Second Russia-Africa Summit : Deepening Existing Ties

Curtains dropped on Friday 28 July, 2023 over the second summit of leaders from both continents with promises for enhanced cooperation.

A record 17 African Heads of State and several heads of government as well as other high-level personalities from Africa joined Russian President Vladimir Putin in the town of Saint Petersburg from 27-28 July, 2023 for a two-day Summit. Discussions started on Thursday with the Economic and Humanitarian Forum session Expo-Forum Conference Centre before the plenary of the Summit on Friday that saw all delegations of Heads of State and Government including President Paul Biya of Cameroon and heads of leading regional organisations from Africa in attendance.    
Both events constituted the Second Russia-Africa Summit and were carefully crafted to reflect the challenges that the two continents face today. While the forum on Thursday moderated by the Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institution for African Studies, Irina Abramova had as main topic, “Technology and Security in the Name of Sovereign Development for the Benefit of Humankind”, day two of the Summit was entitled: “For Peace, Security and Development.” Apart from President Vladimir Putin who chaired the plenary session of the forum on the 27 July, also present at the event were the likes of the Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Union of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank, Benedict Oramah as well as the President of the New Development Bank, Dilma Roussef, former President of Brazil. 
The level of participation was a clear reflection of the issues at stake. Thus, debates touched on concerns ranging from financial, trade, investment, educational and social agendas in Africa and Russia within a context of a rapidly changing world that calls for constant readjustments. These mutations also require constant improvements in the wellbeing of the population by ensuring better living standards through the provision of solutions to challenges that the people face. Participants said many useful and constructive proposals plus practical agreements and contracts came out at the forum’s industry-related sessions on energy, logistics, transport, agriculture, finance, and healthcare. They also talked of new mutually-beneficial joint projects for both Russia and Africa. 
A similar sense of common vision marked discussions at the second plenary on Friday as all speakers including President Paul Biya; host President Vladimir Putin, the interim leader of Burkina Faso Ibrahim Traore; the President of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadera, as well as President Azali Assoumani among others. 
In what appeared as an inaugural lesson on state sovereignty, freedom, independence, and development, President Vladimir Putin outlined some of the conflictual issues that the world face today especially in terms of relations among nations and different political blocs. To Mr Putin, the Summit is not focusing only on further development of Russia-Africa strategic cooperation, but equally on the pivotal issues of global and regional stability, sustainable development of the continent, and the strengthening of all aspects of African country’s sovereignty. Consequently, he outlined some of the setbacks bedevilling progress in Africa pointing out that: “The development of the continent is hampered by terrorism, the spread of extremist ideology, transnational crime, and piracy.”  All concerns which he affirmed that; “Russia also offers its assistance in countering these threats. We are interested in the closest coope...



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