The participants of the Annual Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and respective Russia—Africa Economic Conference summed up the results. The events were held from 18 to 22 June 2019 in Moscow. They became an important international discussion platform in advance of Russia-Africa Economic Forum and Summit (October 23-24, Sochi). The event was organized by the Roscongress Foundation, African Export-Import Bank and Russian Export Center JSC.
More than 1,500 delegates from 81 countries, including Russia, Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, the United Kingdom, the Virgin Islands, took part in the Afreximbank Annual Meeting and the Russia-Africa Economic Conference. (British), Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Germany, Djibouti, Egypt, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Israel, India, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Cameroon, Canada, Qatar, Kenya, Cyprus, China, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo Kinshasa, Cote d'Ivoire, Lesotho, Liberia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mauritania, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Netherlands, UAE, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Senegal, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, USA, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Finland, France, Chad, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Estonia, Ethiopia, South Africa, South Sudan, Japan took part in the Annual Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank and Russia—Africa Economic Conference. More than 290 Russian and foreign journalists from 25 countries were accredited at the Russia-Africa Economic Conference.
Dmitry Medvedev, the Chairman of the Russian Government, addressed the opening ceremony of the 26th Annual Meeting of Shareholders. He noted that Russian-African relations have a solid historical base. With this advantage, it is necessary to move forward and search for answers to existing challenges together. “The similar tasks, which are faced by our economies, are another reason for coming closer together. Russia and all African countries have enormous natural resources. According to certain estimates, they constitute half of the global resources. So we need to use these resources efficiently and at the same time develop cooperation in various areas,” stated the Chairman. Mr. Medvedev also held a meeting with Mr. Orama, the President, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank, within the framework of the Annual Meeting.
The Russian authorities were represented by Mr. S. Lavrov the Russian Foreign Minister, and Mr. D. Manturov, the Minister of Industry and Trade; Africa was represented by Mr. David John Francis, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Mr. Gabriel Aduda Permanent Secretary of the Government for Political and Economic Affairs of Nigeria, Ms. Soraya Hakuziyaremie, the Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Rwanda. The panel sessions were attended by heads of the following international and foreign organizations: Ms. Vera Songwe, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa; Mr. Albert Muchanga, the Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission; Ms. Veronika Nikishina, the member of the Board of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission; Mr. Hani Salem Sonbol, the Director of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, and Mr. Amani Abu-Zeid, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union.
More than 20 business events were held within the framework of the Annual Meetings and Russia-Africa Economic Conference. Those events were aimed to discuss the cooperation with the African SMEs in the Russian market, trade among developing countries, integration of Africa into the global economy, trade financing amid difficult global financial environment, digital solutions and cybersecurity for state and municipal purposes, food security issues, health and education.
Amid the current environment, the comprehensive cooperation with the growing African economies is of paramount importance for Russian-African relations. The demand for scientific and technological progress, the comprehensive introduction and application of Russian innovative developments in such sectors of the African economy as agriculture, green energy, health care, and municipal government come to the fore. The evidence is the increased interest of experts, businessmen, and leaders of government institutions of African countries, who came to Moscow to participate in s the Afreximbank Annual Meetings
Andrei Slepnev, the REC’s leader, expressed confidence that Russia has all the prerequisites to strengthen its position in the region by investing in existing and emerging established value chains. This will provide an opportunity to gain a foothold in Africa for the perspective.
We have good reason to believe that Russian export to Africa is gradually growing. Since 2015, the export grew approx. by 23% annually. Africa is a sales market with enormous potential. The ongoing economic modernization contributes to the upcoming serious infrastructural changes, which means that the need for high-quality competitive products is increasing. In this regard, the African countries are our strategic trading partners. Our expertise demonstrates the competitiveness of a number of Russian products in the African market. It is important that the domestic business has the necessary competence to successfully approach this fast-growing market, and REC creates the respective environment to do this
The key events within the Afreximbank Annual Meetings included the meeting of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank, the presentation of Afreximbank’s strategy aimed at the cooperation with export trading companies, the African Trade Report for 2019, and the Annual Meeting of Shareholders of the African Export-Import Bank.
A number of documents were signed within the framework of the Economic Conference, including:
• Memorandum of Understanding between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Sinara-Transport Machines JSC (STM);
• Memorandum of Understanding between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Transmashholding Joint-Stock Company (Transmashholding JSC) and Russian Export Center Joint-Stock Company (REC);
• Memorandum of Understanding between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Avelar Solar Technology Limited Liability Company (AST LLC) and Russian Export Center Joint-Stock Company (REC);
• Memorandum of Understanding between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Chelyabinsk Pipe Plant Public Joint-Stock Company (ChTPZ PJSC) and Russian Export Center Joint-Stock Company (REC);
• Memorandum of Understanding between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Kolon World Investment Company and Opaya Es A Group;
• Agreement on cooperation between the Roscongress Foundation, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Russian Export Center Joint-Stock Company (REC)
In addition to an extensive business program, the organizers of the Annual Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank and the Economic Conference offered the guests and delegates excursion tours and exciting culture overload.