President Putin`s Speech at the Second Russia-Africa Summit
by PD Lawton, 24 March 2023
Over 75% of African States attended this historic event in Moscow. It was not easy for many to make the journey because of the extreme pressure being put on African governments by Washington and Brussels who threaten sanctions on friendship with Russia.
excerpts from President Putin`s speech:
It is well known how significant support the Soviet Union once provided to the peoples of Africa in the struggle against colonialism, racism and apartheid, how it helped many African states to gain and protect their sovereignty. It has consistently supported the development of statehood, the strengthening of defense capabilities, the creation of the foundations of the national economy, and the training of personnel.
The construction by Soviet specialists of Africa’s largest Aswan hydroelectric power
station was once a symbol of such cooperation.
President Nasser and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at the ceremony to divert the Nile during the construction of the Aswan High Dam on 14 May 1964. At this occasion Khrushchev called it “the eighth wonder of the world”. Image: Wikipedia
President Nasser at start of construction of the Aswan
And today the Russian Federation continues to follow the line of support and assistance to the continent.
I will note that African states are constantly increasing their weight and their role in world affairs, they are asserting themselves more and more confidently in politics and
in the economy.
African Economy Growing Fast
I am convinced that Africa will become one of the leaders in the emerging new multipolarworld order; there are all objective prerequisites for this.
As you know, Africa is home to about one and a half billion people, a huge resource base is concentrated there, almost a third of the world’s mineral reserves.
And while African countries so far account for only 3 % of global GDP, we note that many of their economies are growing at a faster pace.In today’s very difficult conditions, against the backdrop of turbulence in world politics and the economy, African countries are striving to pursue an independent and sovereign foreign and domestic policy, to solve their own, sometimes difficult, problems on their own.
Shared Societal Norms
Russia and the countries of Africa uphold the norms of morality and social principles that are traditional for our peoples and oppose the neo-colonial ideology imposed from outside.
By the way, many states of Asia, the Middle East and Latin America adhere to similar positions,and together we make up the world majority.
I have said more than once that our country is determined to continue building a strategic partnership with African friends in the full sense of the word.We are ready to jointly shape the global agenda, work together to strengthen fair and equal interstate relations, and improve mechanisms for mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
Russia Helps Industry
Thanks to our assistance, many industrial enterprises have been built on the continent, entire industries have been created, and vital infrastructure and social facilities have been built.
Russia Cancelled African Debt
At the same time, Russia wrote off the debt to African states in the amount of more than 20 billion dollars.
Mutual Trade in National Currencies
Mutual trade is growing every year, which reached almost 18 billion dollars last year.It is unlikely that such a figure can fully suit us, but we know that this is far from the limit.
The development of our counter commodity exchanges will undoubtedly be facilitated by a more energetic transition in financial settlements to national currencies and the establishment of new transport and logistics chains.
AfCFTA will reach $3 Trillion
Additional opportunities are opened by the process of establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, which began in 2021, which in the future will become a common continental market with a total GDP of more than three trillion dollars.
We are in favor of actively establishing ties with this new association both through the Eurasian Economic Union and bilaterally.
Russia Helps with ENERGY
Large Russian investment projects are being implemented in Africa with the participation of such domestic companies as Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, RoosHydro, ALROSA, Lookoil and many others.
We will continue to assist African countries in the production of electricity, which the continent has so far provided only a quarter of its needs.
Today we offer new environmentally friendly technologies, primarily in the field of nuclear energy.Rosatom is already building a nuclear power plant in Egypt, it plans to expand its participation in the development of the national energy systems of the African continent.
I want to point out that significant, in some countries 100 percent, funding comes from Russia.
These are serious projects worth 15, 20, 25 billion dollars.
El- Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant, Egypt which will provide significant energy and fresh water through desalination. Image: ROSATOM
Russian-African cooperation in the field of high technologies is being strengthened. For example, in Angola, with Russian assistance, the ANGOSAT satellite communications and television broadcasting system is being created.Yandex is actively implementing information services in the countries of the African continen to organize the transportation of passengers by taxi and other modes of transport.
At the same time, Russia is always ready to share its technologies with African countries;it offers precisely a joint diverse technological development.
I emphasize that our country is conscientiously fulfilling all its obligations regarding the supply of food, fertilizers, fuel and other critical products for the states of the continent,thereby contributing to ensuring their food and energy security.
You probably know that we are ready to transfer some of the resources we have frozen in European countries, including fertilizers, the first batches have already passed, to transfer to countries in need free of charge.
But, unfortunately, even here they create obstacles for us.
Guided by the needs of primarily African countries, Russia recently agreed to an extension for another 60 days of an agreement concluded in Istanbul to export Ukrainian food through the Black Sea and unblock Russian agricultural exports and fertilizer supplies.
At the same time, we insist on the package nature of this deal, primarily in the interests of African and other developing countries, bearing in mind that they need large amountsof food.
West Blocks Russian Help
We insist on full compliance with the key Russian requirements, first of all, as I said,showing concern that grain and fertilizers go to the needy states of Africa, and not be transported to well-fed European markets, to well-fed European countries.
Meanwhile, of the total volume of grain exported from Ukraine, approximately 45 % went to European countries, and only 3% went to Africa.
Now, perhaps, I will say two more words about this. Let me emphasize that only if our position is taken into account will a fair and comprehensive implementation of the Black Sea grain deal be ensured.
And, depending on this, we will decide on our further participation in it.From August 1, 2022 to March 20 of this year, 827 ships left Ukraine, of which only three million tons of grain were sent to Africa and 1.3 million tons to the poorest countries in Africa.
As I said, almost 45 percent went to well-fed European countries, despite the fact that this whole deal was presented under the source that we need to ensure the interests of African countries.
By the way, I draw your attention to the fact that during the same time, despite all the restrictions and restrictions on the export of Russian grain, almost 12 million tons were sent from Russia to Africa.
And there’s something else I’d like to add. If we nevertheless decide not to renew this deal after 60 days, then we are ready to deliver all the volume that was sent in the previous time to countries in Africa in particular need, from Russia to these countries free of charge.
Cooperation between Russia and African states in the field of education is traditionally at a high level.About 27 000 African students are currently studying in our country, of which more than 5000 are studying at the expense of the federal budget.At the same time, the annual quota for their admission to state-funded places in Russian universities will be more than doubled.
The project of the Russian-African Network University has entered the practical stage. We intend to build up cooperation on such vital topics for Africa as medicine and healthcare,ensuring biological and epidemic security.
To this end, Russia is ready to provide Africans with mobile laboratories with equipment, modern medicines, and train specialized specialists.
By the way, during the coronavirus pandemic, our country was one of the first countries to supply African countries with large volumes of vaccines, test systems, sanitary and hygiene products, and other medical and humanitarian supplies.
And of course, Russia invariably lends a helping hand to African countries in overcoming the devastating consequences of natural disasters: floods, fires, hurricanes and droughts.
Cooperation in the fight against terrorism and extremism has received significant development in recent years. Our military and military-technical cooperation continues, including the supply of Russian weapons and military equipment to African partners, and the training of relevant personnel. Currently, military personnel from more than 20 African countries are studying at the universities of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
For more on the second Russia-Africa Summit go Here: