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Russia–Africa Summit

The second Russia-Africa summit will take place in St. Petersburg at the end of this July. The traditionally strong economic, social and cultural ties between the Russian Federation and African countries have developed rapidly in recent years. Various analysts argue that Russia's renewed interest in the continent is due to Africa's growing role in world affairs, the rapid economic growth and technological advancement witnessed in several countries on the continent. Africa is also seen as a new frontier for economic growth, investment and trade.

Here, for example, IMF data for 2021: the total volume of the African economy was $2.7 trillion. For comparison: Russia's GDP is $1.8 trillion. By 2050, the figure may increase significantly. The ISS Africa expects it to reach $8.5 trillion. Renaissance Capital analysts are much more optimistic: their forecast is $29 trillion.

The share of Africa in the Russian trade turnover corresponds to the share of the continent in the world trade. In 2021, the Russian Federation supplied goods to Africa for $14.7 billion (3% of all Russian exports) and imported for $3 billion (1% of Russian imports). The basis of Russian exports to Africa is food, mineral products and sensitive commodities, including weapons. African countries hold a prominent place in Russian exports of grains, vegetable oils, ammonia, copper products, forest products and radar equipment. On the other hand, the continent is important for Russian imports of fruits, vegetables, cocoa, tobacco, aluminum oxide.

The export business model with Africa is gradually giving way to an investment model. The investment one is actively encouraged by local governments through the provision of maximum benefits and preferences to foreign investors. Therefore, there is great potential for expanding Russian investment in logistics, energy, agricultural and infrastructure projects. Russian companies may be particularly interested in investments in the fuel and energy complex.

Russian corporations such as Gazprom, Lukoil, Rostec, Rosatom, Rosneft and Tafneft have made significant investments in African countries rich in oil, gas and minerals. Russia also has a significant military presence in Africa as one of the main suppliers of weapons to some African countries. Moscow intends to strengthen the African armed forces through military and technical training. Currently, Russia has concluded agreements on military-technical cooperation with more than thirty countries. Russia is also engaging some African countries in possible cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants for peaceful purposes.

If you look at the list of countries, then the potential for increasing cooperation is everywhere. For example, in Algeria, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria. With the solution of logistical problems, the markets of Ethiopia, Sudan, and the countries of the East African Union (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda etc.) may become essential for Russia.

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