From 23-24 October 2019, a Russia-Africa summit was held in Sochi, a Russian seaside town on the Black Sea. (Photo credit :tv5monde)
The summit brought together presidents and representatives from 54 African countries, including Rwanda, Egypt, and Nigeria. According to Russian Federation President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the summit will link the ties between Russia and Africa and will have positive economic impacts on two entities.
In the process, a so-called Sovereign Development Agency of Africa was created by Konstantin Malofeev, a close associate of the Russian President, for whom the purpose of the agency is, I quote, « to strengthen the economic sovereignty of African countries. » He continues, « in 20 years, Russia went from a colony of the West in the 90s to an absolutely sovereign country, a symbol of the sovereignty for the whole world. »
It is clear that Africa’s potentials, especially in raw materials, are immense and fuel appetites of all kinds.
After France-Africa, China-Africa, and most recently Japan-Africa summit, here is Russia, which puts itself in the game. The question is not only to know what these powers seek but what African leaders want to make from the opportunities and agreements of these summits and if they are apt to use all these opportunities to get Africa out of its legendary lethargy.
Will African leaders want the transfer of technology that will give them some autonomy in the future, or they will behave as fathers and sons in front of those powers? No one is fooled. Those developed countries are in Africa for their own interests, whether in the field of energy, raw materials, geopolitics, economy, among others, and not for the beautiful eyes of Africans leaders.
Russia is looking for new markets to boost its economy and expand its influence in Africa. It is already present in the Central African Republic and in other countries. Africa must play its part as a significant player and take advantage of all these opportunities to develop and improve on all aspects.
Komlan Mawuli A.
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