Second Russia-Africa summit in 2022 to prioritize cooperation and information sharing

The second Russia-Africa summit in 2022 will prioritize cooperation and information sharing, organizers said on Monday.

Top-level leaders from the adviser to President Vladimir Putin, the Association of Economic Cooperation with African States (AECAS), the Secretariat of the Russia–Africa Partnership Forum, and the Roscongress Foundation met earlier in the day to discuss the event’s preparation.

President Putin at First ever Russia-Africa summit, Sochi 2019 
President Putin at First ever Russia-Africa summit, Sochi 2019

The day before the second Summit meeting, Putin sent a telegram stating, the first Summit “gave a strong momentum to the development of friendly relationships between our country and countries of the African continent.”

Oleg Ozerov, Ambassador-at-Large, and Head of the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum stated during the meeting that “The first Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum was a landmark event and achievement that made it possible to bring together all key politicians and business representatives from Russia and the African continent, establish contacts and agree on future cooperation areas. The second Russia-Africa event, in turn, will demonstrate the results of our efficient interaction and, above all, economic results.”

Russia has prioritized its relationships across the African Continent, setting a 2021 Summit goal of establishing more efficient information cooperation with African countries and developing roadmaps of Russian-African economic, scientific and humanitarian cooperation.

The first Russia–Africa Summit took place in Sochi in October of 2019, intending to foster “Peace, Security and Development” with African partner countries. The Summit resulted in a declaration, agreeing on the further development of Russian-African cooperation in politics, security, the economy, science, technology, culture, and humanitarian fields.

Under the Obama Administration, Africans from across the Continent traveled to the Nation’s Capital for a U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in 2014, the first event of its kind and the most significant event any U.S. President has held with African heads of state and government. Under the Trump Administration, the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit was discontinued. 

The Biden Administration, so far, has not discussed renewing the relationship with Africa through a high-level leader’s Summit.  

The United States hosts an annual business summit through the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), the leading U.S. business association focused on business interests in Africa. And although considered a high-level meeting for commercial interest, it is not a genuine replacement for the type of engagement and personalization that a leadership summit brings.

President Joe Biden delivered a virtual address at the African Union Summit 2021, hosted in Addis Ababa, outlining a “shared vision of a better future with growing trade and investment that advances peace and security.” Biden’s comments during the African Union Summit indicated a return to multilateral engagement.

Shortly after the Summit, The White House Tweeted, “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to working with the African Union to advance our shared vision of a better future.”

Consistency in diplomacy will be a critical path to developing trust and connectedness to African partners for any country interested in maintaining relationships across the continent. 

Kristi Pelzel is a Senior White House correspondent for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Kristi also covers the US Department of State and the United Nations. She holds a master's degree from Georgetown University.

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