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Russia-Africa Summit Day 2: Leaders Roundtable
The Multipolar World has a stronger basis now than it had two days ago. The powerful potential of Africa grows daily. The interactions of leaders is but one aspect. Another is within what is bet termed a Manifesto, the Declaration of the Second Russia–Africa Summit, which is a very powerful document rather similar in its content to the Russia/China Joint Declaration of 4 February 2022 and in its relation to the numerous Global Initiatives made by China over the last 18 months. Such Declarations and their content are mostly ignored by the West because what’s proposed within them goes against the “order” preferred by the West that’s now heavily under siege by the vast majority of the world. As such, the Declaration merges with its kin and provides guidance for Humanity’s New Path. Illustrating why and how that will be is to be addressed this weekend. I should note that other joint documents were signed. It was decided that the Declaration of the Second Russia-Africa Summit on the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space needed to be presented by itself, a decision I highly endorse. Given discussions on combatting the space-based Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) assets that both NATO and Russia employ in the Ukraine conflict and the advocation by some that they be neutralized, the following excerpt from the Declaration’s preamble is warranted:
Expressing Serious concerns about the declarations of some States plans that include the deployment of weapons, in particular strike combat systems, in outer space, the threat or use of force in outer space, from space in relation to the Earth, as well as from the Earth in relation to objects in space and the use of outer space for conducting combat operations,
Being Seriously concerned about the possibility of Arms races in outer space and the transformation of outer space in the arena of military confrontation and bearing in mind the importance of articles III and IV of the Treaty of Principles, activities of States in the exploration and use of outer space spaces, including the Moon and other celestial bodies,
Realizing the catastrophic consequences of an arms race in outer space, which must be used exclusively for peaceful and constructive purposes, or any military conflicts in outer space and the fact that the prevention of an arms race in outer space would eliminate a serious threat to international peace and security,
This and the entire Declaration show why Russia has decided not to eliminate NATO’s space-based ISR capabilities. Rather, Russia wants to increase international pressure on “some states” by getting the vast majority of nations to agree with the contents of this Declaration. Clearly, the intent is to delineate the differing values and norms of the two emerging Blocs—RoW and NATO—so humanity can learn them and choose which Bloc is best for humanity. That might be called Cold War thinking, or it can be seen as the best path to follow for human evolution.
Now readers can digest the words spoken at today’s session. I do suggest visiting this page to browse the forty photos of the event and its participants. At this link is the Russian transcript and the video of the event. This will be another long read:
Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr. Assoumani, Dear Heads of State and Government, Heads of delegations, Dear friends and colleagues,
I am pleased to welcome you to the plenary session of the second Russia-Africa Summit. Representatives of the vast majority of African States and heads of leading regional organizations have gathered here, and this clearly demonstrates the mutual desire of our countries and peoples to develop cooperation in all areas, strengthen honest, open and constructive partnership.
Russia and Africa are traditionally linked by strong ties of friendship and close mutually beneficial relations, the foundations of which were laid in the middle of the last century during the struggle of the peoples of the African continent for their freedom.
For decades, we have consistently supported the countries of Africa in their difficult struggle against the colonial yoke. Unfortunately, some manifestations of colonialism have not yet been eliminated and are still practiced by former metropolises, in particular in the economic, informational and humanitarian spheres.
Russia remembers and honors the memory of outstanding sons of Africa. I will name them, dear friends. We must remember them, and we must not forget them. I will mention the names of Patrice Lumumba, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nelson Mandela, Ahmed bin Bella, Omar al-Mukhtar, Kwame Nkrumah, Samora Machel, Leopold Senghor, Kenneth Kaunda, Julius Nyerera. We also remember other African freedom fighters and national leaders of African countries. Based on the principles of justice and equality, they firmly defended the independent path of development for their peoples, often at the cost of their own lives.
These ideals of freedom, independence, and sovereignty are very significant even now, in the current difficult conditions of international turbulence, when a truly multipolar world order is being formed, and the era of hegemony of one or a group of states is becoming a thing of the past. True, not without the resistance of those who are used to their own exclusivity and monopoly in world affairs. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the second Russia-Africa summit is being held under the motto "For Peace, Security and Development" and focuses not only on expanding Russian-African strategic cooperation, but also on such key topics as global and regional stability, ensuring the continent's sustainable development, and strengthening the sovereignty of African states in all its dimensions.
Russia and the African states stand together for building a new and fairer architecture of the world order, jointly defend international law, the UN Charter, the central role of this world organization, and try to coordinate approaches on key issues on the international agenda. It is characteristic that on many of them our positions are very close or completely coincide. This is evidenced by the main provisions of the political declaration, which is prepared for approval by the summit.
Cooperation between Russia and African states in countering the spreading terrorist threat and responding to challenges in the field of information security is expanding. We stand together against the use of climate issues, human rights protection and the so-called gender agenda for unseemly political purposes. We do not accept such illegal practices as unilateral sanctions and restrictive, but in fact punitive, measures that harm countries that pursue an independent course and create economic problems on a global scale that hinder development.
And, of course, we cannot agree with the replacement of international law with the so-called order based on rules that some countries themselves declare, constantly distort, change, and shuffle. In general, it is not clear what these rules are, who created them. It is clear that they are used by individual countries for their own selfish interests and change due to the political situation.
The main thing is that Russia and Africa are united by an innate desire to defend genuine sovereignty and the right to their own unique path of development in political, economic, social, cultural and other spheres. Moreover, such a desire for independence and sovereignty does not mean self-isolation, but, on the contrary, implies openness and cooperation of free states and peoples, states that are equal in their rights.
Sovereignty is not a once – achieved state, and we must constantly fight for it. In this regard, I would like to recall the words of Nelson Mandela, who said: "Do not judge me by my success, but by the number of times I have fallen and risen again." It is the same with state sovereignty: it must be absolutely defended, never give up, never give up under external pressure, and in such an effort to be independent, defend sovereignty and actively participate in the formation of a multipolar system based on the equality of states. I am sure that Russia and the African states fully agree with each other in this regard.
I would also like to point out that the African continent is becoming a new center of power before our very eyes. Its political and economic role is growing exponentially. And everyone will have to reckon with this objective reality.
Take, for example, the initiative of a number of African States to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. This is an acute problem, and we are not avoiding its consideration. This in itself says a lot, because previously any mediation missions were monopolized exclusively by countries with so-called developed democracies. Now it is not, and now Africa is ready to help solve problems that seem to be outside the zone of its primary interests.
We respect your initiatives and consider them carefully.
The authority of African regional structures, especially the African Union, as an expression of the views and aspirations of the entire macroregion, has also significantly increased. Russia actively supported the initiative to grant the African Union a place in the G20. This would really be the right decision, reflecting the realities and balance of power in the modern world.
We are also open to cooperation with other regional integration associations in Africa. We held a special meeting with their leaders yesterday and put forward an initiative to establish cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and the African Continental Free Trade Area, which was created within the framework of the African Union to discuss the possibilities of linking integration processes through these organizations.
Of course, we share the desire of African States to participate more fully in the work of the United Nations. We can see how active the Afro-Union is in this regard.
We are ready to consider in practical terms proposals to expand the representation of African structures and Africans in general in UN structures, including in the context of the Security Council reform that is being developed. We believe that the time has come to correct the historical injustice towards the African continent.
We must also recognize that the situation in many regions of Africa remains precarious. Interethnic and ethnic conflicts have not been resolved, and acute political and socio-economic crises persist. This, of course, is a heavy legacy of the colonial era, the "divide and rule" course that was conducted in Africa by the Western metropolises.
The continent's development is hindered by terrorism, the spread of extremist ideology, transnational crime, and piracy. Russia also offers its assistance in countering these threats. We are interested in the closest possible cooperation between law enforcement agencies and special services of the Russian Federation and African countries.
We are determined to continue training military personnel and law enforcement officers from African countries in Russian specialized educational institutions. Currently, military personnel from many African countries are studying at the universities of the Russian Defense Ministry.
In order to strengthen the defense capabilities of the continent's countries, we are developing partnership in the military and military-technical fields. Russia has signed an agreement on military-technical cooperation with more than 40 African countries, to which we supply a wide range of weapons and equipment. Some of these supplies are provided free of charge in order to strengthen the security and sovereignty of these States.
Our African colleagues actively participate in military-technical forums and exercises held by Russia, where they get acquainted with promising models of weapons, military equipment, and experience in its use.
In general, Russia's attention to Africa is steadily growing, which is reflected in our plans to increase our diplomatic presence on the continent. We are ready to restore and open new Russian foreign institutions, as well as increase the staff of a number of existing embassies. This is a real practical step to significantly intensify cooperation with African countries in the political, business, humanitarian, cultural and tourism spheres.
As an example, I would like to mention that the Russian embassies in Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea will soon resume functioning after a long break. We also plan to expand the network of Russian centers of science and culture, or, as they are also called, "Russian houses". They are already operating successfully in eight African countries, and in the near future they will appear in a number of other countries.
For our part, we would welcome the reciprocal steps of our African friends and will support the opening of new embassies, consulates and other representative offices of African countries.
Of course, a few words about economic and humanitarian cooperation with Africa. The forum held yesterday shows that both Russia and African countries really want to strengthen cooperation in these areas. And frankly, our entrepreneurs have a lot to offer our respected partners from Africa.
Despite challenging conditions on global markets, trade with Africa is steadily growing. It is clear that the current level of ‒ this is far from the limit. In absolute terms, it is the goal that we should set for ourselves. It is still quite modest. Increasing Russian-African trade turnover and its diversification will be facilitated by a more energetic transition to national currencies in settlements, and the establishment of new transport and logistics chains.
Realizing the importance of uninterrupted food supply for the socio-economic development and maintenance of political stability of African states, we are increasing the supply of agricultural products to Africa. So, in 2022, 11.5 million tons of grain were sent to African countries, and only in the first six months of this year ‒ almost 10 million. And this is despite the illegal sanctions imposed on our exports, which seriously hinder the supply of Russian food, complicate transport logistics, insurance and bank payments.
I would like to emphasize once again: you, dear friends, can be sure that Russia will always be a responsible international supplier of agricultural products. We will continue to support the most needy countries and regions, and we will supply our grain and other foodstuffs, including on a gratuitous basis, as well as within the framework of the UN food Program.
Yesterday, as you know, we announced that in the next three to four months we will supply 25-50 thousand tons of grain to six African countries free of charge.
In general, Russia intends to continue to fully support the development of the African continent by providing not only humanitarian aid, but also trade preferences, support in the creation of modern industries, the agricultural sector, and assistance through relevant international structures and agencies.
In particular, during the period from 2020 to 2023, 11 Russian humanitarian actions were implemented on a bilateral basis in 10 African countries. We were among the first to come to the aid of the continent's states during the coronavirus pandemic. We delivered millions of test systems for free, transferred mobile medical laboratories, and equipped a special infection research center.
Russia is also involved in efforts to ease the debt burden of African countries. To date, the total amount of debt we have written off is $ 23 billion. According to recent requests from African countries, we will allocate more than 90 million rubles for these purposes, their development.
In conclusion, dear friends, I would like to emphasize once again that we are sincerely ready to work together, hand in hand with our African friends, to work for the future, to build truly strategic cooperation and partnership.
We value our relations with every African country and with the continent as a whole, and we are confident in the successful future of these relations in the emerging multipolar world.
Thank you for your attention. Thank you very much.
Allow me to give the floor to the Chairman of the African Union, President of the Union of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani.
Please, dear Mr. Assoumani.
(as translated) Azali Assoumani: Your Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Your Excellencies, Gentlemen and ladies, Heads of State, Mr. Moussa Faki, Chairman of the African Union Commission! Dear members of the audience, mercy and blessings be upon you!
Thank you, Mr. President, for giving me the floor. Once again, I would like to sincerely thank you for your warm and cordial welcome. Thank you for hosting us at this summit today. We really appreciated the dinner you offered us yesterday ‒ it was a very delicious dinner with a wonderful accompaniment. This once again showed the cultural potential of this beautiful city of St. Petersburg.
I would like to point out again the exemplary cooperation between our continent and your country. We have excellent working people, creativity, endurance ‒ and all this is respected. This example was confirmed yesterday during our work, which took place in very good conditions. This led to the signing of numerous agreements. This will have a positive impact on our cooperation.
I would like to emphasize that our partnership has a great future, especially if we actively involve young people and women. This is the future of our countries, and we must teach them the values of entrepreneurship.
It will also help improve the business climate in the African Union countries. Initiatives to encourage national and foreign investment are also very important: surprisingly vibrant African youth, creative start-ups, and SMEs. We are actively working in the field of research and science, despite the lack of funding. We must definitely take into account each other's priorities and, of course, the African Union plan [for the period up to] 2063 ‒ this will contribute to the sustainable economic growth of the Russian Federation and the African Union.
The African Union is engaged in an economic transformation. Russia, of course, will participate in the investment and will also benefit from our numerous resources.
We want to build an economic and social Africa that is integrated with the rest of the world. Of course, we must develop trade and investment in accordance with our common goals.
As for training in digital technologies, Russia has made great strides in this area. We must create human capital to work in this area, to strengthen and support sustainable development, and to involve as many young people as possible.
As for peace, security, democracy, and human rights… Of course, we rate some of our partners very well. But we ask some partners not to interfere in our internal affairs. We are fighting against unconstitutional changes, because what happens sometimes on our continent will not benefit our countries. We, the African Union, condemn the unconstitutional changes that have taken place in Niger, and we also join the international community in doing so.
I would like to say a few words about the bilateral cooperation between the Comors and Russia. In the 1980s, the Union of Comoros was able to train hundreds of students in the Soviet Union, and today these cadres hold very important positions in various important decision-making bodies in our country, especially in the business and economic sphere. Some of them are part of my delegation, and many are interpreters, so we thank you for this friendly and effective cooperation.
I am sure that all my colleagues who are present here are also grateful and want to re-activate this cooperation with Russia and hope that after the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, which slightly slowed down our relations, they will resume again.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, dear Mr. Chairman. Thank you for your appreciation of last night. I think it was really informative. I am pleased that you enjoyed it, and I hope that the other participants of our meeting also enjoyed it. Our artists wanted to emphasize not only what Russia has in the field of culture, which we are proud of, but also the connection between our cultures. I think it worked out quite well, especially at the final stage of yesterday's event.
Thank you very much for your performance. You said a lot of interesting things.
First of all, I would like to mention what you said about young people ‒ this is a very sensitive issue. African youth are talented people, and the fact that many of those present here still speak Russian fluently, despite the fact that many years have passed since they studied in the Soviet Union, underscores precisely this quality of human potential in Africa.
Thank you very much.
I give the floor to the President of the transitional period of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traore. Please, Mr. Traore.
(as translated) Ibrahim Traore: Dear President, Comrade Vladimir Putin,
Dear President of the African Union, Heads of delegation, Hello.
It is an honor for me to speak here this morning and convey to you the fraternal greetings of our peoples. First of all, I would like to thank God Almighty, who has allowed us to gather here and talk about the future welfare of our peoples.
I would like to immediately apologize to my elders. I'm sorry if I offended you in any way. My generation asks many questions and gets no answers, but here we feel at home, in the family.
Russia is also a family for Africa, because we share the same history. Russia suffered a lot of losses to liberate Europe and the world from Nazism in World War II. We have the same history in the sense that we are, one might say, forgotten peoples of the world. This applies to both films and books: in many ways, Africa and Russia, their role in the fight against Nazism was forgotten. We are together now, because today we are here to talk about the future of our countries. What will happen tomorrow in this new free world that we strive for, where there will be no interference in our internal affairs? We have the same prospects. I hope that this summit will be an opportunity to strengthen relations between our peoples.
I don't understand how it is that Africa, which has so many resources, water, sun, how it is that today it is the poorest continent with the most hunger, and how it is that we have to ask for help? We ask ourselves these questions and don't get an answer yet. We have the opportunity to create new relationships. I hope that these relations will be for the best for us, in order to create a better future for our peoples.
On behalf of my generation, I say that because of poverty, many people are forced to cross the oceans in search of a better life and often die, many do not have enough food, it is difficult to survive.
As for Burkina Faso, we have been facing the most barbaric and brutal form of colonialism, imperialism, and modern slavery for eight years now. We have learned one thing well: a slave who cannot rebel deserves only pity, and his fate is deplorable. We didn't wait for someone to take care of us. We decided to fight against the terrorists who prevent us from developing.
In this struggle, our brave peoples have decided to take up arms to fight against terrorism. We are surprised that the imperialists call them paramilitary formations, detachments, while people in Europe who take up arms to defend their homeland are told that they are patriots. Our grandfathers were deported to save Europe, it was against their will. When they returned and tried to regain their basic rights, they were brutally suppressed.
When we, the people, decide to take up arms, that's not even the problem. The problem is that the heads of African states do not give anything to the peoples who are fighting against imperialism, they call us armed groups, bandits. We do not agree with this approach. We, the African heads of State, need to stop behaving like puppets who jump around every time the imperialists pull the strings.
Yesterday, President Putin announced grain shipments to Africa, and we are very happy about this and thank you for this decision. But it is also a message to African heads of State, because we must not come here for the next forum without ensuring the food self-sufficiency of our peoples. We must take advantage of the experience of those African countries that have already managed to achieve this, strengthen our cooperation in this regard and strengthen our relations with the Russian Federation in order to meet the needs of our peoples.
I don't have much time left. I would like to say that we must pay tribute to our peoples who are fighting, fighting. Glory to our peoples! Dignity, respect for our peoples! Victory to our peoples! Thank you, comrades. Homeland or death!
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, Mr Traore.
What I would like to draw your attention to. A colleague who just spoke spoke about the role of Russia in the fight against Nazism. It is trying to be obscured by someone, forgotten. But this struggle was waged by the Soviet Union, by Russia, in the interests of all mankind, for the liberation of mankind from Nazism.
I want to draw your attention to the fact that Africa's struggle for its independence, Africa's struggle against apartheid, was and is being waged not only in the interests of Africa itself. It is conducted in the interests of all mankind, because this struggle leads to results that improve the very quality of relations in the world, and therefore is aimed at improving the situation in the world as a whole. I certainly agree with Mr. Traore on this point. This is very similar to what happened to the Soviet Union and is happening to Russia in its struggle, and what is happening to the countries of Africa today in Africa's struggle for its true independence and freedom.
I am pleased to give the floor to the President of the Republic of Cameroon, Paul Biya.
Please, Mr. Biya.
(as translated) P. Biya: Mr. President of the Russian Federation!
Allow me first of all to express my gratitude on behalf of our delegation and on my own behalf for the warm fraternal welcome that was given to us in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg.
At the same time, I would like to express my gratitude on behalf of all African countries and peoples for organizing our summit, which will certainly strengthen mutual understanding between Africa and the Russian Federation. Perhaps many people are surprised by the interest that the Russian Federation is showing in Africa today. In this regard, I must emphasize that everyone knows that in the 60s of the last century we achieved independence after a long struggle, and then Russia provided great sincere assistance to Africa. We would like to thank your great country once again for this assistance.
Today's summit is dedicated to cooperation. This cooperation has always yielded excellent results for Africa.
Today, the world is facing a lot of problems, including a drought, an economic crisis, not to mention the covid-19 pandemic. It was a new story, a new page in our history. But do not forget about other problems: galloping inflation, economic problems. In the face of these challenges, we call for the cooperation that the Russian Federation has always maintained with us. Together, I am sure, we will be able to offer our peoples new solutions to all problems.
There are more than a billion people in Africa, but we are underrepresented in international organizations. In particular, we are talking about the United Nations. We hope for Russia's support in correcting the current unfair situation.
I would also like to say that the development problems of our countries are still very acute, the current crisis has further complicated the situation, and, as in the past, we hope that Russia will support us, in particular, in finding financial resources. We would like, for example, to appeal to the IMF and other financial institutions to resolve our problems.
We must also cooperate to resolve security issues and fight terrorism. Russia does provide assistance to many countries around the world in the fight against terrorism. And Africa today faces both this problem and a whole range of other problems. We hope that we will work together to find solutions.
I will not list all the difficulties, all the problems. I would like to once again take this opportunity to thank the Russian Federation and its leadership for helping African countries to overcome their economic problems.
Our students study at Russian universities. They return to our country enriched with knowledge, and for this we would also like to thank Russia.
I would like to see the ties between the Russian Federation and Africa strengthen as a result of our summit.
Vladimir Putin: My distinguished colleague said that some people are surprised by Russia's growing attention to Africa. I think this is not a surprise. This is some kind of wary attitude to this process. But what is more surprising is that at some point Russia began to pay less attention to Africa. Despite the fact that we have accumulated such a positive experience in previous decades, we still did not pay due attention to the African direction.
Taking into account the future of Africa, taking into account Africa's potential and taking into account our accumulated achievements of the past decades, it is absolutely natural that we, Russia and Africa, should restore our relations. This process will only increase. Our joint work today is just an attempt to move in this direction.
Thank you very much.
I give the floor to Mr. Touadera, President of the Central African Republic.
(as translated) F. A. Touadera: Thank you, Your Excellency Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation! Dear Mr. President of the African Union, Dear Heads of State, Ladies and gentlemen,
I am speaking today on behalf of the Central African Republic and addressing the plenary session of the second Russia-Africa Summit, which is being held in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg.
I would like to thank the Russian Federation for the determination with which Russia supports Africa in its struggle for sovereignty and for our rights described in the UN Charter.
I would like to thank the President of the Russian Federation, the leadership and people of Russia for the wonderful organization of our summit and for cooperation with Africa. Despite the geopolitical, climate, and energy challenges, our country, the Central African Republic, enjoys Russia's assistance. Our friendly relations are at the highest level.
Russia and the Central African Republic have developed relations of the highest level. Russia, without fear of any geopolitical problems, is helping our country, especially our armed forces and security agencies, in the fight against terrorist organizations that attacked the capital of our country, Bangui, in 2021.
Our countries and peoples have established relations that were able to save democracy in our country. We organized free and democratic elections and were able to avoid a new civil war, the consequences of which would have been disastrous.
On behalf of the people and Government of the Central African Republic, I would like to express my gratitude to the authorities and the leadership of the Russian Federation. Today, thanks to our cooperation and Russia's support, our country is moving towards prosperity and peace.
Many summits are being held now, many promises are being made, but not all of them are being implemented. Today we are experiencing a food and climate crisis. Africa seeks reliable economic and financial partners, strives for equal, mutually respectful diplomatic relations, and mutually beneficial cooperation.
The Central African Republic has long lived under the conditions of subordination, the colonial yoke. Since 2016, our country has entered a new stage in its history. Today we are diversifying our diplomatic relations, establishing bilateral ties with all countries that want it, and developing economic relations and programs.
The Russia-Africa Summit, which this year also contains an important humanitarian component ‒ is an opportunity for us to resist the hegemony of individual participants in international relations. As part of our innovative cooperation with Russia, we are looking for practical, sustainable solutions for our country and for the entire African continent.
Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
Our country, its mineral resources, and its nature are a huge wealth, but the use of these resources is currently insufficient. The heavy colonial yoke continues to remind us of itself. We, the Central African Republic, invite all peoples and countries of the world to mutually beneficial and effective cooperation within the framework of the international order based on the UN Charter. African countries would like to see our ideals realized and achieve peace, security and harmonious development.
Vladimir Putin: My distinguished colleague gave a high assessment of our interstate relations.
First. I would like to say that this level will certainly be maintained in all our most sensitive areas of cooperation. There is no doubt about it.
But, of course, we must do even more. We have a lot of opportunities: we will do this, we will move in this direction without any doubts.
Allow me to give the floor to the President of the Republic of Uganda, Mr. Museveni.
You are welcome.
(as translated) J. K. Museveni: Your Excellency Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, Dear Heads of State and Government of African countries,
The Ugandan people send their greetings and best wishes to you.
I have a great opportunity to take part in various events over the past 60 years. To understand the difficulties we face, we must remember that by 1900, Africa was completely colonized, with the exception of Ethiopia.
This colonization was the result of 500 years of slaves being taken out of Africa. This criminal trade has destroyed the African continent.
Not only Africa was colonized, but also Asia: India, Indonesia, Indochina, Burma, the Philippines, Malaysia, and so on. The destruction and subjugation of the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia also fits into this trend. These criminal acts of the imperialists, including the slave trade and colonialism, provoked the colonized peoples to start a liberation struggle. It started in the United States of America when Dubois initiated the Pan-African movement. This was the first step in our struggle.
Secondly, in 1912, the National Congress of South Africa was created, it included the liberation fighters. It was different, not like before, when the leaders were kings, kings.
Third, Russia became communist in 1917, and China became Communist in 1949. These Communists actively opposed the imperialist movement.
Fourth, as a result of their greed, the imperialists began to fight each other for us, and this led to the so-called First and Second World Wars.
These imperialists sought to dominate the world. During these wars, the imperialists weakened themselves, and this played into the hands of the anti-colonial movement. This is how India, Pakistan, Indonesia and other countries gained their independence. Some imperialists tried to cling to their colonies, but in Algeria, Vietnam, Kenya, Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa they were defeated.
Fifth, even in the imperialist countries themselves, we had allies who opposed this evil system. Olof Palme stood on our side, on the side of our parents and opposed this vicious system.
Here are five factors that led to the victory over imperialism and restored our sovereignty to a certain extent.
The anti-colonial movement in Africa, Asia and Latin America, the rise of communism in the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, North Korea and so on, the two inter-imperialist wars of the last century, which weakened imperialism, the imperialist countries, which played into the hands of our countries when our parents were used as cannon fodder in these criminal activities. wars. They fought the Japanese in Burma, the Italians in Ethiopia, and the Germans in North Africa.
Fifth, the pan-African movement, which was launched by black people in the United States of America, received the support of people who advocated for justice in imperialist states. That is why we are glad to be here today in Russia, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Soviet Union and other socialist countries for their support.
However, getting your own flag – such independence is not enough for Africa. We needed to make a healthy break with our former mother countries. Even now, we face challenges in development and the legacy of the colonial era. We have made some progress, but much remains to be done. This is why we hear that Africa's GDP currently stands at $ 2.7 trillion, which is smaller than the economies of Japan, Germany, and other countries, not to mention the United States or China itself.
This situation in the African economy is caused by delays in development, which I don't have time to list here. However, we have identified them, and together with our brothers in the African Union, we are trying to solve these problems.
However, I would like to give one example-this is coffee, the situation with coffee. The total volume of the coffee business now stands at $ 460 billion. This is the volume of the coffee market in the world. However, coffee-producing countries in Africa, Brazil, Colombia, and other countries receive only $ 25 billion in this market. 460 billion in total, and coffee-producing countries collectively receive only 25 billion of this amount. And Africa accounts for 2.5 billion of the 460 billion. Uganda has only 800 million, and today we produce 800 million bags of 60 kg each.
Germany is a country that does not produce or grow coffee, but earns more than all African countries per year - $ 6.8 billion.
We discussed with our African colleagues why there is such a problem. I see that a young soldier, our colleague, is present here. I would call it a modern form of slavery. Why is this happening? Africa is trapped. We produce raw materials: agricultural raw materials, mineral raw materials, but we are not engaged in the manufacturing industry, we do not produce products with added value.
A kilo of raw coffee costs $ 2.5, roasted coffee costs $ 40, and roasting is done outside of Africa, so all that added value stays outside of Africa. This is a problem that has slowed Africa's economic growth. This is not one problem, there are others, but I will not talk about them now.
I suggest that our allies-Russia, India, China and other countries-make a decision that can help us: buy finished products from Africa, not raw materials, for example, processed coffee – not grain, but ready-made; chocolate instead of cocoa beans; textiles instead of cotton; steel instead of iron ore – we have the word oftari, which means "iron ore"; electric batteries instead of lithium, and so on.
Part of the problems that we are trying to overcome in Africa is the issue of free movement of goods and services within the African Continental Free Trade Area. If this can be done, the problem of food security for African communities, which is so much talked about today, will also be partially solved. For example, there are no food problems in Uganda. Uganda is a net exporter of food: corn, milk, bananas, fruits, fish, cassava, not to mention such beverages as coffee, tea, cocoa, vanilla-are produced in our country on a large scale. In this regard, we can say that we have many opportunities.
Without irrigation, our farmers produce few bananas. But thanks to irrigation, we have increased this figure to 53 tons of bananas per hectare of agricultural land. In some sectors, Uganda produces large amounts of food. These are foods such as beef, which is cholesterol-free but contains yellow fat rich in potassium, bananas, heavy cream, fish, which is useful in treating certain diseases, other foods rich in protein and carbohydrates, and so on.
Africa needs a market, both internal and external, and that's part of the problem. Some African countries produce a lot of food, but cannot sell it to other countries because of customs barriers. We can work with countries to create their own added value in Africa. This will mean creating new jobs for unemployed African youth, who are really currently trying to get to Europe en masse and look for work there. Thus, we will also be able to balance the situation with electricity production. All this will contribute to the recovery of the economy within the country.
In Africa, we are really actively working, including on the creation of a continental free trade zone that would unite the huge markets of African countries where 1.5 billion people live. And in the next 30 years, we will have a population of more than 2.5 billion people, which will be much more. Africa is much larger in area than India, and yet the current population of India is larger than that of Africa. Africa, we can say, has a lack of population, despite the fact that it is from Africa that man, homo sapiens, originated. Today, thanks to modern medicine, for the first time in history, Africa can achieve optimal population indicators.
Finally, we do not accept any wars based on ideology or political differences. The story will move forward whether someone wants it or not. We have seen various religious wars in Europe, which imposed the principles of religious conformity on the whole world. They divided everyone into Catholics, believers, non-believers, and look what happened, what did it lead to? They lost. Look at what happened to the Austro-Hungarian Empire! Did Metternich's "Holy Alliance" help stop the spread of capitalism and eliminate feudalism? Look at the revolution in France in 1789: the bourgeois revolution, the capitalist revolution. Metternich supported feudalism, and his response was to start a war to fight the capitalist movement in France. But he failed to do so. Hegemony wars will end in failure, a waste of time and opportunity. These are unfair wars.
During the colonial struggle, we fought against this injustice, and now we intend to move forward through dialogue.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Indeed, the colonization of other countries, the slave trade is now recognized as a crime by everyone, this is obvious, today everyone agrees with this. But we did not agree when the struggle for independence in Africa was going on, and we remember this very well. This is the first one.
Second. Getting your own flag, as a colleague just said, is not enough, this is obvious. But maintaining the monopoly of some countries in the field of finance, technology, "numbers" and in the field of food is unacceptable, and we need to fight it. And of course, many people here know that the Soviet Union and Russia never assumed that only raw materials should be bought in Africa. How many enterprises, power plants, and steel mills were built by the Soviet Union in Africa! We must return to this practice, as my colleague has just called for, and we will do it both on a bilateral basis and on international platforms.
Thank you very much.
Allow me to give the floor to President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo.
(as translated) D. Sassou Nguesso: Dear Mr. President of the Russian Federation, Mr. President of the African Union, President of the Union of the Comoros, Heads of State and Government! Mr. Chairman of the African Union Commission, Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our delegation would like to thank you for your warm welcome. We are very pleased to be able to participate in the second Russia-Africa Summit. I would like to sincerely thank Mr. President Vladimir Putin for the warm welcome he gave us.
The issues discussed at today's meeting are primarily our desire for peace, security and development. Each historical epoch is a separate generation. Each generation has its own challenges.
We in Africa have always talked about unity. We used to fight against colonialism, we had to fight against apartheid, we had to win our independence. In this struggle, Africa received the support of the former Soviet Union, support in the struggle for independence. All this fit into the strategy of solidarity-it used to be called internationalism. To fully gain independence, African countries needed competent, professional elites, and then the former Soviet Union provided a lot of support. Millions were spent on training African specialists, and many thousands of scholarships were awarded.
Today, our goal is development for the well-being of two billion Africans. This is the population we expect in Africa by 2050. Today, as yesterday, in the struggle for liberation, we are talking about the fact that we are fighting for development ‒ Africa, of course, cannot do without help and support from its friends and partners. Today, the world has become a global village ‒ we all live together.
Mr. President, we confirm that the industrialization of our continent is impossible without electrification. Remember the famous slogan of the great revolutionary of your country - " Communism is Soviet power plus electrification of the whole country." At the same time, today 600 million Africans, I will repeat this figure ‒ 600 million Africans live without electricity.
In addition, speaking about the free trade zone, the free movement of people, goods and services, I must say that it is impossible to ensure this without modern transport and logistics routes (rail, sea), without airports, without the development of telecommunications. The African [Continental] Free Trade Area embodies this vision of the future. The implementation of the free trade plan is possible only if we can rely on the appropriate infrastructure, and all these investments are very expensive. If our countries deal with this issue alone, it is, in general, a suicidal practice.
The implementation of our plans is possible only if we join forces within continental, regional or sub-regional organizations. Russia's assistance to Africa is a strategic partnership, and we call for the establishment of a strategic mutually beneficial partnership. At the same time, we, as African countries, should focus on identifying the main, priority elements of infrastructure: these will be negotiated in the framework of, for example, public-private partnerships: there can be various sources of financing, concessions, and long-term loans. Africa can only develop in synergy. Autarky is unacceptable to us.
There are, of course, small, not too large-scale projects, but we need big projects. We don't just expect generosity from anyone. We don't stand with our hands outstretched.
Russian-African cooperation has a great future, and Africa has great resources. Our vision for future cooperation is the broadest one. We do all this for the sake of peace, within the framework of mutual trust of partners, which will ensure the implementation of commitments and initiatives.
Speaking of peace in Africa, we must say once again: we are striving for peace, and we hope that there will be peace in Europe as well. Therefore, I once again call for an end to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
There is an African wisdom: they say that the grass suffers from elephants that trample on it. We are talking, of course, about various aspects, in particular, about agricultural land. This is a multi-faceted issue. Today, our population is affected by many difficulties and problems.
Returning to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. The African initiative deserves the closest attention and should not be underestimated. Therefore, I support the words of Mr. Putin on this topic. I want to say once again that we continue to be optimistic. We have many problems, we discuss them all at the summit, and we once again urge the restoration of peace in Europe, in your part of the world.
Thanks for attention.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much. This is a very important issue, and we will certainly discuss it. Today we will have a special time dedicated to this.
As for the world, this is certainly true. This is the basis of any development. But I would like to draw your attention to two things that were mentioned by the speaker: infrastructure and training.
Infrastructure, of course, is a basic condition for development, this is quite obvious. What would you like to pay attention to here?
First of all, Russia has competencies in developing any infrastructure ‒ any infrastructure, and I want to emphasize this, and these competencies are very good.
Secondly, there are financial sources to meet these challenges. We only need to jointly propose and develop mutually beneficial, economically effective tools for resolving these issues. Africa has enough resources to develop these tools together with its partners, including those from Russia.
As for personnel and their training, we have a very good experience working with talented young people from Africa. I think this is the most important thing, because the future of the world economy depends on high technologies, and the development of high technologies without specialists is simply impossible. This is a very important area of our joint work.
Thank you very much.
Please give the floor to President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah Sisi.
Abdelfattah Sisi: In the name of Allah the Merciful and Merciful!
Your Excellency President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Your Excellency Mr. Assoumani, President of the African Union, Your Excellency Heads of State and Government, Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin of Russia for your hospitality and excellent organization of the second Russia ‒ Africa summit. As you know, the first summit was held in 2019, and we believe that this is a very important event for building partnership relations that are developing between Russia and the countries of the African continent.
Today's summit is taking place in an extremely difficult international environment, because we are talking about the polarization of various forces and the impact of this on the entire system of international relations. And of course, African countries are interested in building reliable infrastructure primarily in those issues that affect our security and peace. Therefore, our countries are trying to do everything possible to use the available resources to achieve these goals.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Egypt has always been a kind of pioneer in this field. Peace between strong countries should be based on justice. This was our strategic choice. We assume that power lies in truth and logic, and not vice versa ‒ in the logic of power.
Our opinion on what we are doing today is very important in the light of our strategic partnership. First of all, African countries should enjoy their sovereignty, they stand for peace, for just and sustainable development. They should, of course, continue to adopt the same position with regard to all the complex problems that the United Nations is facing today, including the issue of peaceful resolution of existing crises.
We need to study in depth the causes of conflicts and their impact on peace and security. We should also carefully study the impact of international sanctions on a particular country. We must take into account the development goals of African countries in the light of the challenges that these countries face, take into account issues of food security and rising food prices. Therefore, it is necessary to urgently and promptly find solutions to the problems of food supply to countries in need, while paying attention to all issues related to this topic.
Of course, it is necessary to reach a consensus on the grain deal, the grain agreement, as we call it, and take into account all the needs of the countries that need it, as well as the consequences of such a situation for many states and peoples.
As for the position of African countries, it is based on the moderation of the views that we profess, and on the fact that all these issues are based on our interests. The issues of financing and support from Russia are very important here.
The documents that we adopt today at the summit are very important for defining our strategic partnership, not to mention the broad prospects that open up in connection with the development of our cooperation, which meets our mutual interests. The direction of economic cooperation and the attention we pay to industrialization, agricultural development, and infrastructure are all important in the context of our cooperation and interaction with Russia, given the historical ties between our peoples.
I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that Egypt is ready to continue to contribute to strengthening and deepening our strategic cooperation based on the principles that we agree on. We are also ready to step up ties and relations between our and Russian organizations and companies. As far as the interests of our region are concerned, of course, it is important to take into account the efforts of the African Union, as well as all steps taken to restore our economy, develop it and strengthen peace and security in our region.
In conclusion, I would like to thank once again the Russian Federation and personally His Excellency President Vladimir Putin of Russia for organizing this summit and for the fact that we hope this summit will bring the desired results on the path of progress and peace.
Thanks for attention.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, dear Mr. President.
Relations between Russia and Egypt have been strategic for decades. It's just a fact of life. It doesn't even matter what is written in our documents, although it is exactly what is written there, but in fact, relations between Egypt and Russia are really strategic in both the political and economic spheres. We have many big projects in common.
Now I want to go back to what my friend and colleague said here about food policy ‒ deficits, prices, and so on.
I have already said, and I just want to repeat, that the difficulties in the global food and energy markets did not arise yesterday or because of the situation with Ukraine. They began to arise in the course of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, when many countries, including industrialized ones, closed their enterprises for sanitary reasons, and were forced to support their population and production in various industries accordingly. How? With the help of eventually issuing money.
In the United States and in the euro zone, there was a huge issue. In the euro area, it is slightly smaller, in the US-in a very large volume. The printed money began to be used to buy food on world markets, and prices soared immediately. This was also due, frankly, to a short-sighted policy in the field of energy, when, looking ahead, having no reason to rely on the effectiveness of alternative types of energy, they began to neglect hydrocarbons and did not invest in the development of hydrocarbon energy. All this has led to an increase in energy resources. In the end, this affected the cost of fertilizers.
This is one mistake after another. These are fundamental things that have turned the markets for food, mineral fertilizers and energy upside down. This is the reason for the price increase.
Of course, what is happening today in Ukraine, to a certain extent, stimulates these processes, but the root cause is not here. The root cause lies in the fundamental mistakes of industrialized countries in their financial and energy policies. That's where the root cause of rising food prices ends up. But, of course, we must also think about what lies on the surface, and we will talk about this again today, I mean the crisis in Ukraine.
Thank you so much for your performance.
I now give the floor to the President of the Republic of Eritrea, Mr. Afwerki.
(as translated) Igor Afevorki": Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin,
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak. Previous speakers touched upon fundamental and important issues that are being considered at the Russia ‒ Africa summit. They are important for the African continent. I would like to pay special attention to the processes that are currently taking place.
Through consultation, we develop a consensus. The second Russia ‒ Africa summit is currently being held. I think he highlighted some of the basics of our strategic partnership. In our partnership, we must take into account the serious issues that are currently on the agenda.
I would suggest the creation of a mechanism to develop a document that would describe our strategy and the development of strategic partnership between the Russian Federation and the African continent. This strategy should not be a general framework for partnership: within its framework, we need to move to specific areas of cooperation.
We need to develop specific documents for specific projects in each industry sector. We need to develop plans for a broader strategy that takes into account specific details, the need to mobilize resources. I believe that Russia, Africa, China, and other non-regional partners, such as Latin America and Asia, should work on such projects.
As for the plans, they will require resource mobilization. I can say that this continent has more than 60 percent of all the world's resources. They can be mobilized for the benefit of our projects in industry and other areas. The time has come to implement these projects and mobilize our resources.
I am confident that the Russian Federation has all the necessary industrial and production facilities to support such a strategic partnership between Russia and Africa, but also other continents that would like to participate in the implementation of our goals. But to do this, we need to develop a special document.
Perhaps we can hold the next summit, for example, next year, and by that time we should have a clear strategy, which would include a number of plans for each industry sector, as well as deadlines for implementation. It is also necessary to include in these plans the mobilization of resources ‒ financial, material, technological, and industrial. All this needs to be mobilized in order to implement these clear and concrete plans. To do this, we need mechanisms to implement each project separately. This way, we will have an integrated, inclusive approach. This requires a great deal of refinement at various institutional levels.
I would also like to add that the Russian Federation could provide support and make its own contribution: define a strategy, develop specific plans and goals. In general, these should be very detailed plans for technological development. Among other things, it is necessary to include specific deadlines for the implementation of projects.
As soon as we have this document ready, each partner can make its own contribution at the level of the continent, at the level of the Russian Federation. Global partners can also join our efforts to make a difference.
In 25 years, we will have a population of 2.5 billion people. We will need to solve problems, and it is better to solve them sooner rather than later. You need to think ahead.
I think that at the second summit we need to think about developing similar documents. We need to be ready for such work ‒ on projects and resource mobilization. We hope for the success of such a summit.
Once again, Your Excellency Mr. Putin, thank you for creating such a favorable environment for the exchange of ideas and considerations, for developing consensus, in order to create sustainable programs for the development of not only Russia and Africa, but also the whole of humanity.
Vladimir Putin: I totally agree. If we do not think about the short and medium term, it will be difficult to achieve any concrete positive results that we need today. Therefore, the creation of such a mechanism of strategic partnership is a very important matter, as a beacon that shows us the way, the direction of our movement.
Of course, this is a difficult job. If you also suggest comparing it with the capabilities of our partners and friends in other regions (in Latin America, Asia), then, of course, the best tool for this, or the best platform for creating such a tool ‒ These are consultations with our BRICS partners. We have colleagues here, the President of the Republic of South Africa, and we will try to promote your proposals together with our BRICS partners.
And of course, we need to think about how [to create a mechanism for strategic partnership]. This is a difficult task, especially across industries and countries, but if we want to achieve concrete results, we need to think about it right now. I agree with you.
Thank you very much.
Please give the floor to Oumar Sissok Embalo, President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
(in Russian) U.-S. Embalo: Thank you, friend.
Dear Mr. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Dear Heads of State and Government of African countries who are present in this Hall, the President of the African Union, Dear Heads of Delegations, Ambassadors and representatives of international organizations, Dear guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Vladimir Putin, and the Government of the Russian Federation for the warm welcome that our delegation and I personally received in this beautiful and hospitable city of St. Petersburg. I also thank the administration of St. Petersburg for its excellent working conditions, which are one of the keys to its success.
St. Petersburg, which used to be called Leningrad ‒ is, of course, a city that is inextricably linked with history. It was this city that inspired people all over the world during the brutal battles of World War II, who later also rose up to fight for the liberation of their nations.
Dear friends, Heads of State and Government of African countries,
These days, two international events are taking shape and becoming meaningful as they take place in St. Petersburg.
The first is the Russia ‒ Africa Partnership Forum, which has already taken place and adopted an action plan for the period 2023-2026. And today is the day of the Russia ‒ Africa summit. The goal of both the forum and the summit is to renew and strengthen the historical and truly strategic ties that shaped the movement of African peoples towards national independence in the second half of the 20th century.
Mr. President Vladimir Putin, Dear guests,
The delegation of Guinea-Bissau arrived in St. Petersburg, having done their "homework" at home. We have identified as priorities the following objectives of cooperation with Russia in three main areas that are important for the development of Guinea-Bissau: education, youth issues and sports; mining, especially energy resources; and fisheries sector infrastructure.
Naturally, the Government of Guinea-Bissau will cooperate with the Government of Russia both on a bilateral basis and in a multilateral format, in accordance with the action plan adopted by the Russia ‒ Africa Cooperation Forum. I can also say that we will use the full potential of our relationship.
I'm finishing up. Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, my dear friend.
You have drawn attention to three major components: education, energy and fishing, and food. We have good competencies, capabilities and financial resources in all these areas. We will work together.
Thank you for your suggestions.
Please give the floor to the Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council, Mr. Menfi.
:(as translated)M. Menfi Mr. President of the Russian Federation Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, Dear Heads of State, Dear Azali Assoumani, Chairman of the African Union and President of the Comoros, I also welcome the head of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki!
I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
I must say that this meeting, of course, tries to show the depth of relations between the Russian Federation and African countries, with the African continent as a whole, in accordance with the decisions of the meeting that took place in Sochi at the time.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will soon be celebrating the tenth anniversary of the decisions that have been made regarding the strategic movement of the African continent to develop our continent and maximize the involvement of its citizens in the pursuit of sustainable development.
In cooperation with the Russian Federation, we will, of course, implement all the basic principles of our continental agenda. We will develop the digital economy, "green" energy, attracting the natural resources of the African continent.
The development of Africa, which is so rich in natural resources, will certainly have a positive impact on the development of the entire world economy. We will try to change the models of cooperation with our old allies and fight for the establishment of fair prices for natural resources. We will oppose loans and credits that are so burdensome for our peoples, which, of course, leads to the" eating out", so to speak, of national budgets and hinders the stable development of our countries.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We try to take part in the development of projects aimed at restoring the railway infrastructure and producing clean energy. We will try to meet the challenges in the field of environmental problems, fight against hunger problems and do everything possible to help increase agricultural production.
In the current historical context, of course, we would like to remind you that the Russian Federation is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and plays an important role in implementing the plans of the African continent, which is striving for fair, efficient and continuous development.
Africa now believes that it has been unfairly exploited for many centuries, and although all countries have formally managed to free themselves from colonial oppression, we have not really managed to create truly nation-States. And now, together with the African Union, we must strive to change the system of membership in the United Nations Security Council.
Despite some unprincipled reforms, the West has recently continued to maintain its dominant position, seeking to exert all possible pressure on us, using financial debts to their advantage, destroying our economy and increasing poverty and misery in our countries in every possible way.
All this, as well as other circumstances, show that the Russian Federation can contribute to the establishment of fair relations between our countries and the BRICS community. For the past 60 years, the Organization of African Unity and the African Union have been striving for fraternal cooperation between African countries, fighting against illiteracy, against poverty, and for the establishment of a fair system, above all a well ‒ known South-South system.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are committed to developing this strategic partnership.
I must say that a number of African leaders have concluded agreements that are beneficial for us with the Russian Federation in order to contribute in every possible way to solving the food problem. At our conference, we demand that the United Nations take a realistic approach to our problems.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is very useful that we share a common responsibility. After all, it must be said that Libya, having coped with its problems, becomes a full and effective Member of the United Nations, ready to share and supply its natural resources for the benefit of the whole world.
We have achieved a ceasefire and are striving to eliminate all phenomena of national division. We are trying to create a common armed force. We certainly appeal to our army in connection with the meetings and decisions taken in the city of Benghazi, so that peace and tranquility can be established in all parts of dear Libya, so that we can deal with our problems.
We are committed to solving all our problems and are appealing to our friends in the Russian leadership and our friends in African countries to help us withdraw all foreign troops from our territory.
Of course, we are extremely concerned about the recent events that are taking place in fraternal Niger, and we are striving to ensure that legitimate authority is established in this country.
Of course, I would like to thank the Russian people and their Government from the bottom of my heart for the invitation.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, dear colleague.
You have raised a lot of important issues: These include food security, energy, education, and the digital economy. But, of course, it is fundamental that a ceasefire was achieved in Libya. And it is very important to achieve genuine national unity and prevent the territory of Libya from becoming a zone of confrontation between third states.
For its part, Russia, understanding all the difficulties of this process, will do everything that depends on us in order to promote this positive direction of interaction between all forces in Libya itself. I hope that we will have the opportunity to talk about this in more detail.
Thank you very much. I now give the floor to Assimi Goita, President of the Transitional Republic of Mali.
(as translated) But. Goita: Dear President, Your Excellencies, Heads of African States, Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I thank His Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and the Government of the Russian Federation and the Organizing Committee for inviting me to participate in this summit. Thank you for your warm welcome. I am very happy to be present here in St. Petersburg, in the historic city, at this very important meeting.
Dear participants, Mr. President,
The organization of the summit in St. Petersburg four years after the Sochi summit shows the quality of the strategic partnership between Russia and Africa. This partnership is based on a long friendship, sincerity, and mutual respect. This, of course, gives a special character to our relations.
Mali has no common languages or much in common with Russia, but nevertheless we have been cooperating since 1960, when our country gained independence. Regardless of the changes, our relations have become more intense and diverse, and this can be observed in various areas: infrastructure, science, agriculture, higher education, defense, security and many others.
Despite the geopolitical situation and the global conjuncture, it is obvious that the Malian people are mobilized, and our goal is to consolidate the strategic partnership between Mali and the Russian Federation for the benefit and happiness of our peoples.
Such a partnership is all the more necessary because Russia was able to show its status as a loyal partner of Mali in difficult moments, showed loyalty, dynamism and helped us in solving difficulties, accompanied us and respected our sovereignty.
This is very important in restoring peace, stability and security, and therefore we must now first of all protect our population and protect the territorial integrity of our country. This strategic choice is very important for us, and we must, of course, become completely independent and self-sufficient and strengthen our armed forces. That is why we, in Mali, have a military partnership with the Russian Federation.
Thank you for your support and friendship. Thanks to Russia, we were able to strengthen our armed forces, our security services, and law enforcement agencies. The Malian armed forces are now in an offensive dynamic, we have significantly reduced the number of attacks that were aimed at military bases, and we were able to ensure security in many places.
I want to thank you again, Mr. President, for your support, for the support of your Government. Thanks to you, we have made great progress in the fight against terrorism.
Cooperation between our countries is not limited to defense and security issues. We also cooperate in the field of human potential, as well as in the field of commerce and trade.
Our partnership is now experiencing a new dynamic on the economic and currency front. These are significant opportunities for us to strengthen our bilateral economic ties.
Malians are very proud to belong to the African continent. We have traditional values that are very ancient. We have a traditional culture, and this is very important for us. We share the principles of justice and commitment to traditional values that unite us with Russia. Today, more than ever, the fates of the African people and the Russian people are linked. We must face common challenges together. The establishment of the full sovereignty of our countries, the fight against terrorism, the fight against poverty, the promotion of rights and freedoms ‒ all this struggle must be carried out effectively.
We are facing a significant crisis in Mali. This is the result of NATO's intervention in Libya. Of course, we face various challenges related to defense and security. We are also facing the consequences of the COVID-19 health crisis. On this occasion, I thank all our friends for their support, and our Russian friends for supporting the Sahel region.
Mr. President, I would like to support your work in concluding a fair international agreement on the export of grain to the African continent. You have shown a lot of pragmatism and realism, and you have worked hard to reach an agreement between Russia and Ukraine.
We are committed to international cooperation, multilateralism and relations based on equality. All UN members must respect the basic principles of human rights and the UN Charter. We are also committed to this principle. We, Mali, support the Russian initiative. We call for consensus to protect the principles and values of the UN Charter.
We stand for a new architecture of international relations. Of course, this will require reform of the UN Security Council. Our community must do everything possible to ensure that a fair reform takes place. Human rights issues should not be politicized, and there should be no double standards.
As for the reform of the Security Council, it is now a very important issue in the framework of the work on UN reform. The African Union demands 10 permanent seats on the UN Security Council. We stand for stability, for security, and, of course, it will be necessary to reform institutions based on fair relations.
Indeed, according to international forecasts, the economy should have been in recession in 2023, but we need to look carefully at the economic indicators. And we see that the BRICS countries are gaining strength, they are a very reputable association, a very influential organization in the international arena. The BRICS countries are our hope. We hope that this will be a tool to fight against the domination of the West, that it will be possible to create mechanisms and opportunities for financing and developing our countries.
There are many complex challenges in our world, and Africa has enthusiastically accepted the organization of this summit. We believe that this is a very important event that will allow us to create a truly fair partnership between our continent and Russia. We hope that there will be no misinformation.
I hope that we will continue all our relations with all our partners, respecting the three principles of our republic: respect for the sovereignty of Mali, respect for our strategic interests, and protect the interests of the Malian people. I also adhere to the pan-African position, and the implementation of integration processes within Africa is important for us
Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, dear colleague. You said a lot of important things, and we all listened carefully.
But I would like to pay special attention to one thing. You spoke about your country's commitment to traditional values, and this is something that certainly unites us-Russia and the vast majority of people who live on the African continent, the vast majority of African countries. After all, traditional values are the foundation of our identity, our existence and our sovereignty. Of course, this is what underlies our statehood. So I completely share these approaches.
Please give the floor to Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique.
(as translated) F. J.Newsy Thank you.
Mr. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Dear Mr. Azali Assoumani, Chairman of the African Union, Dear Heads of State and Government, Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honor and privilege for the Mozambican delegation and for me personally to be in St. Petersburg to participate in the second Russia-Africa Summit. Naturally, we thank Vladimir Putin for the invitation, as well as the entire Russian Federation for organizing this summit, as well as for the relations of friendship and cooperation that are observed between our countries. These relations are aimed at mutually beneficial cooperation.
The theme of this multilateral summit is "For peace, security and development". What is it? We strongly support the principles of peace and security. This is very important for all the peoples of Africa. We also follow the principles of the presence of most or some of the African countries in the United Nations Security Council. It is very important for us that African countries are also permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
Naturally, in this context, this is the only way for African countries to make effective and long-term decisions. In 2023, in March, we also had a conversation in the Security Council on this topic. We also believe that it is very important to create a common fund for all countries to fight terrorism. It is also very important for building peace and supporting efforts to preserve it in Mozambique. It is also necessary to conduct a political dialogue at the international level.
Thus, we try to conduct this dialogue both within Mozambique and on international platforms, where issues of peace and security are also discussed.
Dear Mr. President and distinguished guests,
Naturally, one of the topics of the summit is the development of African countries. The development of both economic and human capital is very important here. It is very important to use human capital for the development of our country in various fields, as well as in other African countries. But unfortunately, the current inflation situation in Mozambique does not allow us to develop the national economy. But we are taking all possible measures to resolve this situation. And one of the most vulnerable sectors in this area is agriculture. In 2023, we had problems with the harvest, but we are solving these problems and increasing labor productivity in this area in every possible way. We also solve the problems of agricultural producers in agricultural zones.
For us, solving problems related to young people is a priority and very important. Young people should not be hungry. We hope to receive certain subsidies and assistance from international organizations. Together, we want to solve these problems and anticipate numerous problems in the future.
In this context, there are also problems: population relocation from rural areas to cities, climate change, terrorist attacks.
We believe that we should deepen and expand in every possible way the initiatives developed at this forum and summit. We must not only improve the mechanisms of international assistance, but also solve these problems ourselves.
Second. We should also cooperate in other areas, primarily in the digital economy, transport, science and technology development, and the production of value-added goods. We must also develop our cooperation in trade, business, and creating new jobs for the people of Mozambique. We hope that the situation in our region will improve, and we also hope that since the most important thing is human life, it is put first, so we will solve all the problems.
I reiterate that we will definitely continue our cooperation with African countries and, together with the African Union, we will continue to develop relations with Russia on the basis of peace, security and mutual benefit. This will be for the benefit of our peoples and our countries.
In this case, dear Mr. Putin, this summit will contribute to improving relations and cooperation that will meet the aspirations of the African peoples.
Thank you very much.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, dear colleague, for sharing with us your concerns and your vision of development prospects. Yesterday we had the opportunity to discuss all these issues in detail.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish you every success and hope for the continuation of the cooperation that we agreed on.
I now give the floor to Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal. You are welcome.
(as translated) M.Sall Thank you, Mr. Putin, President of the Russian Federation! Mr. Azali Assoumani, Chairman of the African Union! Dear colleagues, Chairman of the African Union Commission! Dear Ministers, Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank Mr. President Vladimir Putin for the warm welcome and all that you have done to facilitate our stay.
This summit is being held in the spirit of agreements and our traditional partnership. These relations began during the struggle against colonialism. Our relations are very good, but I think that we should continue to make efforts to make our economic cooperation even richer.
The potential of our partnership is huge. Africa is 30 million square kilometers, with more than one billion 300 million inhabitants. Russia is also a huge country. Together, our continent and your country are a huge union. We have huge natural resources, huge demographic potential, and therefore we can work and cooperate in various fields: agriculture, industry, hydrocarbons, information technology, security, transport, digital economy, and so on. But we need to build on adequate and pragmatic mechanisms ‒ for investment, financing and partnership.
You've noticed that I don't talk about help, because I don't really believe in help. [I would like] to reply to our young brother, our colleague, the President of Burkina Faso: we did not come here to beg for anything. This is not why we come to other places: we work to create a worthy partnership for the development and well ‒ being of our peoples, no matter where the discussions are held-in Dakar, Washington or St. Petersburg. We are fighting our struggle for dignity, and this struggle goes beyond the borders of different generations ‒ many Presidents have said this, as well as Mr. Denis, President of the Republic of the Congo Sassou Nguesso.
Each generation has its own battle. We are fighting a battle against terrorism, which is undermining our continent. But we must also work for the development of our continent. If you look at it this way, why is Africa in this situation? It's like a history, a legacy of colonization, of slavery, and it continues in the system of neocolonialism and injustice that we are fighting.
We demanded reform of the UN, reform of world governance. And today, it is these institutions that dictate the rules to us. If these rules are not changed, we will not achieve anything. That is why it is very important to work on the basis of solidarity, to work on the whole continent, because these challenges are very important.
We have some small countries that appeared after the Berlin Congress, which sometimes hinder our work, and therefore we need to continue working. We need to work on big regional projects. Africa needs many infrastructure projects: it needs railways, electricity, dams, and so on. There should be financing mechanisms and regional programs to develop Africa.
I think we will be able to work together with Russia, as well as with BRICS and other partners who will be able to respect our priorities.
As for our concerns, problems, our main concern is ‒ this is peace and security on the continent and in the world. We want de-escalation to help calm the situation and restore free trade in grain and fertilizers. This is what I have been talking about since the very beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. We produce corn and many other crops, but how will we work without fertilizers? Of course, we must lift all sanctions against trade in fertilizers and grain. I think that we will be able to move forward in this direction and also in relation to other partners. This will allow us to advocate for the lifting of all sanctions so that countries can return to normal free trade for the benefit of the entire population. I'll leave it at that, because I don't want to delay.
We very much want Russia to work at the level of the African Union in the field of security. We have an African Architecture for Peace [and Security]. We are now thinking about how Africa can continue to work. The Security Council has failed in its mission to restore world peace. Terrorism, of course, is very harmful to our continent. We don't see solidarity with Africa. This is a very important topic for us.
Another topic I have also discussed is the investment program. We must invest together for the common good and prosperity.
Thank you again for the support you are providing for the African Union's entry into the G20. Africa must be part of the G20 in order for the world to be more just and stable. Africa should definitely take its rightful place.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you, Mr President.
You gave good food for discussion. I will try to restrain myself and not waste much time, but what would you like to pay attention to?
First of all, I really agree, and even here everyone believes that over the past decade, despite the fact that colonial existence is a thing of the past, the system of neocolonialism still exists. It has been created, and we see this hegemony, as I have already said, in finance, in technology, in food and, by the way, in security conditions.
When we are told: "we need to live by the rules" written by someone who is unclear, this is an attempt to preserve this system of neo-colonialism, because they do not want to change these rules, and you just called for a change in the rules that have developed over the past decades. I totally agree with you here.
You also said: "I don't believe in help." You know, I believe, because if we help our allies, our like-minded people, then we also work in our own interests. One does not contradict the other in any way. Of course, you are right that we need to create mutually beneficial cooperation tools. As a matter of fact, that's why we're here today to talk about it. Here I completely agree with you.
I am pleased to give the floor to the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Ramaphosa.
Mr. Ramaphosa: Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin! Your Excellency President Azali Assoumani, President of the African Union and President of the Comoros, Your Excellency Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Union Commission! Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government, Dear representatives of various countries represented here, Ministers, guests, ladies and gentlemen!
Allow me, President Putin, to begin by thanking you, and also to thank the Government and people of the Russian Federation for hosting us here in St. Petersburg, for your warm welcome, especially last night. Thank you for a very delicious dinner, as well as for a great concert that showed the culture of Russia, as well as St. Petersburg, which is considered the cultural capital of Russia.
We also thank you for the fact that the artists included African instruments in their performance ‒ drums, we felt at home. Thank you so much for this.
Three years ago in Sochi, as African leaders, we promised to cooperate with the Russian Federation in a mutually beneficial way, in the interests of our peoples. In the following years, we saw major geopolitical and economic changes. We are still reaping the benefits of the coronavirus pandemic and seeing the consequences on our economy.
South Africa and Africa are very encouraged by the commitment of the Russian Federation to strengthen our cooperation in a practical way. This is especially important when we are charting a new course of economic development, growth and prosperity and when we are trying to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
We in South Africa remember with gratitude the support of the people and Government of the Soviet Union, as you supported our struggle for liberation, and also supported the struggle of many other States and nations on the African continent.
Today, our bilateral relations remain strong, and we continue to cooperate in the political, economic, social, defense, and security spheres.
We work closely together in multilateral formats, such as the UN, the G20, and the BRICS. Our participation in such forums as the Russia ‒ Africa Summit is driven by our desire to achieve the goals of Agenda 2063, which is the African Union's program for integration and inclusive socio-economic development.
As you know, you are part of the BRICS. South Africa will soon host the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg. We believe that this summit provides an opportunity to expand and strengthen global cooperation and achieve common prosperity for nations in Africa.
BRICS partners participate in the economic life of Africa. Thus, the South African summit will particularly focus on infrastructure development with the support of the New BRICS Development Bank, as well as the support of the African Continental Free Trade Area in terms of trade. The African Free Trade Area, once fully operational, will open up new opportunities that will be mutually beneficial both for the African continent and for our partners.
As already mentioned by previous speakers, and especially as wisely stated by the President [of Uganda, Yoweri Kagute] Museveni, African countries forge their own destiny as states and as continents. We have significant resources that can and should be used primarily for the benefit of Africa, so that the African economy can grow and ensure sustainable development.
As already mentioned, we no longer want to export the natural resources, mineral resources of our continent, we want to export finished products that have added value.
There should also be respect for what we do at the national level. We need to stop those countries that consider their wealth only in terms of the natural resources that Africa has, as they did in the past-they considered their wealth as the number of slaves they had, which they took from the African continent. Respect and mutual benefit should be at the heart of our actions in Africa and in our relations with the rest of the world. African countries, as sovereign States, should also be able to pursue their own independent foreign policies that are independent of other global forces or blocs.
The second Russia-Africa Summit is an opportunity to strengthen and deepen international cooperation, as well as partnership for Africa's development. We welcome the fact that it focuses on strengthening cooperation, investment, and contributing to the development of our capacity to produce finished goods.
The proposed Russia-Africa action plan for the coming years should follow the agenda of the African Union until 2063. Thus, it will be possible to make sure that this plan can be implemented through practical actions. We also need to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the action plan, and provide the necessary funding for implementation and achievement of concrete results.
Geopolitical unrest is now sweeping across Africa, and its effects are visible across the continent. We must renew our commitment to international mechanisms, reform them, ensure greater participation of the countries of the global south, and ensure greater inclusiveness and reliability.
In this regard, the reform of international financial institutions, as well as the reform of the UN Security Council, remain priorities for us. It is absolutely unfair and unacceptable that a continent that represents 1,300 million people is still not represented in the UN Security Council. In our interconnected world, we all suffer the consequences of conflict and instability in other parts of the world. We have a responsibility to work for peace, support the establishment of peace and do everything possible to end conflicts and wars everywhere.
We in South Africa strongly believe that negotiations and dialogue, as well as adherence to the UN Charter, are essential for a peaceful and just solution to conflicts. We hope that constructive cooperation and negotiations can lead to an end to the current conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
We want to thank you, President Putin, for hosting us and for listening to the African leaders. They arrived in St. Petersburg on June 17 under the chairmanship of His Excellency President Azali Assoumani ‒ Chairman of the African Union. Then we discussed a number of issues that, in our opinion, can lead to a settlement of the conflict. We look forward to further cooperation with you, namely, this evening we hope to consider how to implement a number of these proposals.
In conclusion, we hope that the Russia-Africa summit will play a key role in supporting our goals, namely: African integration, economic growth, peace and prosperity.
Thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, dear colleague and friend.
We agree with you on the prospects for the development of Russia ‒ Africa relations. We are in constant contact with you and will continue to do so.
Today, as I have already said, we will pay special attention to the situation related to Ukraine.
What would you like to say about BRICS? I just want to point out that this international organization was born right here, in the city of St. Petersburg, where we are now. For the first time, the leaders of three countries – Russia, India and China ‒ gathered here and agreed that we would meet on a regular basis-this is how the RIC was created: Russia, India and China. After that, Brazil joined the community, and BRIC emerged. And then our friends from South Africa ‒ South Africa, the BRICS emerged.
Our South African friends are currently hosting a summit in South Africa, and I wish you success. I am sure that this will be the case, and the meeting will be held at the highest level.
Thank you very much.
I give the floor to Mr. Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. I ask you to.
(as translated) E. D. Mnangagwa Your Excellency President of the Russian Federation and Host of today's Russia ‒ Africa Summit, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!
Dear Chairman of the African Union, President of the Union of Comoros Azali Assoumani,
Your Excellencies, distinguished Heads of State and Government, Dear heads of executive bodies of international organizations, Dear Chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki, Ladies and gentlemen,
I am honored to address today's plenary session of the second Russia-Africa Summit.
First of all, let me express my gratitude to you, President Putin, and through you to the Russian people, for the warm welcome extended to me and my delegation when we arrived in this beautiful historic city of St. Petersburg.
The history of Africa's development will be inaccurate and incomplete if we do not mention the significant contribution of the Russian Federation since the Soviet period. The Russian people stood shoulder to shoulder with Africa, providing moral, technical and material support to many of our countries as we fought for the liberation of our countries from the colonial yoke. This support and solidarity remained even after our independence – in promoting our countries, developing them, and ensuring peace and security in our countries.
In the case of Zimbabwe, we will always remember how the Russian Federation, together with China, intervened decisively in 2008 and vetoed us, which prevented the imposition of UN Article 7 sanctions on us. The proposal to impose sanctions against us came from Western countries.
Dear guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
For decades, sustainable economic development at the regional and global levels has been delayed by the evolving trends of strengthening international organized crime, increasing conflicts and terrorism, which hinder international peace and security.
We have such a philosophy in Zimbabwe: the country is being built, developed, and governed by its own people. We don't leave anyone behind in our development. Multilateralism and the strengthening of existing institutions, as well as the creation of new partnerships, are key to a new world order that is just and peaceful. This world order is already being formed.
In this regard, Zimbabwe highly appreciates the work of the Russian Federation, which has shown solidarity and provided support, guided by our common development aspirations and goals.
We thank you for organizing this summit. As noted in our agenda, this summit marks the beginning of a new chapter of progress, in which we will identify areas of mutual interest.
Moreover, this platform should provide an impetus for promoting our multi-level, multi-component cooperation in agriculture, natural resource use, industry, trade, infrastructure and energy development, peace and security, as well as technological and humanitarian issues.
The importance of strengthening and intensifying our trade relations by creating links between companies cannot be overemphasized-it is so important. In this regard, Zimbabwe is ready to welcome the presence of Russian companies at this summit to promote the modernization and industrialization of our countries.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Russian Federation for providing space for Zimbabwean companies at the exhibition, so that we can demonstrate the potential inherent in our economy and in our environment. Zimbabwe is open for business ‒ It is a land of vast investment opportunities in agriculture, mining, energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, science, technology, innovation, ICT, and tourism. And this is not a complete list.
The future belongs to digital technologies. We Africans need access to innovative inventions in science and technology. We count on the Russian Federation in this regard.
We emphasize that Zimbabwe is still under the illegal sanctions that some Western countries imposed on us over 20 years ago, simply because we decided to reunite our people and our land. My administration, guided by the policy of interaction, decided to be a friend to everyone and an enemy to no one. However, some countries have decided to act to our detriment, despite our policies.
We will hold general elections in August this year. International observers from selected countries have been invited to observe these elections in Zimbabwe.
I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that my Government is ready to hold peaceful, fair, transparent and credible elections.
In conclusion, Mr. President, let us take this opportunity to express our admiration for the steadfastness of the partnership between Russia and Africa.
We have a common path. Let us look not to the past, but to the future, where there are so many opportunities, where there is so much hope for the prosperity of all our peoples.
I believe that the Russia-Africa summits should be held more frequently.
Thank you, Your Excellency.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much.
Dear Mr. President, dear friend, Here is what I would like to mention in connection with your speech.
First of all, I would like to thank you for your assessment of Russia's contribution to the development of relations with our friends on the African continent.
I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that sanctions are imposed against those who do not want to live exactly according to the rules that someone drew. In this regard, we support the idea of the overwhelming majority of those gathered that Africa should play a greater role in the United Nations system, so that we all live not according to the rules that someone wrote for ourselves and imposes on us, but according to the norms of international law.
Of course, we will support everything that we discussed at our bilateral meeting yesterday, all areas of our bilateral cooperation.
Allow me to give the floor to the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
:(as translated)M. F. Mahamat Your Excellency Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation! Mr. Azali Assoumani, President of the Union of the Comoros and Chairman of the African Union! Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, Heads of State and Government! Dear guests,
First, I would like to address you, Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and thank you for organizing this summit and for inviting the African Union to attend it.
In particular, I would like to thank you for the warm welcome that you, your Government and the people of Russia have given us.
In October 2019, the first Russia – Africa summit was held, and today many people came to St. Petersburg for the second summit. And this second Russia-Africa summit is taking place in a polarized global context, and moreover, it is all characterized by a war between neighboring countries.
I raise this sensitive issue to emphasize the importance that the African Union attaches to peace, respect for and respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of States, the principles of neighborhood relations, and the resolution of crises through negotiations and compromises that would be mutually beneficial. These are the principles that inspire the position of the African Union in this conflict, in a fraternal conflict that has a negative impact on both countries and on the whole world. And it is on the basis of justice that all these conflicts must be resolved.
Of course, we are also concerned about grain supplies. The grain Initiative should work for the benefit of all countries of the world, and especially the countries of Africa.
Your Excellency, Ladies and gentlemen,
Within the framework of this Russia – Africa summit, the African Union follows the logic of the agenda until 2063, namely, within the framework of mutually beneficial cooperation. And our choice of partnership is a two-way cooperation to achieve our own development goal and take into account the interests of other parties. It was in this spirit that the first summit of our partnership with the Russian Federation was held, during which we adopted a declaration that included a framework for this cooperation. Of course, given the impact of the economic context associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and possibly insufficient planning for active, rapid action, progress towards achieving the goals set has been quite limited.
Of course, the institutionalization of partnership is characterized by certain conditions, namely the creation of a joint commission that should work on the implementation of the action plan within the framework of the adopted declaration.
With regard to concrete actions to implement this plan, it is necessary to act quickly and clearly in order to give momentum and activate this partnership and our relations in the fundamental interests of our peoples. But let us not forget the assistance that the Soviet Union provided in our struggle against colonialism and apartheid.
Africa is 30 million square kilometers, and this has already been mentioned in this hall. More than one billion people live on this continent, rivers, forests – we have a huge potential in terms of human and natural resources. And, of course, this is a huge market.
Your Excellency Mr. President, Heads of State and Government!
"For peace, Security and Development" is the slogan of the Russia – Africa Forum and the Russia – Africa Summit. As part of this slogan, we must ensure that all our goals are met. Among other things, of course, we are talking about energy, transport infrastructure, digital technologies, trade, peace, security, and development. All this will be set out in the joint declaration.
Of course, it is necessary to use all the necessary resources in medicine, education, and technology transfer to give momentum to all these changes. But our partnership should improve good governance, promote a multi-pronged approach to cooperation, and promote the development of international relations. Reform of the Security Council also fits in, to reduce the unfairness of all Africans who are underrepresented in this body.
Your Excellency, Ladies and gentlemen,
The functionality of this partnership is measured only by results. And with regard to actions within the framework of this summit, this summit should allow us to measure our partnership, the results achieved, and overcome all difficulties. Of course, it is impossible to assess the progress made in four years, and in this difficult situation we all have our concerns, but nevertheless we believe in this partnership. And all this is conditioned by the presence of African countries at the summit today.
We strive for concrete results that we will all take into account. In order to meet the various challenges we face, we should refer to the programme of action set out in the second decade of implementation of the African Union's Agenda 2063. This program could also be used as an example in the negotiation process between Russia and the African Union. Certain results could be achieved here.
The trade balance between Russia and Africa is in a state of equilibrium, but there are still many things that we could improve. Investment and trade indicators show that they still haven't reached the limit of our potential.
Of course, the energy sector also needs to be given a certain boost. In this area, we need to carry out all actions in order to develop a joint approach and provide us with energy and ensure the industrialization of all countries.
Food security affects the development of our agricultural sector, and we also need concrete action in this area. Strengthening security cooperation and the fight against terrorism calls for the adoption of a joint declaration in this regard.
My experience as the head of the African Union Commission has enabled me to learn from a wide variety of views from African countries, as well as to understand the common ground of these views and the places where they converged. We need to use facts and influence our daily lives so that we can improve the lives of all people in Africa.
I would like to thank you for your attention.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, Mr Mahamat.
We have already discussed this, and we will be able to discuss the situation related to the conflict in Ukraine. We, of course, agree with you that all contradictions should be resolved in the course of negotiations. But the problem is that they refuse to negotiate with us.
At the heart of the conflict is the creation of threats to Russia's security from the United States and NATO, and they – I repeat once again-refuse to negotiate on issues of ensuring equal security for all, including Russia. And Ukraine itself, or rather the current Ukrainian regime, refuses to negotiate. This was officially announced, and the President of Ukraine adopted a corresponding decree on this issue, prohibiting negotiations.
We have repeatedly said, and I have officially stated, that we are ready for these negotiations. But we can't impose these negotiations. Therefore, I think it is necessary to conduct a dialogue with the other side, although we are grateful to our African friends for their attention to this issue.
As for cooperation between Russia and Africa in general, of course, we worked together, our colleagues worked, our services worked accordingly, in order to put all this into the declaration.
We are also very grateful to the African Union Commission, because it took a very active part in this work. I hope that we will adopt this declaration as a result of our joint activities in preparation for the summit.
Dear friends and colleagues,
I want to announce a short break, we still have a lot of speakers. It will be small.
We will start the second plenary session in the format of a working breakfast.
Thank you so much for working together.
Yes, there’s more, but the Kremlin readout doesn’t currently continue. If/when it becomes available, it will be translated and distributed. What is available are the Statements by the President of Russia and the Chairman of the African Union for the media:
Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr. Azali Assoumani, Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to express my satisfaction that the main events of the official program of the second Russia-Africa summit were held in a constructive, friendly atmosphere and were very effective.
This applies to the Economic and Humanitarian Forum, the summit meetings themselves, and a special meeting with the heads of African regional organizations. We will also discuss the situation around Ukraine with interested African countries this evening.
A number of bilateral contacts were held with African leaders. We are scheduled to meet with all the heads of state present in St. Petersburg.
Of course, we are glad that the summit is attended by the delegations of the vast majority of countries on the continent, the heads of all the leading integration structures in Africa.
Representatives of African states showed political will, demonstrated their independence and a real interest in developing cooperation with our country. We appreciate this and are convinced of the successful future of Russian-African relations, which are based on the traditions of time-tested friendship, on the historical experience of multifaceted and fruitful cooperation that began in the earliest period of the formation of African states.
The main thing is that the summit once again confirmed the firm determination of both Russia and Africa to further develop and search for new forms and new areas of mutually beneficial partnership.
In this context, it is very significant that a solid package of joint documents was adopted as a result of the work. First of all, I would like to mention the St. Petersburg declaration approved by the leaders. It sets out strategic directions for the development of cooperation between Russia and African countries in the long term. The commitment of all our States to the formation of a just and democratic multipolar world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law and the UN Charter was reaffirmed. A joint determination to counteract neo-colonialism, the practice of applying illegitimate sanctions, and attempts to undermine traditional moral values was recorded.
The Sochi agreement to hold Russian – African high-level meetings every three years was confirmed.
In the period between the Russia – Africa summits, the mechanism of dialogue partnership will operate. Regular political consultations will continue between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Russia, African countries and the leadership of the African Union. It is also planned to establish a new permanent Russian-African mechanism for coordination on security issues, including such sensitive topics as the fight against terrorism and extremism, ensuring food security, information technology, non-deployment of weapons in outer space and climate change.
It is characteristic that many constructive ideas and useful practical considerations were expressed by our African friends during today's meeting. We will certainly take them into account.
Separate declarations have been adopted on many areas of Russian-African cooperation, detailing our agreed approaches and guidelines for further joint actions.
The large-scale Action Plan until 2026 sets out specific tasks for boosting the Russian-African partnership in the economic and humanitarian spheres and, in general, for implementing the decisions of the St. Petersburg summit. The goal is to qualitatively and quantitatively increase mutual trade and improve its structure. We are also talking about consistently switching to national currencies, including the ruble, in financial settlements for commercial transactions. Eliminate trade barriers, including by linking integration processes within the Eurasian Economic Union and the African Union, as well as its free trade zone. Increase exports to Africa of Russian industrial products that enjoy a good reputation on the continent, including machinery, automobiles, equipment, chemicals and fertilizers.
Our country will continue to supply our African friends with grain crops both on a contract basis and free of charge, and assist in the development of energy to meet the growing needs of African economies for hydrocarbon fuel and electricity generation capacities. Moreover, this refers not only to traditional energy sources, but also to innovative ones implemented through our Rosatom.
The Action Plan, as well as a number of other interdepartmental and commercial documents signed on the sidelines of the summit, also provides for deepening industrial cooperation and implementing joint projects in the information and communication field. In particular, our companies are open to transferring applied technologies in public administration, banking and other sectors of the economy to their African friends.
During the summit, mutual understanding was reached on the importance of activating cultural, scientific, educational, sports, tourism, youth and other humanitarian exchanges. Here, too, Russia has much to offer its African friends and colleagues.
Cooperation in the field of education and training will continue, and the number of African students studying in Russia will increase, including on a budget basis. Joint efforts will create branches of leading Russian universities and secondary schools in African countries, including those that teach a number of subjects in Russian. The relevant initiatives were discussed in detail during the meetings.
And of course, we plan to help our African partners strengthen their national health systems, improve their reliability, technical equipment, efficiency and resilience in the fight against epidemics. For this purpose, a large-scale program of assistance to African countries to fight infections until 2026 with a total cost of 1.2 billion rubles is being launched.
Our work during the summit will continue, but I would like to thank all our African colleagues once again for accepting our invitation to come to St. Petersburg and for accepting this invitation. I would like to emphasize once again that Russia is sincerely striving to build a truly strategic and multifaceted partnership with Africa, and we see the same attitude – to work together, hand in hand – on the part of our African friends.
(as translated) Mr. Assoumani: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
You said it perfectly. I can only thank you very sincerely, thank you, dear brother. I also thank all the structures of the Russian Federation and the Russian people for this fraternal and very warm welcome. I would especially like to mention the optimal conditions that were created for this summit to become a real success.
Once again, Mr. President, thank you very much. I would also like to congratulate you, because all the decisions you have made, you will not regret them.
We have indeed achieved success for President Putin, who invited us, but it is also a success for us, all Africans. If Russia wins, so does Africa. (Applause.)
Since last night, we have continued our discussions and today, in our speeches, we thanked you and noted the relations that have existed between our countries and Russia for many decades.
We know that friends are known in trouble. And it was when Africa was in a difficult situation, whether it was the period of slavery, the period of colonization or the period of apartheid, that Russia always helped us, and it was one of the first countries to help us in the fight against colonization, apartheid and slavery.
That's why we have a century-old relationship. Of course, I think they will develop in one way or another. Indeed, it is time to give this relationship a new impetus and move forward.
We discussed numerous issues that Mr. President [Putin] also mentioned. What can I mention? We note that Russia is ready to help us in education and training, because human resources are very important to us.
Almost all African countries sent their students to study in Russia, and all these cadres now work for us both in the private sector and in public administrations. We will go forward together. We know that Russia has all the necessary potential, and we need to use it as much as possible. We've already talked about this. We will go even further.
Yes, we support cooperation. In 2019, we held the first summit, but unfortunately, then came the period of COVID-19, and because of this, we slowed down the implementation of our plans. During this summit, we said that we need to create a mechanism that will help us achieve more and also draw a line, understand what we managed to do, what we failed to do, how we should correct our mistakes.
There are many candidates in Africa who are ready to host this summit, including the Comoros. We discussed all possible topics, the whole spectrum: energy, infrastructure. We have also demonstrated that we have our own African potential. It remains only to use this material, this capital for our common good. You need to take advantage of these capacities and create a product with added value.
Yes, we have gained political independence, and it still remains at the political level. We need to go further, we have capital, we now export our raw materials, and then this transformed raw material comes back to us, and we buy it for a much higher price.
We know that Russia can help us in this, and it has demonstrated its readiness. In fact, it already does this in many countries. This applies to the processes of industrialization, numerous areas: energy, agriculture, and so on.
I would like to note once again that I believe that we will be successful, and we are very grateful and satisfied with the results of our meetings.
We live in a united world and we want Africa to be part of the decision-making organizations. We live in a multipolar world. Russia will invest in Africa, but this does not mean that others will not come to us. We will create conditions for positive competition. We will have not just one partner, but multiple partners. I think that if we have two or three partners, it is even better, they will attract other partners.
Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you very much, Russia. You are always close to us.
We are creating a free trade zone in Africa. I believe that this is a good model, and it will also help us move forward and develop. As Chairman of the [African Union] I can speed up the establishment and development of this free trade zone.
I am convinced that together with Russia, its support and partnership, we will be able to implement such a project and achieve concrete results.
We discussed the issue of grain, cereals and their supplies. The Russian president said that he is ready to help us even for free. Yes, there are attempts to unblock the current situation. We will see how this can be done, how to ease this burden.
Yes, we know that now there is a war between Russia and Ukraine, and this affects the global economy. We were in Kiev and held talks. We will also discuss it with the Russian President this evening. We'll find a solution.
The Russian President has shown that he is ready to help us in the field of grain supply. Yes, this is important, but maybe it's not quite enough. We need to achieve a ceasefire, because war is always something unpredictable, and the longer it lasts, the more unpredictable it becomes.
President Putin has shown us that he is ready to engage in dialogue and find a solution. Now we need to convince the other side. I hope that we will succeed. We have stated and once again made sure that it is possible to do this, and this gives us optimism. We are acting as an intermediary: we will speak with both sides. I hope that we will achieve positive results.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.
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