Moscow and Africa to embark on an ambitious plan of cooperation as Nigeria calls for more Russian investment in strategic areas
Russian President Vladimir Putin saluted the adoption of the St. Petersburg Declaration at the end of the second Russia-Africa summit on Friday, calling it proof of an enduring commitment to building a multipolar world order.
Representatives of 49 African governments attended the two-day meeting in Russia’s northern capital, which concluded with the adoption of a 74-point document outlining the areas of cooperation with Moscow, from trade and security to nuclear energy and climate change.
Afterwards, Putin shared the stage with African Union chair Azali Assoumani, who is also the president of the Union of the Comoros. In his closing remarks, the Russian president praised the summit for its “constructive, friendly atmosphere”and productive results.
The adopted declaration, Putin said, shows the “commitment of all our states to the formation of a just and democratic multipolar world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law and the UN Charter.
”Russia and Africa have also pledged to “combat neo-colonialism, the practice of applying illegitimate sanctions, and attempts to undermine traditional moral values,” Putin added.
Highlighting some of the measures laid out in the joint declaration, the Russian president said that future summits would be held every three years. Russia and the African states will establish “a permanent mechanism” to coordinate on security issues – including the fight against terrorism and extremism – food security, information technology, and climate change, among other things.
According to Putin, Russia intends to increase exports to Africa, from food and fertilizers to vehicles and industrial machinery. These commercial transactions will be increasingly settled in national currencies, including the ruble.
Moscow intends to send both commercial and humanitarian shipments of grain to “African friends,” the Russian president said. Moreover, Russia will assist in developing the energy industry to meet Africa’s growing demand. This will go beyond “traditional sources of energy” and into “innovative ones, implemented through our Rosatom,” the Russian nuclear energy corporation.
Last but not least, Russia will invest 1.2 billion rubles (around $13 million) through 2026 on a “large-scale program of assistance” to healthcare systems across Africa.
The Russian president also thanked a group of African countries for proposing a peace initiative for the Ukraine conflict, and said he will meet with their representatives on Friday evening to discuss the matter further.
Vice President Kassim Shettima of Nigeria in his address at the plenary said. “We call on Russian companies to take advantage of the vast potentials in Nigeria, being the largest market in Africa to invest in strategic areas and to derive maximum benefits.”
Shettima then commended President Putin and the Russian government for convening the Summit, noting that “it is very significant to Nigeria in many respects.”
17 African Heads of State, 5 Vice Presidents, 10 Heads of government, and some business leaders from Russia, Africa and beyond attended the two day summit.
Akowe with materials from RT/Reuters/X