The Russian Foreign Ministry is preparing for the second Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg in July 2023. At the Russian Foreign Ministry, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Mikhail Bogdanov, has held a special meeting with the heads of diplomatic missions of African states accredited in Moscow.
Bogdanov briefed them on the preparations for the summit, as well as the second International Parliamentary Conference ‘Russia – Africa’ planned for March.
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Alexander Babakov, and Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Leonid Slutsky, made presentations on the concept of the second Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference. It was noted that the parliamentary event is regarded as an important stage in preparation of the Russia-Africa summit.
Representatives of the Roscongress Foundation leadership – the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Department of State Protocol of the Russian Foreign Ministry -took part in the discussion and covered the entire range of issues relating to organising the second Russia-Africa summit.
The African diplomatic corps were acquainted with the programme of upcoming events architecture, as well as the organisational and protocol aspects of the heads of state and government of African countries’ stay in St. Petersburg, as well as leaders of prominent regional organisations and inter-African associations.
The heads of African diplomatic missions expressed a consolidated position in support of speedily restorating the name of Patrice Lumumba in the name of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. In February 1961, the university was named Patrice Lumumba University after the Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba – who had been killed in a coup that January.
After collapse of the Soviet Union, the name of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba was removed; and now authorities are attempting a fix-back to influence African leaders so they attend the forthcoming summit.
Established in 1960, it primarily provided higher education to Third World students during the Soviet days. Many students, especially from developing countries, still come to this popular university – from Latin America, Asia and Africa. It is Russia’s most multidisciplinary university, and boasts the largest number of foreign students while offering various academic disciplines.
In a related development, on January 30 Ambassador-at-Large, Head of the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum Oleg Ozerov, also held talks with Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister for African Integration, Ashraf Sweilim, as part of his trip to Cairo, Egypt.
Ozerov emphasised the significant contribution of Egypt, which co-chaired the first such summit in 2019, to the development of this format for coordination of actions and comprehensive cooperation. The progressive build-up of Russia’s economic ties with the African continent, where a significant role in cooperation was played by Egypt, was noted.
A thorough exchange of views took place on the current state of Russian-Egyptian relations and the prospects for strengthening cooperation, including within the framework of joint activities under the auspices of the African Union and League of Arab States. The second Russia-Africa summit will be held July 26-29 in St. Petersburg, the second-largest city, in the Russian Federation.