Russia – Africa Business Dialogue Held on the Sidelines of SPIEF
Russia – Africa business dialogue, dedicated to cooperation priorities in the changing world, was held on 16 June. Irina Abramova, Director, Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences moderated the discussion.
The event attracted a lot of attention. It brought together representatives of government, public, and business communities from both sides, including Felix Moloua, Prime Minister of the Central African Republic; Nevein Gamea, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Ahmed Zaghdar, Minister of Industry of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria; Lamine Seydou Traore, Minister of Mines, Energy and Water, Republic of Mali; Sekai Irene Nzenza, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Republic of Zimbabwe; Alexander Pankin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Gilberto Da Piedade Verissimo, President, Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); Sergey Glazyev, Member of the Board, Minister in Charge of Integration and Macroeconomics, Eurasian Economic Commission; Alexander Shokhin, President, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; Igor Morozov, Member of the Committee for Economy Policy of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation; Natalia Bocharova, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation; Roman Panov, First Vice President, Gazprombank; Alexey Nikolov, General Director, RT TV Channel; and many others.
Alexander Pankin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, extended the greetings from Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and read his address to the panellists: “Despite the unprecedented sanctions and information warfare launched by the United States and its satellites, Russia manages to maintain the entire bilateral cooperation in working order, and to saturate it with a relevant substantive agenda. We reaffirm that in these difficult and crucial times the strategic partnership with Africa has become a priority of Russia's foreign policy. We highly appreciate the readiness of Africans to further step up economic cooperation. It is in the interests of our peoples to work together to preserve and expand mutually beneficial trade and investment ties under these new conditions. It is important to facilitate the mutual access of Russian and African economic operators to each other's markets and encourage their participation in large-scale infrastructure projects. I am confident that the relevant agreements and the results of our work will be consolidated at the forthcoming second Russia-Africa summit.”
During the following discussion, many speakers supported the ideas and proposals expressed in Lavrov's address. They noted the mutual interest in developing trade and economic ties between Russia and Africa, and identified food and energy security, new methods of financial settlements, cooperation in innovation and technology, health, education and culture, as well as cooperation within the integration alliances as priority areas.