Russia-Africa Summit : Counting Gains Of Reinforced Ties
Cameroon, like other African countries that attended the St Petersburg event, took advantage of the gathering to identify further cooperation avenues.
Activities and discussions at the Second Russia-Africa Summit that took place in Saint Petersburg from 27-28 July, 2023 indicated the desire by African countries and their Russian counterpart to break new grounds. It was an encompassing meeting that gave room for key facets of challenges being faced by Africa and Russia to be put on the table for delegates to brainstorm, make proposals, sign MoUs or partnership accords that could permit the different African countries and their host to envisage a better future in terms of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Meeting at the Expo Forum Conference Centre in St Petersburg, delegates in some cases like Cameroon, led by their Heads of State made a critical assessment of what they have so far achieved in their relationships with Russia and projected into new grounds that they could explore to make the livelihoods of their populations better.
An entry point into the myriad issues that were examined was the Economic and Humanitarian Forum that took place on 27 July grouping scientists, academia, investors, researchers, politicians, and even students in some cases. This was the case with Cameroon where cabinet ministers took time to explain to Cameroonian students studying in the Russian Federation how they could envisage their return home to contribute to nation-building. Different officials drawn from specific ministries in Cameroon attended the Economic and Humanitarian Forum on Thursday 27 July where they show-cased potentials that Cameroon could bring on the table for various partnerships with Russia. If many learned of the partnership agreement on visa exemptions for holders of diplomatic and service passports, it was just part of the multifaceted package that the country presented in Russia at the summit and the diversified presence of government ministers in the official delegation of President Paul Biya could tell the story better. They all had key roles to play as they handled different aspects of the bilateral cooperation that Cameroon came to reinforce with their Russian friends. Before President Paul Biya left the Russian city of St Petersburg early morning on Sunday 30 July, 2023, he was leaving with a picture of the esteem and consideration that Russia has for the proposals by Cameroon following the bilateral discussions that he led with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin on 28 July, 2023.
The forum had “Technology and Security in the Name of Sovereign Development for the Benefit of Humankind” as a tagline. President Vladimir Putin who chaired the opening plenary took the advantage to make a brief evaluation of the First Russia-Africa Summit that took place in Sochi in October 2019. Thus, the Russian leader argued that: “Russia’s government, business and the public are sincerely interested in further deepening multifaceted trade, investment and humanitarian ties with the continent, which meets the needs of all our countries and promotes stable growth and prosperity. I would like to note that Russia-Africa trade reached 18 billion US dollars last year. It is an obvious result of the Russia–Africa Summit held in Sochi.” His assessment of the progress could not be without allusion to the tense...