MOSCOW, May 5. /TASS/. /TASS/. The African Union (AU) places great importance on its ties with Russia, which may play a key role in ensuring stability in Africa and facilitate the industrial development of the continent, Head of AU Strategic Partnerships Levi Uche Madueke said in an interview with TASS on Wednesday.
"The issue of peace and security is <…> where Russia can play a key role. Issues relating to supporting Africa in industrialization, Russia can play a key role there. We have issues of infrastructure, issues of energy. We believe that Russia has a know-how to play a key role in this area," he stated, adding that Russia can also cooperate with Africa on issues of cyber-security. "The important thing is to identify very few areas, so that we will be able to work with Russia to deliver concrete results without engaging in too many things and not being able to deliver any," he pointed out.
The commentator reminded that the second Russia-Africa summit would take place in 2022. The summit should facilitate the further development of Russia’s relations with African states. He noted that Africa has traditionally good ties with Russia, and the goal right now is to formalize them. Madueke hoped that the second Russia-Africa summit will facilitate this process.
Madueke added that the main goal of Russia and Africa is to determine potential areas for cooperation and involve private businesses in the bilateral relationship.
"There is no political dialogue <…> that will ever result into any tangible things if we don’t involve the private sector," he stressed. "We believe that with Russia, we will be able to join the private sector from Russia and the private sector from Africa to actually work together."
The first Russia-Africa summit was held in Sochi on October 23-24, 2019 under the co-chairmanship of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The summit was attended by representatives of all 54 countries of the continent, and 43 of them were represented at the top level.
Africa at EXPO 2020
Madueke is currently in Dubai at the Expo 2020 International Participants Meeting. According to him, the global community currently does not understand that there is positive change happening in Africa, and African states will try to remedy the incorrect assumptions about the African continent at the upcoming event.
"There are a lot of things that are going on in Africa that the world is yet to know about," he said. "We want to correct an impression about Africa. It has been said that Africa is a war-torn zone, Africa is not stable, there’s no peace in Africa. <…> We know that there are many areas that have conflicts, it’s not something that is peculiar to Africa. Issues of conflict, misunderstanding are peculiar to the human race. And it all depends on how you manage it. Africa is doing very well in managing these issues."
Madueke assured that Africa is a safe place for investment and tourism. "Tourism is one of the key areas of interest. <…> We have a lot of good sights in Africa, good things to learn, and we want to encourage that kind of relationship. We believe that with Russia, we will be able to advance that."
World Expos have been held since 1851, they are the most large-scale global platforms for the presentation of new achievements and state-of-the-art technologies. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EXPO 2020 was postponed. It will be held in Dubai from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. This is the first global expo to be held in the Middle East. Japan’s Osaka plans to host EXPO 2025.
In late April, Russia was the first country to apply for hosting EXPO 2030. If Russia is selected as a host, the expo will be held in Moscow.