Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Summits (Forums): Are there benefits for Africa?

Article from AFRIC editorial
The summer and fall of this year were rich in the number of International Forums in Africa. The focus of the ongoing Forums is various: from issues of politics and armed cooperation, to investment and humanitarian cooperation. So in July, a Forum was held in China devoted to military cooperation with African countries, in September a Forum in South Africa is held, the main theme of which is to attract investment in African countries, and in October, the Russia-Africa Forum will be held, which aims to bring relations between the two countries to a new level.

In China

From July 14 to July 20, the first Sino-African Forum on Peace and Security was held in Beijing with the participation of senior military officials. Representatives of about 50 countries participated in it.

The forum signals: China’s interests in Africa are beginning to go beyond economic. China – the largest investor in the Africa Continent – has already built one military base in Djibouti and is not going to stop there. Since the construction of the base in Djibouti, China’s military presence in Africa has been steadily increasing. Last year, the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China conducted joint exercises with the troops of Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Gabon, and 2,400 Chinese soldiers took part in African UN missions.

Following the Forum, the Minister of Defense of Ivory coast, Hamed Bakayoko, expressed the hope that the meeting would help China and its partners strengthen the foundations of peace in Africa and around the world.

The Ambassador of the African Union, Smail Cherguy, pointing out the historical significance of the forum, nevertheless considered it necessary to remember that it was convened at a time when there are hotbeds of conflict, unrest and instability in Africa.

At the end of the confrontation between the USSR and the United States, Africa was almost forgotten. China has become the only major country to agree to invest significant sums in local economies. In addition, Beijing is less scrupulous about human rights, which corrupt African elites can only love. The Chinese, unlike Western countries, do not impose democratic values on their trading partners and believe that money does not smell.

South Africa

South Africa has traditionally remained the most economically developed country in Africa and attractive for investment in Western business. However, South Africa itself acts as an investor for many countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and also tries to act as a guide for Western business in other African countries.

The 28th International Economic Forum on Africa was held on September 4-6 in the South African city of Cape Town. The Africa Forum brought together about 1,100 people. The event was attended by 11 heads of state and government, representatives of business, international organizations and the media, scientists and culture.

One of the main issues of the Forum was the creation of sustainable employment for the growing population of the continent.

The International Economic Forum brings together leaders to create the conditions for the implementation of socio-economic transformations. Africa, like all regions of the world, faces serious challenges. For the region to flourish in the face of accelerating globalization processes, transparent governance, a competitive economy, and peace in society are needed. This can only be achieved through multi-stakeholder collaboration, “said Elsie Kanza, Director, and Head of Africa World Economic Forum.


The Russia-Africa Summit will be held on October 24, 2019 in Sochi under the chairmanship of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Chairman of the African Union Abdelfattah Sisi.

The Russia-Africa Summit is the first event of such a level in the history of Russian-African relations to which the heads of all states of the African continent, as well as the leaders of major regional associations and organizations, are invited.

Particular attention at the Summit will be paid to the state and prospects of relations between Russia and the countries of the African continent, the development of interaction in the political, economic, humanitarian, cultural and other fields with an emphasis on finding ways to accelerate and systematically develop the entire range of Russian-African cooperation.

The Summit will host the Forum, which should be a strategically important step towards creating the most favorable conditions for the development of trade and economic relations between the Russian Federation and African countries, and will also diversify the forms and directions of Russian-African cooperation.

According to the results of the Forum, a significant package of agreements is expected to be signed in the trade, economic and investment spheres.

Along with economic issues, issues of humanitarian and military security are of particular importance at almost all significant events dedicated to Africa. Many critics emphasize that behind the screen of economic terms of such events politics is most often hidden. Africa’s share in the global economy is negligible, but the independent countries of this continent have a total of more than 50 votes in the UN. Therefore, political support for the leadership of African countries is no less important for China and Russia than issues of economically mutually beneficial cooperation.

At the same time, Russia, in contrast to the rest (both new and traditional) players in Africa, has certain advantages. They are connected with the legacy of the Soviet Union. As a rule, the USSR left a positive memory in African countries. In addition, Russia has extremely interesting nuclear power projects for African countries.

Article from AFRIC editorial

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