Russia and Africa have identified areas where the two parties can cooperate and invest for mutual benefit.
Mr Vladimir Putin, Russian President, said plans had been outlined to strengthen foreign policy coordination and increase trade and investment flows between the parties.
Mr Putin said this in his closing speech at the second plenary session of the Second Summit and Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum, held in St Petersburg, South Africa, between July 27 and 28, 2023.
He said: “We had a substantive and engaging exchange of views on the entire range of themes of strategic cooperation between Russia and African countries.
“We have identified the main areas for further joint work and outlined plans to strengthen foreign policy coordination and increase trade and investment flows, as well as industrial cooperation between Russia and the countries of the [African] continent.”
Mr Putin said he appreciated the results of the joint work at the Summit, adding: “I firmly believe that the results we have achieved will form a good foundation for the further deepening of the Russian-African partnership in the interests of the prosperity and well-being of our peoples.”
Despite pressure from the West, the Forum and Summit were attended by official delegations from 48 countries (27 countries were represented by the head of state or the second-highest official) and the five largest integration associations of the continent.
The Summit consisted of two plenary sessions held on 28 July 2023.
Russian President Putin, Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Union of the Comoros Azali Assoumani, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the heads of state from African countries, spoke during the first part of the Summit.
Discussions continued in the format of a working breakfast during the second meeting of the Summit.
The participants declared their commitment to jointly building a new, fairer multipolar architecture of the world order based on the sovereign equality of states and mutually beneficial cooperation.
The Summit also resulted in the adoption of five key documents – Declaration of the Second Russia–Africa Summit; Declaration of the Second Russia–Africa Summit on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space and Declaration of the Second Russia–Africa Summit on Cooperation to Ensure International Information Security.
The rest are Declaration of the Second Russia–Africa Summit on Strengthening Cooperation to Combat Terrorism and the Action Plan of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum for 2023–2026.
Two documents, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Russian
Government and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on fundamental issues concerning relations and cooperation and MoU between the Russian Government and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on fundamental issues concerning relations and cooperation, were also signed with leading African integration associations in the presence of Mr Putin.
In all, the Forum resulted in the signing of 161 agreements that do not constitute commercial secrets (146 agreements with foreign organisations and authorities), although the value of the agreements was not disclosed.
Most of the agreements were for humanitarian cooperation.
On the business programme of the Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum, discussions were held on how to unleash the potential of Russian-African cooperation, while a humanitarian dimension was added to the traditional, political and economic focuses.
The plenary session, which was the central event of the Forum, was attended by the Russian President, Mr Assoumani, Chairperson of the AU and President of the Union of the Comoros, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank, Benedict Oramah, and New Development Bank President Dilma Rousseff.
The meeting was moderated by Director of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Irina Abramova.
Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the Russian President and Executive Secretary of the Organising Committee for the Russia–Africa events, said this year's discussions of the Economic and Humanitarian Forum were full of practical proposals, particularly in the humanitarian and technological fields, and generated significant interest from representatives of business and the scientific community.
He disclosed than more than 9,000 participants and media representatives from Russia and 104 foreign states and territories took part in the events.
“The participants included around 1,000 representatives of foreign businesses, more than 2,000 [representatives of] Russian [businesses], roughly 1,100 representatives of foreign official delegations, and more than 750 Russian [delegations],” Kobyakov added.