Series of events devoted to Russia-Africa relations to be held in 2019
Anton Kobyakov, an Advisor to the Russian President, and Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), held a business meeting in Moscow. The meeting primarily focused on the annual meeting of Afreximbank shareholders, which is scheduled to take place in Russia in 2019, and other events in the Russia-Africa format.
A decision was reached during the discussion to hold the first Russia-Africa Business Forum in October 2019 in Sochi as part of the Russia-Africa Summit. The event will be attended by the heads of African states and representatives of Russian, African, and international business and government agencies as well as integration associations on the African continent. A plenary meeting and a series of roundtables and panel discussions will be held as part of the business forum, and a platform for business meetings will be organized.
The annual meeting of Afreximbank shareholders, which include Russia as represented by Russian Export Center JSC since December 2017, will be held in Moscow in June along with an economic conference that will lay the foundation for continuing a high-level dialogue between countries at major subsequent business events.
“The development of relations between Russia and Africa is strategically important and mutually beneficial. The economic potential for cooperation between countries is particularly pertinent and promising. The upcoming events will be unique in the history of relations between Russia and the countries of the African continent. They will plot the vector for the further development of bilateral and multilateral contacts for decades to come. I am confident that holding such business meetings at the interstate level will become a tradition and will help to establish and strengthen Russian-African business contacts”, Kobyakov said.
“Russia has historically been a very strong partner and has always supported Africa, especially as part of its struggle for independence. This partnership lasted for many years and we are pleased to renew cooperation with the Government of the Russian Federation with a new vigour. Thus, we are, of course, very pleased that Moscow will host the annual meeting of Afreximbank shareholders. Right now, Africa is truly in a real hurry and is rushing to develop. We know that Russia has the necessary capabilities, capacities and, most importantly, the experience and professionalism of its people who can support and help in this. Holding these events will provide an additional impetus for the development of trade and investment opportunities of our countries”, Orama said.
The event is being organized by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Export Center, the Roscongress Foundation, and the African Export-Import Bank.
“There is quite a bit of potential for Russian-African military-technical and industrial cooperation. Russian companies are capable of strengthening their own positions on the African market by properly utilizing their advantages. We expect interest in this region among Russian industrialists to increase going forward. At any rate, we will do everything we can for this,” Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov said.
Russia has always devoted priority attention to the development of relations with African states. The first Russian-African Energy Roundtable was held during Russian Energy Week in 2018. A Russia-Africa business dialogue is traditionally held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which will take place on 6–8 June.
Digitalization is key to development as well as efficiency increase in the energy sector.
The world has passed the point of no return. Clean energy technologies have matured and a producers’ market has been established. According to International Energy Agency estimates, the cost of components for sea-based wind-power plants will drop 15% and of those for solar generators 25% by 2021. Replication of standard solutions for renewable energy helped green energy projects surpass all of the world’s coal-fired power plants in combined installed capacity two years ago. Russia has only just embarked on generating renewable energy on a mass scale but growth is inevitable – just look at the new renewable energy projects in its regions.