Sochi, Russia — Malawi stands to benefit from Russian support in Agriculture, Education and Healthcare without conditions, unlike the support the country gets from elsewhere.
Opening the Russia-Africa Economic Summit Wednesday at the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia,the country's President Vladimir Putin pledged different forms of support to African countries.
Malawi's President Arthur Peter Mutharika is among the over 40 African heads of state and government participating in the first ever Russia-Africa Summit.
Putin told the African leaders and business gurus at the summit that currently, Russia exports to Africa $25 billion (over MK18 trillion) worth of food, which he said is more than what the country exports in arms which is $15 billion (about MK11 trillion).
"In the next four to five years, we should be able to double this trade," Putin said.
In addition to military and security cooperation with Africa, Putin pledged Russian commitment to combat the Ebola virus with aid, and the training of African cadres by Russian universities.
Russia-Africa summit is the first of its kind and has been organised by the RosCongress.
President Putin co-chaired the summit with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein El- Sisi who chairs the African Union.
President El-Sisi said he was hinging on the summit to launch an integrated framework of relations between African countries and Moscow.
He explained that the summit aims at launching an integrated framework to push Russia and African relations for broader joint cooperation prospects.
The Egyptian President pointed out that Africa and Russia share a common vision in facing new international challenges, mainly the numerous forms of terrorism, extremism and the decline in growth rates.
"Both sides are convinced of the importance of promoting trade exchange and supporting mutual investments to achieve security, peace and development of the peoples in the African continent and Russia," he said.
El-Sisi highlighted the "capacities and potentials enjoyed by the African countries, which, if optimized, qualify them to be among the emerging economic powers."
President Mutharika is expected to meet Putin later in the day and treated to a gala dinner in the evening with other African heads of state.