Africa: Kagame in Sochi for Russia-Africa Summit

Ghana's President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is given a traditional welcome at Sochi International Airport as he arrives to take part in the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit on October 22, 2019.
22 October 2019

President Paul Kagame is in the Russian city of Sochi to attend the inaugural Russia-Africa summit, a two-day conference at which many African Heads of State are invited.

Trade, economic and investment agreements are expected to be signed, according to the organisers.

Roughly 3,000 African businesspersons are expected to attend the event.

Russian President Vladimir Putin invited more than 50 African leaders at the first-ever Russia-Africa conference.

President Kagame and his host Putin met last year at the Kremlin in Moscow.

The two leaders met less than two weeks after the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, visited Kigali.

During Lavrov's visit, the two countries committed to strengthen their relations in defence, agriculture and education among other areas.

Rwanda has had diplomatic relations with Russia since 1963 with cooperation revolving around political, military, education, human resource development and training and cultural ties.

In an interview with TASS, a Russian news agency, Putin said he was expecting "African colleagues, representatives of the business community... to Sochi with a solid package of proposals aimed at enhancing bilateral relations."

Putin said his country intends to discuss relevant ideas with African partners, systematise and reflect them as concretely as possible in the final declaration.

"Besides, it is important to identify mechanisms for implementing agreements that would be reached at the top-level meeting in Sochi," he told the news agency in an exclusive interview.

Rwanda at Sochi summit

Members of the Rwandan Government who are expected to take part in the summit include Soraya Hakuziyaremye, the Minister of Trade and Industry who will take part in different panel discussions, including "Financing as an Essential Instrument of Economic Growth in Africa" as well as "Digital Transformation as a Driver of State Development."

Francis Gatare, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board, will also take part in two separate panel conversations: Using Minerals in Africa for the Benefit of Its Peoples and 'Russian Geological Exploration in Africa: Looking to the Past and the Future.'

The Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete, on the other hand, will participate in a panel conversation: "Contribution of Nuclear Technologies in the Development of Africa," which will explore the possibilities presented by nuclear technologies to address existing energy challenges in Africa.

Rwanda has had a partnership with Russia in nuclear energy.

Late last year, Rwanda and Russia signed an inter-governmental cooperation agreement on the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.

The deal will see Russian scientists set up a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology in Kigali.

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