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Russia aims to expand science cooperation with African countries

The memorandums on cooperation in science and technology with Mozambique and Namibia are in the works, according to the relevant ministry

MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Science and Education is seeking to expand science and education cooperation with African countries, with memorandums on science and technology cooperation with Mozambique and Namibia being drafted for signing, the press service for the ministry told TASS on Thursday.

"We expect further expansion of humanitarian cooperation between Russia and Africa in many spheres, particularly in higher education and research. Currently, we are working on creating opportunities and ways to expand the number of students from African countries in Russian universities in the coming years. Along with the already signed memorandums on cooperation in science and technology with Guinea, Uganda and the Republic of South Africa, identical documents are drafted to be inked with Mozambique and Namibia," the press service quoted Minister Mikhail Kotyukov as saying.

According to the minister, the memorandums envisage joint projects in such important economic areas for Africa as agriculture, rational mineral resource management and ecology. "New projects in such hi-tech spheres as telemedicine and satellite technologies are in the works now," he noted.

Broader science and education cooperation between Russia and Africa will be discussed at the Russia-Africa Forum in Sochi on October 23-24. With the ministry's support the discussion panel dubbed "Russia-Africa: developing economy through science, education and innovations" will be held, which is set to be attended by Minister Kotyukov, Deputy Chair of Russia’s Federation Council (parliament’s upper house) Committee on Science, Education and Culture Igor Morozov, Rector of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia Vladimir Filippov, representatives from African countries and experts.

According to Irina Abramova, director of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) and the panel’s moderator, the number of African students enrolled in Russian universities is increasing with every year. "Foreigners are drawn to our education by a strong science base and high educational standards, particularly in exact sciences. In eight years, between 2010 and 2018, the number of African students in our universities rose 2.3 times," the press service quoted Abramova as saying.

At the same time, Abramova believes that scientific ties between Russia and Africa need expanding and deepening. She refers primarily to a broad array of biological and medical projects, new farm crop hybrids, new mining and geological technologies, exploration of the ocean riches and humanitarian research.

Russia-Africa Forum

The Russia-Africa Summit co-chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will be held in Sochi on October 23-24. Leaders of all the 54 African countries received an invitation to the summit, more than 40 heads of state and government have already confirmed their participation. Simultaneously, the Russia-Africa Economic Forum will take place on the summit’s sidelines for state leaders, officials, businesses and integration organizations.