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Russian senator details future potential of Africa — RT Africa

The continent is developing at a much faster pace than the West, Konstantin Kosachev has said

Russia is trying to forge ties with Africa because it holds a lot of potential and is in a good position to shape the future of mankind, Konstantin Kosachev, the vice speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, said in an interview released on Monday.

Speaking to AIF newspaper, Kosachev was asked to comment on why Russia is attempting to befriend African nations, including by hosting a major international forum.

The senator responded by describing Africa’s potential as “extremely huge.” He said it was “developing faster than Western nations,” remarking that despite various internal crises and environmental issues, economies there are growing by 3-4% a year.

Kosachev also pointed to the continent’s significant demographic upside. He noted estimates that five African countries will be among the top 10 most populous nations in the world by 2100.

The African factor will increasingly determine the face of humanity. How can this factor be underestimated? For us, investments in our African policies are investments in our own future.

The senator also dismissed speculation that the Kremlin is fostering relations with Africa only to show that the West has failed to isolate Moscow amid the Ukraine conflict, pointing out that Russia hosted its first major gathering of African nations in 2019.

He also claimed that unlike Western countries, Russian does not seek to cajole African nations to join its side, but rather strives for “a mutually respectful dialogue” while finding common points of interest.

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“We are not turning African countries against anyone. That is not how we operate,” he added, noting that the US and its allies had been trying to blackmail the continent into skipping the summit with Russia by threatening to withdraw much-needed economic assistance.

Kosachev’s remarks come on the heels of the second Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum which was held in St. Petersburg on July 27-28. According to Roscongress, the event’s organizer, despite “unprecedented pressure from the West,” the meeting was attended by thousands of officials and entrepreneurs.

The summit also saw the signing of a large package of documents, including four key declarations, a four-year action plan and two memoranda of understanding between Russia and African regional blocs. The meeting’s participants also concluded 161 bilateral agreements, mostly on intergovernmental cooperation, education, technology sharing, and trade.

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