Kester Kenn Klomegah

Photo source: Lusaka Times

In 1991, the globally recognised anti-West Soviet propaganda machine collapsed and disappeared. Nonetheless, Russia and Southern African Development Community member states have had long-standing and time-tested bilateral partnerships for nearly 30 years after the Soviet collapse. In this long-ranging interview, the Executive Secretary of the Community, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, discusses various aspects of economic cooperation with Russia, some strategies, challenges and future perspectives w...read more

Logo of the Russia-Africa Trade and Investment Forum

The Russia-Africa Trade and Investment Forum is one of the platforms that seek to promote business opportunities on the African continent and serves as a bridge between Russian and African business. It primarily seeks to deepen understanding of the business climate, accelerate investment and partnership possibilities in Africa.

After several years of high-level consultations, Russian President Vladimir Putin has finally hinted that Russia would organise its first Russia-Africa summit of African leaders and ministers to roll out a comprehensive strategic road map outlining concrete economic sectors for investment, issues relating to trade and culture for Africa.

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On 14 July 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin warmly received two African leaders, Gabonese Ali Bongo Ondimba and Sudanese Omar al-Bashir, within the framework of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. 

The New Times

Faced with persistent criticisms, Russia has finally announced it will most likely host the first high-level Russia-African Union forum next year, a replica or a carbon copy of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation or European Union–African Union summit, signalling its readiness to work towards deepening and strengthening multifaceted engagement with Africa.

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There is need for Russian and African business partners to know more about each other’s capacities and needs so that the significant potential of economic cooperation between these two parties can be utilised. 

News Zimbabwe

For more than two decades, Russia has been struggling to regain its Soviet-era economic influence, but such efforts have hit stumbling blocks which policy experts and Russian authorities themselves attribute to inadequate knowledge of investment and economic possibilities in Africa.

 

AFP

Over the past two decades, Russia's efforts to regain its Soviet-era influence in Africa have achieved little success because "times have changed significantly, for example, a new economic and political environment, new emerging challenges, new competitive conditions and new bases for cooperation," according to Nataliya Zaiser, a Public Policy Advisor at Squire Patton Boggs Moscow office covering Russia, the Eurasian Union and Africa, and also the Chair of the Africa Business Initiative.

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Kester Klomegah

Russia is implementing a number of large-scale projects in Africa. At the same time Russian companies are interested in projects focusing on mineral extraction, the energy sector, construction of large manufacturing facilities, human resources training, healthcare development, agriculture and food security, cooperation in digital technology and communications.

Over the past few years, Russian authorities have been prioritizing media cooperation and the use of soft power to address the falling image of Russia among the political and business elites in Africa.

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