Kester Kenn Klomegah, GNA’s Moscow Bureau Chief
MOSCOW, Russia, Oct 31, GNA - The first Russian-African Social Forum, organised jointly by the World Association of Foreign Alumni of Russian Universities and African Business Initiative Union, has been held in Moscow.
More than 500 people made up of political and public officials, academia, the business community, student and youth organizations participated.
Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, his Madagascar counterpart, Eloi Maxime Dovo, Founder of African Business Initiative Union Natalia Zaiser, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Azer Talibov, Ambassador of Cameroon and Head of African Diplomatic Corp Mahamat Paba Salé and Founder of Kwame Nkrumah Pan-African Center Samia Nkrumah, were among those who addressed the forum.
The event provided a unique platform to exchange views on the current relations between Russia and African countries and the prospects for deepening cooperation in the political, trade, economic, humanitarian and cultural fields.
As part of deliberate steps to upgrade its [Russia's] cooperation with Africa in this era of keen competition and globalisation, Russia plans another opportunity to take stock of its current efforts, explore the possibilities in promoting concrete economic cooperation by holding a Russian-African inter-parliamentary conference and a business forum in the near future.
The first Russian-African inter-parliamentary conference and a special mini business forum under the theme “Russia - Africa: Horizons of Cooperation” was held on June 15, 2010.
It involved workshops and round tables by business representatives from Russia and Africa and an exposition of the leading Russian enterprises and regions connected with development of economic cooperation with Africa.
The forthcoming conference and forum are within the context of preparing for and laying the way to a full-blown first Russia-Africa Summit, the importance of which President Vladimir Putin stressed during the 10th Anniversary BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in July.