Africa: Vladimir Putin to Woo African Leaders At First 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.
analysis

Moscow is playing catch-up with the likes of China, Japan and the EU, which have been meeting Africa at the continental level for many years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will launch a big catch-up bid for influence, commercial opportunities and co-operation on the continent at the first Russia-Africa summit which takes place here on the Black Sea on Thursday 24 October.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the summit and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan will participate in an economic forum before the summit on Wednesday, which business leaders will also attend, including some from South Africa.

The Kremlin announced on Monday that 43 of the continent's 55 heads of state or government were expected to attend the summit. The two meetings will discuss a wide range of areas of co-operation, including mining, energy - mostly nuclear power - agriculture, financing trade and infrastructure, military, security, including fighting terrorism and even improving the image of both sides in the media.

The summit and forum are being held in the Olympic Park which hosted the main events of the 2014 Winter Olympics. But the atmosphere will be far from icy.

Whereas Moscow and most of the rest of Russia are shivering in...

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