Sochi Forum to Address Russian–African Cooperation in Science and Education

The Russia–Africa Economic Forum’s business programme will feature a session devoted to humanitarian and social cooperation between Russia and African countries “Russia and Africa: Science, Education, and Innovation for Economic Development”.

The following individuals have announced to take part in the session: Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Mikhail Kotyukov, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on Science, Education, and Culture Igor Morozov, Vice-President Yuriy Balega, Russian Academy of SciencesPeoples’ Friendship University of Russia Rector Vladimir Filippov, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science, and Technology of the African Union Commission Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary and Ministry of Education George Albert Omore Magoha, Minister of Science, Technology, Higher, Technical and Professional Education of the Republic of Mozambique Jorge Nhambiu, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of the Republic of Angola Maria do Rosario Braganca Sambo. The meeting will be moderated by Irina Abramova, the Director of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“We expect the diverse humanitarian cooperation between Russia and Africa to further expand, particularly in higher education and scientific research. We are already working on opportunities and ways to increase the number of students from African countries at Russian universities. Along with the memorandums on research, scientific, and technical activities that have already been signed with Guinea, Uganda, and South Africa, similar documents are being prepared for signing with Mozambique and Namibia. The memorandums provide for joint work in such fundamental sectors of the African economy as agriculture, the sustainable use of subsoil, and the environment. New projects are also being developed in such high-tech areas as telemedicine and satellite technologies”, Kotyukov said.

Abramova also noted the high level of interest that African representatives have in Russian education: “The number of students from African countries who choose Russian universities is growing each year. Foreigners are attracted to our education thanks to its strong scientific base and high educational standards, especially in the field of exact sciences. The number of students from Africa at our universities increased by 130% over the eight years from 2010 to 2018.” Abramova also underscored the need to expand and deepen scientific ties between Russia and Africa. This above all concerns the wide range of biological and medical inventions, agriculture, new technologies used in mining and geology, the exploration of the world’s oceans, and humanitarian research.

The session participants will discuss what Russia can offer African countries today in terms of developing science and education, above all as part of the implementation of the African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063’, and what new opportunities Russian can gain from scientific and educational cooperation with countries of the African continent.

The Roscongress Foundation is organizing the events in the Russia–Africa format.

A detailed version of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum programme 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