The RussiaAfrica Economic Forum is being held for the first time. Why now?
There is a long history of cooperation between Russia and Africa. Our country has traditionally supported African states in their fights for independence and sought to build up industrial infrastructure and develop national economies.
Nowadays, an increasing number of Russian companies are interested in doing business on the African continent, where they see a promising sales market and a strategically important partner for scientific and technical cooperation and the development of oil and gas projects, the agricultural sector, and a Russian industrial zone.
It stands to reason that for this collaboration to progress in as efficient a way as possible, a large communication platform is needed to bring together the various participants of the process: state and corporate heads and representatives of the expert community and interregional associations. The RussiaAfrica Economic Forum does precisely this.
The event aims to ensure constructive dialogue, to contribute to the development of a common position on issues of fundamental importance, and to bring cooperation between our countries to a whole new level.
I would like to emphasize that the Roscongress Foundation is co-organizing the Forum together with the Russian Export Center and Afreximbank, whose activities are in large part aimed at strengthening Russian-African relations. Event partners include leading public and private companies from a variety of industries.
What are the main issues Forum participants look to discuss?
The Forum business programme has been divided into three thematic tracks: «Forging Economic Ties», «Creating Joint Projects», and «Collaborating in the Humanitarian and Social Sector» thus covering all possible areas of cooperation between Russia and the countries of the African continent.
There will be dialogue at the highest level. The Russia and Africa: Uncovering the Potential for Cooperation plenary session chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be a highlight of the Forum.
The Forum will feature more than 200 company heads, ministers of key industries, and representatives of the expert community from Russia and Africa. Events will be attended by more than 3,000 representatives of the African business community.
A major platform for business matching will also take place on the Forum sidelines. Participants from the business community will be given a universal tool for getting acquainted, arranging meetings, and discussing further collaboration.
It is important to note that, as a socially oriented non- financial development institution, the Roscongress Foundation will continue to develop the Russian- African agenda at its events and contribute to the strengthening of good neighbourly relations
between our countries.