/ Go to the mediabankSecond Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaThe Second Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference is now being held in Moscow. The two-day event is a prelude to the Russia-Africa Summit scheduled set to take place in July 2023. The conference has brought together about 200 African members of parliament, Russian and African experts, Russian legislators, and other officials.On the first day of the conference, the participants held round tables on the development of multifaceted cooperation between Russia and African countries, focusing on the role of parliaments in the promotion of economic ties, as well as on possible legislative solutions to the most glaring socio-economic issues. In particular, African speakers expressed the strong commitments of their countries to further enhance Russia-Africa cooperation in various fields of mutual interest, indicating that Moscow is a longstanding partner. Russia should “go hand in hand” with African nations to prevent another economic colonization of the continent by the West, said Jacob Mudenda, chairman of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe.”When we come to Russia, we want to say this: Russia needs to go hand in hand with Africa. We have already experienced political colonization, and now we are undergoing economic colonization. Therefore, we call on such developed countries as Russia to work with us. Come to Africa to invest and create joint ventures,” he said. He noted that both his own country as well as other African states are rich in various resources, have a young and dynamically developing population, and that therefore, the GDP of African nations is expected to increase continuously. In this regard, he underlined that they need infrastructure for development, including railways and air transport, something Russia could potentially help with. Mudenda stated that African countries are interested in the development of telecommunication technologies and the Internet, cooperation in energy, agriculture, and water management. The Zimbabwean official also mentioned that there is a need to further develop trade relations between African states and Russia. AfricaSecond Russia-Africa Parliamentary Conference Kicks Off in Moscow Ahead of July Summit12:08 GMTTalking about the development of bilateral trade during the round table, themed “Legislative Solution to Economic Problems,” Russia’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Vasily Osmakov said that Russia is going to increase the number of trade missions in Africa this year.According to the deputy minister, a trade office in Ethiopia will open in the second quarter, and the possibility of opening a representative office in Nigeria is currently also being studied. Osmakov added that at the moment, there are only four Russian trade missions in Africa. However, he explained that the personnel of the missions in the West will be transferred to new trade missions that will be established in African countries. Moreover, Russia continues to expand an accreditation network of its trade missions in neighboring African countries.He also revealed Russia’s plans to create its own leasing company in Africa, which is expected to provide African businesses with equipment, specialized machinery, motor vehicles, rolling stock, and many more.
“A Russian leasing company is likely to be created on Africa. Now we are choosing a location for this leasing company, because the African market has this specific trait to lease a lot of things: from aircraft to vending machines. At the moment this work is underway," Osmakov said, adding: "The parent company will most likely be Gazprombank Leasing."
Apart from that, Osmakov noted that Russia plans to expand the insurance limits established by the Russian Export Credit and Investment Insurance Agency for businesses that cooperate with African countries. The deputy minister explained that insurance and credit are the key barriers for Russian exporters to Africa, saying that any financial hedging of exports to African countries is more expensive than the insurance of goods headed to developed markets. Representatives of Russian large businesses and state corporations took part in the conference, expressing their desire to enhance cooperation with Africa and dubbing the event as a great opportunity to do so.
“We have the opportunity to start a constructive dialogue that allows us to bring our countries closer […]. I would like the guests and participants of the event to notice the interest shown not only by large companies, but also by Russian business in general. Not only business, but also politicians," said Alexander Babakov, a vice -speaker of the State Duma.
The discussions were also focused on cooperation between Russia and African states in healthcare. In particular, Russia confirmed its readiness to support African countries in the fight against various epidemics. It was noted that in this field, Russia already has ties with more than 10 countries.Moreover, according to a member of the Duma Committee for the Protection of Competition, Irina Filatova, Russian pharmaceutical manufacturers are ready to provide African countries with export supplies of necessary drugs, technological transfer to African production sites, and also build factories for the production of drugs developed in Russia. Apart from that, Russia’s Sechenov Medical University confirmed that it is ready to provide its African partners with a comprehensive system for the production of drugs and the training of pharmaceutical specialists. AfricaRussia Delivers 100,000 Doses of Vaccine Against COVID-19 to Djibouti21 December 2022, 07:40 GMTThe heads of delegations from 40 African countries, who attended the Russia-Africa parliamentary conference, confirmed that they need Russia’s help both in economic and social issues, Vice-Speaker of the State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy stated. According to him, Russia is willing to cooperate with the whole world, but above all with those partners whose approach is “honest and sincere.” Tolstoy added that during the bilateral meetings held by the State Duma’s chairman, Vyacheslav Volodin, the heads of the delegations expressed their support for Russia’s efforts to ensure security and a multipolar world.
"Unfortunately, the current situation for us remains unresolved," he said, referring to the conflict in Ukraine. Nevertheless, he added, "our partners in Africa are firmly convinced that friendship with Russia is a long-term vector of their policy and development."
The vice-speaker highlighted that inter-parliamentary communication brings about an opportunity to strengthen ties both in the executive branch and at the level of heads of state. He noted that these discussions touch upon the topic of “general security without prejudice to other” parties, as well as food and economic problems. Russia’s African partners, he noted, “saw the possibilities of Russian business” and will return home with a whole range of projects, while Russian and African parliamentarians will work on model laws.