Assessment of international experts of Summit «Russia-Africa»

On July 27-28, the Second Summit «Russia-Africa» was held in St. Petersburg, in which about 49 countries took part? Where more than a half of them were represented at the level of top officials. At the Summit the attention was paid to the economics and humanitarian situation? Also 4 declarations, 2 memorandums and 1 plan of actions were adopted, covering various areas of Russian-African cooperation. They also reached an agreement to hold Summit every three years on a permanent basis.

As, Juan Martin-Gonzalez-Cabañas, Adviser in the international youth relations committee of Justicialista party, noted:

«In July 2023, Africa loudly declared about multipolarity and sovereignty, while Latin America continues to try to wake up»

The expert also focused on the historical past of African countries:

«Specifically, Africans have had a bad experience of the period of European colonialism and neo-colonialism and they are looking for their own frontier of autonomy, and they are also using the global context of conflicts and competition to gain an advantage and act together to increase their negotiating position. Some Africans leaders have shown signs of national pride and sovereignty, positions that some Latin American leaders could learn from»

He also appreciated the contribution of the countries of the continent to the formation of a multipolar world:

«African countries that try to consolidate made a bold bet to enter the emerging multipolar world by their presence at Summit «Russia-Africa» in St. Petersburg. As the latest Summit with Russia showed, African countries have sought to break with Western neo-colonialism by promoting concerted African actions with new partners, such as China and Russia»

In its turn, the author of the book “Africa: Our history, our people (África: Nossa História, Nossa Gente) and Master and PhD in pedagogy, Ademir Barros dos Santos, having the direct affiliation to Africa, assessed the Summit as a promising platform for interaction.

«I, an African from the sixth region, taking part in the portion shaped in Brazil by the confluence with the European culture produced from Portugal, deeply congratulate the possibility of Russia-Africa integration and cooperation, especially for the opportunity it presents to reflect and enhance the group called BRICS, in which Russia, an unquestionable global power, participates along with South Africa and Brazil, a potential and expected direct and indirect beneficiary of this collaboration».

Francisco Carlos Ribeiro, PhD in Economics and member of the Centro Paula Souza - Faculdade de Tecnologia José Crespo Gonzales (Sorocaba College of Technology) of Brazil, shared his impressions of the outcome of the summit:

«After reading the Declaration of the Summit «Russia-Africa», I felt very joyful and optimistic. The Declaration of the Summit «Russia-Africa» indicates the need for respect the sovereignty of countries. Despite the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the Declaration sheds light on the importance of respecting the sovereignty and self-determination of the people all over the world, and also emphasizes the importance of self-reflection, including trying to find a solution for a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russians and Ukrainians»

Francisco Ribeiro separately assesses the importance of environmentally friendly activities:

“Secondly, attention is paid to renewable energy sources and the necessity to care for the environment and makes sure that business activities should be eco-friendlier, since the protection of the planet depends on such behavior”

He also noted the problem of the functioning of the UN Security Council:

«It is important to consider the fact that both Russians and Africans are concerned about the activities of the UN Security Council. The inclusion of Africa in the Council sheds more light on terrorism and other conflicts, removing the historical injustice regarding the common history of the African continent with European countries. Allowing wider participation in UN decisions, in as many councils as possible, not only enhances Africa's credibility, but ensures fairness»

According to the expert, it is important to develop cooperation between the countries of Africa and Russia, both in economic terms and in cultural aspects:

«Besides, economic and scientific cooperation is fundamental, as Russia has a wealth of experience and public policies that Africa could benefit from. Moreover, it is necessary to spread public policy in Africa, while understanding African culture. African culture embodies certain characteristics, such as the Axé or Ubuntu value system, and public policy should aim to integrate Russian experience in public policy with these specific aspects of African culture»

Ribeiro considers it necessary to develop the Center for African-Russian databases, the Center for Big Data on Russian-African cooperation, in order to carry out better development of public policy.

Stella Khorosheva, the current Editor-in-Chief of the publication Sovranita Popolare, shared her good opinion about the summit, evaluating the second Summit «Russia-Africa» as a good contribution to the friendship of people, as a guarantee of peace.

«Much water has flowed under the bridge since the creation of the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union) in 1963. The first stage of decolonization on the continent gave people a holiday that is celebrated to this day as Africa Day. With the collapse of the USSR, the split went through many countries: Sudan and Ethiopia (legally) and Somalia and Libya (de facto). Some countries are still at war. All this puts before a choice: either continue to adapt to arrogance and deceit, or create an alliance based on trust and respect for the interests of all parties. That is why the first Russia-Africa summit was held under the motto “For Peace, Security and Development. The continent has the potential to provide a set of organizational, managerial, production and technological processes that ensure the effective organization of traffic. China has embarked on the Belt and Road Initiative, in which African countries at the crossroads of land and sea trade routes play an important role. The implementation of commercial transportation in North Africa is beneficial, balancing the development of the north and south of the continent»

In its turn, the Summit «Russia-Africa» was also appreciated by the director of ANSRO “Institute of Psychological and Economic Research”, Doctor of Economics, Alexander Nikolayevich Neverov, in his opinion:

«Africa today is one of the most significant regions for shaping the future of the world economics. In its history, Africa has gone through at least three stages: 1) the pre-European period, about which, unfortunately, only fragmentary data are available, and even then from specialists; 2) the colonial period, in which it was Africa, along with South America and Southeast Asia, that was the source of Europe's economic growth; 3) post-colonial, within which, by historical standards, not much time has passed, less than 100 years»

Describing these periods, which are closely related to changes in the world order on the planet as a whole, the expert noted:

«The pre-colonial period of free Africa ended in parallel with the formation of a Eurocentric world order in the framework of the so-called Great Geographical Discoveries.

Colonial following the formation of a new world order and the beginning of the Cold War between NATO and the socialist bloc.

Now there is a transition to a new world order, which is usually predicted as polycentric. And here again the role of Africa is key»

Speaking about the human capital and resource potential of Africa, the director of ANSRO "IPER" emphasized the advantages of the continent:

«Africa has about a billion people, huge explored and even unexplored reserves of rare earth metals, gold and other resources. Africa and the Asian part of Russia are the best-preserved areas of the biosphere, true nature, on Earth. And nature is one of the key deficits for rich countries»

He also adds that:

«This, and much more, determines Africa's key role in world development in the coming decades. If the West succeeds in returning the African continent to a state of neo-colony, it will receive a new impetus to dominance and a new stage of Western-centric globalization. If African states become really sovereign and are able to realize and protect the interests of their citizens, then there will be no alternative to a polycentric world»

The expert, among the advantages of the Russian Federation, noted the positive image of our country:

«Russia, as the legal successor of the Soviet Union, is traditionally perceived in Africa as a natural ally on the path of sovereign development. And it is very good that our country is becoming more and more aware of itself in this status. Therefore, today and in the near future, Africa and Russia are key partners for each other, giving each other a chance for sustainable peaceful development»

The promising areas of Russian-African cooperation were energy, security, science, education, agriculture, peaceful atom, etc.:

«Naturally, relations are the first to be restored in those areas where the memory of the productive experience of cooperation is still alive. Russia is of interest to Africa as an exporter of security, a leader in peaceful nuclear technologies and resource extraction, in education and science, and also as an investor. Africa for Russia is a good market for strategic investment, an importer of food and fertilizers, a partner in value chains»

One of the most important outcomes was the mutual interest of Russia and Africa in each other:

«Africa really needs a sovereign Russia, probably because not a single region of the world needs it. And Russia really needs sovereign partners on the African continent. And in this sense, mutual interest can hardly be overestimated. It is no coincidence that so many leaders of African states come to the Forum in 2023. All this makes it possible to expect quick and strategic results from the Russia-Africa forum in all areas: from humanitarian to the development of mutual investments and business projects»



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