President of Russia V.Putin and President of South Africa C.Ramaphosa at the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit
The first Russia-Africa Economic Forum and Summit held in Sochi on October 23-24, 2019, opened up a new page in the history of Russia’s relations with African countries. Delegations of all African countries without exception arrived in Sochi. Over forty states were represented by top officials. Many multilateral and bilateral contacts took place at the top and other levels.
The results of the joint efforts are reflected in the final declaration. This document sets goals and tasks for the further development of Russia-Africa cooperation in all areas: politics, security, the economy, science, technology, culture and humanitarian sphere. To ensure that the Russia-Africa cooperation is regular and consistent, the forum made a decision at the initiative of our African friends to create a new dialogue mechanism – the Russia-Africa partnership forum.
Top-level meetings will take place within its framework once every three years, held alternately in Russia and in an African state. The forum will also provide for annual consultations between the foreign ministers of Russia and three African countries: the current, future and previous chairpersons of the African Union.
Russia-Africa relations are based on long-standing traditions of friendship. As a permanent member of the United Nations, Russia stands with the countries of Africa on matters of strengthening peace and stability on the continent and ensuring regional security.
The economic forum was devoted to this. The discussions and presentations by key Russian companies, as well as specific sessions focusing on particular areas of cooperation have shown that Russian and African business circles are interested in expanding mutually beneficial ties.
Today Russia and Africa need more information about each other’s capacities; it is necessary that all the participants in the economic processes keep track of the latest events and African countries’ capabilities and competitive strengths on global markets. All the necessary conditions have been created for such work.Last year Russia’s trade with African states grew more than 17 percent and exceeded $20 billion. The aim is to bring it to higher levels and reach at least $40 billion. Only at the sidelines of this Summit the contracts in the amount of more than $12,5 billion were signed. Energy is an important area of economic cooperation. Joint projects are implemented in traditional sectors such as hydrocarbon production, construction and repair of power generation facilities as well as in peaceful nuclear energy and the use of renewable energy sources. Russian companies are ready to work with their African partners to upgrade transport infrastructure, develop telecommunications and digital technologies, provide information security, and they offer the most advanced technologies and engineering solutions.
Russia will further assist African countries in developing national healthcare, ensuring broad access for all segments of the population to qualified medical care, and strengthening Africa’s capacity to combat epidemics. For instance, our researchers were among the first in the world to respond to Guinea’s plea for help in combatting the Ebola outbreak. In 2014 the Russian field hospital for 200 patients was deployed in this country. During the epidemic, the hospital rendered free medical aid to over 4,500 people. On February 15, 2016, Russia presented Ebola vaccine in Geneva to World Health Organisation which helped thousands sick people in Africa.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation
in the Republic of Botswana