Foreign Ministry Holds Briefing on Russia–Africa Summit

A briefing has been held in Moscow for representatives of the African diplomatic corps who are accredited in Moscow concerning preparations for and the staging of the Russia—Africa Summit. The briefing was attended by ambassadors of African states, top officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives of the Roscongress Foundation. Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian president’s special envoy for Middle Eastern and African countries, opened the briefing with welcoming remarks. In his speech, he stressed that 2019 would be a momentous year for Russian-African relations since it would see the first full-format Summit and Economic Forum, on the sidelines of which a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements are expected to be signed.

«For further quality advance of Russia—Africa collaboration, a powerful impetus is required, so the Summit is of obvious importance and relevance. This is a landmark event called on to provide a new platform for developing the entire complex of Russian—African links and make a crucial contribution to forming the future architecture or relations with the states of Africa and leading regional organisations», Mikhail Bogdanov noted.

During the meeting, the programme of impending events in Sochi was presented and organisational aspects of participation by the African delegations discussed.

«The Russia—Africa Summit is of crowning significance following a series of events dedicated to developing our relations. In June this year, we had the honour to take part in a field session of the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of Afreximbank, part of which consisted of the Economic Conference with a rich business programme. In October, as part of the Summit Sochi will host the Russia—Africa Economic Forum. This Forum will be a major and vital step in creating the most favourable conditions for promoting trade and economic relations with the countries of Africa and will make it possible to diversify the forms and spheres of Russian—African cooperation», stressed Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation, Executive Secretary of the Organizing Committee.

The Russia—Africa Summit will take place on 24 October in Sochi and will be co-chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who currently serves as chairman of the African Union. This is the first event of this level in the history of Russian-African relations to which the heads of all states of the African continent have been invited along with the leaders of major sub-regional associations and organizations. The Roscongress Foundation is organizing the Summit and other Russia—Africa format events.

The Russia—Africa Economic Forum will be held on 23–24 October 2019 on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi.

An exhibition of Russian—African partners and exhibitors will be organized as part of the Forum. The Russia—Africa Economic Forum exhibition will serve as a key platform for demonstrating achievements and potential opportunities in economics, science, ecology, and culture. The exhibitors will present landmark projects and advanced technologies in the mining and chemical industries, engineering, energy, agriculture, transport, healthcare, and the military-industrial complex as well as other promising areas in which Russia and African countries can develop investment and export potential.

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