Global threats in todays interconnected world, such as epidemics of infectious diseases, have a huge impact on the development of African nations. Robust healthcare systems and the ability to react to these threats can boost prosperity and help countries to thrive. Over the past few years, the African continent has had to tackle outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases affecting thousands of lives and costing national economies millions of dollars. Russia has a great deal of experience in reacting to health threats, and today is implementing large-scale projects in countries around the world. The productive ties with African countries which have traditionally existed, including in the business community, offer great potential for cooperation in studying infectious diseases and biological pathogens. What public health challenges and threats are faced by countries in Africa? What has been achieved through cooperation between Russia and African countries, and what further potential is there in this area? What can be done to involve Russian businesses in social initiatives in Africa?