Third Meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum Secretariat Takes Place in Moscow
Vsevolod Tkachenko addressed the participants with a welcoming speech, stressing that "our partners expect concrete actions, the most substantive ideas and proposals" from the second Russia-Africa summit.
"Today our task is to demonstrate to the African side that behind the declarations there are actions, concrete, meaningful initiatives to develop an effective system of political, trade and economic cooperation, investment mechanisms and humanitarian work, to offer innovative solutions to Africans.”
The traditional political and economic areas will be reinforced by humanitarian aspect, Tkachenko added.
As the economic interaction between Russia and Africa remains the focus of the summit, "new possible instruments to promote Russian exports to Africa and Russian investments in the continent, such as a fund to support direct investments in Africa, deserve particular attention," Tkachenko said.
Mr. Ozerov, who heads the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum, said that African partners stressed the importance of Russia's participation "in Africa's industrialization, major infrastructure development projects (including Russia's participation in the continental ten-year programme of the African Union), energy, agriculture, mining and digitalization".
Technological exchange and medical projects, including the production and localization of our vaccines in African countries, are also important aspects of Russian-African cooperation, the diplomat said.
Ozerov also stressed the importance of creating a fund to support direct investments of the Russian companies to operate in Africa.
"This proposal is indeed extremely valuable - especially without the existing credit mechanisms to support our companies abroad... Today we see huge interest in this financial mechanism from Russian business and hope that it will also find support from the Russian authorities," he said.
Separately, Ozerov highlighted plans to hold a Russia-Africa media forum and to expand the humanitarian agenda of the summit to discuss education, sports, tourism and the work of NGOs.
AECAS Executive Director Anna Belyaeva noted that the Coordinating Committee, the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum, Roscongress and AECAS need to combine the capabilities of Russian ministries and agencies, business organizations and Russian companies to fill the summit agenda with concrete proposals, projects and contracts.
Belyaeva also suggested working on requests from the African side to identify projects that could be put into practice at the summit.
"We suggest starting a centralized study of the proposals of the African side at the level of states, chambers of commerce and industry, investment promotion agencies, which could be our interlocutors to create an economic agenda for the forum. Afreximbank will play a major role here... This is a complex task, but it will allow us to realize the dialogue between Russia and the African Union that we need," she said.
Belyaeva also said that the targets of the second summit, which include increasing trade turnover between Russia and Africa, creating a private equity fund to support Russian business, setting up a foreign trade company and Russian logistics centers in Africa etc., should be coordinated with the requests of Russian business.
Irina Abramova, Director of the Africa Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that media coverage of the Russian-African agenda remains one of the key tasks to be addressed in the run-up to the second Russia-Africa summit, pointing to the need to highlight the successful experiences of Russian companies on the continent.
Sergei Nosov, Director of the Asia, Africa and Latin America Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Dmitry Polikanov, Deputy Head of Rossotrudnichestvo, and Mikhail Petrov, Chief Editor-in-Chief of TASS agency also voiced their proposals for the second summit.