Shifts in economics, politics, and business have redefined the global economic landscape, calling for an increased focus on the African continent. Africa, the second largest continent, richly endowed with a myriad of mineral resources, skills, and an abundance of labour has been growing at 3.9%. In 2015 Africa possessed seven of the 10 fastest growing economies, and by 2020 the continent is projected to have a collective GDP of USD 2.6 trillion, over 200 million consumers, and a working-age population of 1.1 billion. Russia has enjoyed a long history of cooperation with African countries, including the construction of large-scale industrial facilities, education exchanges, collaboration in healthcare, and military partnerships. Russian trade with Africa has huge potential to expand – it currently totals USD 2.5 billion, at a time when the continent’s imports of manufactured goods amount to USD 430 billion with annual growth of 10–15%. Increased cooperation between Africa and Russia offers the opportunity to improve economies of scale and efficiencies, thereby increasing competitiveness in the respective markets and globally. How can Russia accelerate its economic ties with the continent and what sectors are likely to be successful first movers?
Mark Otty , Managing Partner for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA), EY
Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur , Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana
Mikhail Bogdanov , Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Jean-Jacques Bouya , Minister in Charge of Spatial Planning, Republic of the Congo
H.E. Joseph Butore , Second Vice President of the Republic of Burundi
Mzwandile Collen Masina , Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa
Yuriy Senturin , State Secretary, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation