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Experts highlight 8 key challenges to the future of Russian–African relations, including the social role of Russian companies operating in the continent

Author: World Econmic Forum, Davos (Switzerland), Published on: 28 October 2019

"8 key challenges to the future of Russian–African relations", 27 October 2019

The year of 2019 is the Year of Africa in Russia. The first Russia–Africa Summit, held in October 2019, marked a turning point in Russia’s new strategy to return to Africa and promote major initiatives to facilitate development on this continent...

Russia is proactively stepping up its contribution to various formats and channels of cooperation with Africa. Business partnerships, civil society initiatives, and expert-level cooperation are gaining momentum on top of established diplomatic and state-to-state channels. These new formats include: Increasing participation of Russian companies in Africa’s security services market as follows – protection of high-ranking officials, training local security forces, and cybersecurity services...Political technology sphere with Russians being employed in organizing election campaigns and developing strategies for a number of African politicians... 

All this opens new opportunities for Russia’s economic cooperation with Africa, including both large corporations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Promising sectors include: • minerals extraction and technologies; • energy (including hydroelectric and nuclear power generating); • military-technical cooperation and maintenance of military assets; • agricultural sector; • aquaculture and fisheries production and technologies; • medical technologies and equipment; • cybersecurity and e-services...nbsp;However, there are a number of challenges and objectives for Russia’s African strategy: 1) Ensuring that Russian companies engaged in economic projects in Africa, primarily in raw materials extraction, act in the spirit of corporate social responsibility...2) Combining implementation of purely commercial projects with development assistance programmes in African countries (both on state and business levels)...

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