Kagame shares Working Lunch with Vladimir Putin

By IGIHE
On 23 October 2019 at 11:38

President Paul Kagame along with other African Heads of State and Government have joined host Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum attended by Russian and African officials and business communities.

Later on, Kagame, in his capacity as the Chair of the East African Community, shared a Working Lunch with Russian President Vladimir Putin together with other chairs of regional economic communities across, the presidency has tweeted.

The President also met with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the Russia Africa Summit.

Kagame arrived in Sochi, Russia yesterday where he joined other African Heads of State and Government for the first ever Russia-Africa Summit co-hosted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia together with Egyptian President and serving African Union Chair Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The two-day Russia—Africa Economic Forum to be held on 23–24 October 2019 is expected to many politicians and business leaders from 35 African countries at the Olympic Park Main Media Centre in Sochi.

The official event programme will feature a plenary session, and a range of high-level roundtables and panel discussions, as well as a multitude of opportunities for business contacts.

The Forum is an important and much-anticipated milestone in laying foundations for the promotion and enhancement of trade and economic relations among the economies across the African continent and enabling the diversification and deepening of economic collaboration between Russia and Africa.

As he opened the Summit, the Russian president has welcomed thousands of African leaders to discuss politics and business "worth billions of dollars" and promised to refrain from ’political or other’ influence, DW reported.

The two-day event will see more than 3,000 delegates from across Russia and Africa to discuss an array of topics from nuclear energy to mineral extraction.

All 54 African states sent a representative to the meeting, including 43 heads of state or government.

"We currently export to Africa $25 billion ($22.5 billion) worth of food — which is more than we export in arms, at $15 billion. In the next four to five years I think we should be able to double this trade, at least," Putin said.

Russia has dominated arms sales in Africa but this time, Putin has promised further African cooperation without "political or other" interference. This comes as a reassurance to African states who have previously expressed concerns about dependence on China.

Russia is hoping to sign a potential military cooperation agreement with Ivory Coast. The West African country is expected to send a delegation of 70 people to Sochi, including President Alassane Ouattara.

In addition to "military and security cooperation" with Africa, Putin also pledged Russian commitment to combat the Ebola virus with aid, and the training of "African cadres" by Russian universities.

"Joint projects are underway in extractive industries, agriculture, healthcare and education," Putin said in his opening remarks.

Russia had played a more crucial role in the continent during the Soviet era, supporting independence movements and training government leaders in former Soviet client states such as Angola and Ethiopia.

Moscow’s relations with Africa deteriorated after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, with China taking over as the continent’s key foreign business partner.

In 2000, Beijing established the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, pledging tens of billions of dollars into Africa.

President Paul Kagame along with other African Heads of State and Government have joined host Russian President Vladimir Putin at the opening of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum attended by Russian and African officials and business communities.
Kagame, in his capacity as the Chair of the East African Community, shared a Working Lunch with Russian President Vladimir Putin together with other chairs of regional economic communities across

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