an integral component of the modern world. The transition to e-documentation could significantly simplify most processes. Online interaction with the public makes the majority of public services more accessible, not to mention improvements in production efficiency and people’s overall quality of life through the introduction of digital technologies. The session ‘Digital Transformation as a Driver of State Development’ is one of the most interesting themes at the Russia–Africa Forum since developing modern technologies makes it possible to take a bold step into the future, both in the economy and in the social sector.

The session, which will take place on 23 October as part of the ‘Forging Economic Ties’ pillar of the business programme, will be moderated by Smart Cities NGO President Andrey Belozerov. The discussion will be attended by Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation Konstantin Noskov, CEO of the Economic Development Board of the Republic of Mauritius Francois Guibert, Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and the Digital Economy of the Republic of the Congo Leon Juste Ibombo. Deputy Director General for Special Projects at Voskhod Scientific Research Institute Yevgeny Radashkevich, Yandex. Managing Director Tigran Khudaverdyan, and InfoWatch Group President Natalia Kasperskaya will share Russia’s experience on this issue.

It is hard to imagine a part of life that is not affected by digitalization today. At the state level, it is an effective way to simplify communication with citizens. “An effective e-government makes it possible to accelerate the process of obtaining public services both by simplifying communication between citizens and the state and by building an effective system of interagency e-collaboration”, Noskov said. “It should result in an increase in satisfaction levels among consumers of public services and significant savings”.

However, the transition to digital technology requires an optimal balance of the quality of services and costs. Digitalization turns homes, factories, and entire cities into smart systems, enhances the efficiency of all processes, and creates a convenient and safe living environment. Attracting high-level specialists makes it possible to work on the process of transitioning to modern technologies in a fast and optimal manner while taking into account all the expectations and requirements of the modern world.

The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will take place on 23–24 October in Sochi at the Sirius Park of Science and Art. The events are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation, and the co-organizers of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum are Russian Export Center and Afreximbank.

For a more detailed version of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum programme, please visit: https://summitafrica.ru/en/programm/

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