After China and Japan, Russia is also betting on Africa’s relations

President Buhari shakes Putin during the Russia-Africa summit (Twitter/NGRPresident)
  • African leaders head to Sochi, Russia, for the first high-level meeting of the Russia-Africa Summit.
  • The Summit is part of Russia’s plans to court new allies from Africa following Western sanctions.
  • President Putin will also seek to cement more military agreements, advance political and trade relations

Russia will parley African leaders at a three-day Summit in Sochi between October 23rd – 25th, with a focus on exploring and expanding opportunities in security, trade and investment, science and technology, and gas production.

The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will hold at the Sirius Park of Science and Art, organised by the Roscongress Foundation, Russian Export Center, and Afreximbank.

Business Insider SSA understands that this is the first high-level meeting of the Russian-African relations in history. The meeting will have in attendance African leaders and major sub-regional leaders. 

“African countries and Russia have common positions in their international actions based on the principles of respect for international law, equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and a commitment to multilateral actions in accordance with the two sides’ similar vision of how to confront new international challenges,” Egyptians President and co-chair of the summit, Abdelfattah Alsisi, said.

Who are those attending?

Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Rwanda's Paul Kagame and host of other African leaders will grace the event.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will chair the occasion. Putin and Buhari will hold bilateral discussions focusing on security and “how to enhance Nigeria’s huge gas potential, following Russia’s remarkable success in gas exportation,Garba Shehu, media aide to President Buhari said in a statement on Sunday, October 20th.

The North Asian country will court new friends and allies from Africa “to isolate itself from the Western condemnation of its actions and restore its image as a global power,” Judd Devermont, director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said in a note.

This is in a race to become the continent's strongest ties following China, Japan, the US, and France.

What African leaders stand to gain

Just as an increase in China's spending spree on the continent, Tokyo's renewed development aid and economic diplomacy, President Putin will also seek to cement more military agreements, advance political and economic relations after Western sanctions.

With its trade and investment up by 17% in 2018 to $20 billion on the African soil, Africa's participation at the summit will be a give-and-take scenario.


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