Special to USAfricaonline.com • USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston
By AGGREY MUTAMBO
Russia President Vladmir Putin says Moscow will encourage African countries to table their own development proposals for discussion during the inaugural Russia-Africa Summit that opens on Wednesday October 23, 2019
Mr. Putin offered what he called a vision for cooperation with Africa as some 3,000 delegates continued arriving at Sochi resort city. At least 35 African heads of state and government have confirmed attending.
Against claims that Moscow is playing catch-up with its BRICS peers India and China and other rivals like the EU, Japan, Turkey, UK and United States, Putin said Russia would bring resources and technology to Africa leaving business and political leaders to determine how they are utilised.
“We expect that our African colleagues, representatives of the business community will come to Sochi with a solid package of proposals aimed at enhancing bilateral relations, while heads of Africa’s regional organisations will share their ideas as to how we could jointly develop our multilateral cooperation,” Mr. Putin said in an interview with local TASS news agency on Tuesday.
He also said projects agreed upon could be launched right away, suggesting they would not be tied to undue bureaucracy and conditions that have made African governments frown at project financing from the west.
The two-day conference begins with a business summit involving private investors and policy makers as Russia seeks to lift its business dealings in Africa where it has traditionally supported liberation movements with one eye on military sales.