MOSCOW, Russia – Minister of Industry and Commerce Denis Manturov said on Wednesday that there is great potential for cooperation between Russia and Africa in the industrial sector, adding that Russian companies are able to strengthen their presence in the African market.
“There is a great potential for Russian-African cooperation in the military-technical and industrial sectors. Russian companies are able to strengthen their positions in the African market through the correct use of its advantages. Russians over time, at any level, will do everything we can for this,” said Manturov, as quoted by the Roscongress Foundation.
According to the foundation, a large organizer of conventions and exhibitions of events both in Russia and abroad, decisions were made during a meeting with Anton Kobyakov, a counselor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and with professor Benedict Oramah, chairman of the board of directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
As a result of the meeting, the first Russia-Africa Business Forum will be held in October 2019 in the Russian city of Sochi. The event will be part of the Russia-Africa meeting.
The event will host the leaders of African states and Russian, African representatives of international business and government agencies, as well as integration associations in the African continent.
This comes as according to the new Africa Strategy in Washington that was revealed last month, when the US lends money to African nations or invests in the continent, everything is fair and beneficial to all sides, but when other nations do, it is practically 2.0 colonialism.
US President John Bolton’s national security adviser Donald Trump criticized China and Russia for pursuing supposed predatory practices in Africa that hinder economic growth and threaten the financial independence of African nations.
However, unlike China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who visited Africa nine times to promote large investment projects, the White House seemed more willing to employ its army on the continent – American troops are stationed in 50 of the 54 African states.
The renewed US interest in Africa is “a cynical geopolitical strategy” aimed more at “trying to maintain supremacy against Russia and China” than anything else, said Lawrence Freeman, an African affairs analyst.
“The Trump administration does not really want to help Africa develop. They see Africa as a pawn on a geopolitical chessboard,” he told RT.
Freeman further argued that, contrary to Bolton’s words, Chinese megaprojects such as the New Silk Road can not be considered “predatory” because they help African countries build crucial infrastructure.