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18 Jul, 2023 11:27

Valdai experts present key report ahead of Russia-Africa summit

The authors evaluated political, economic, and cultural ties and offered a roadmap for closer cooperation
Valdai experts present key report ahead of Russia-Africa summit

Moscow should come up with a comprehensive roadmap for boosting ties with Africa, after previous efforts to improve cooperation fell through due to external factors, experts at the Valdai International Discussion club said in a new report on Tuesday.

In a document entitled “Russia and Africa: An Audit of Relations,” which was published on the Valdai website ahead of the Russia-Africa summit set to be held in St. Petersburg on July 27, the authors conclude that urgent, systemic work needs to be done to address the interests of the developing continent.

According to the report, Moscow has failed to thoroughly implement the 47 points of cooperation that were outlined in the 2019 summit – at first due to the Coronavirus pandemic and later due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the subsequent reshaping of the world order.

The experts note that despite the push for more Russian businesses to enter the African market, most of them have yet to understand where the entry points are and who their potential partners might be.

However, the report states that many African countries remain interested in cooperation with Moscow, evidenced by the fact that many of them have refused to endorse international political resolutions aimed against Russia.

Russia, according to the authors, still has much to offer the African continent, which continues to experience a number of problems, including insufficient food, energy security, lack of a developed energy system and energy logistics, an infrastructural and technological vacuum, constant population growth and job shortages.

During the upcoming Russia-Africa summit, a detailed roadmap will have to be developed for further interaction between Moscow and the nations of the continent, the report concludes, noting that Russia needs a comprehensive and competitive Africa strategy which encompasses the political, economic, and humanitarian spheres.

“Understanding the deep foundations of Russian-African cooperation, knowledge of the problems Africans face, [and] understanding the essence of their ‘request’ for cooperation could become a serious competitive advantage for Russia in the current geopolitical conditions,” the report surmised.

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