Press Releases


26 Oct, 2019

Sochi, 25 October 2019:

The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and about 40 African Heads of State, took part in the first Russia-Africa Summit held on 23 and 24 October 2019 in the Russian resort city of Sochi, located on the Black Sea coast. Co-chaired by the President of the Russian Federation and the Chair of the African Union, this historic summit, preceded by an economic forum, was also attended by the heads of continental and regional organisations or institutions in Africa. Discussions at this important Summit, in which President Jean Claude Kassi Brou actively participated, focused on the future of relations between Russia and Africa, as well as the prospects for strengthening political, economic and cultural cooperation ties.

Activities at the event were officially launched by President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi of Egypt, Chair of the African Union (AU). “Africa is becoming a centre of global economic growth. Trade between Russia and Africa has more than doubled over the past five years and has exceeded $20 billion. And I believe that we are capable, at least, of doubling our trade over the next five years.” said the President of the Russian Federation in his opening speech, confirming the start of the new partnership between African countries and Russia.

A Final Declaration was issued at the end of the Sochi Summit. Among other important resolutions adopted was the establishment of a mechanism for partnership and dialogue between Russia and Africa through the adoption of a platform to coordinate the development of Russian-African relations and the choice of the Russia-Africa Summit as its supreme body, which should meet every three years.

In the area of political cooperation, the Summit agreed, inter alia, to develop an equitable dialogue taking into consideration the interests of stakeholders. The Summit agreed to work closely in the implementation of the objectives and principles of the United Nations Charter and to ensure that the United Nations plays an active role in international affairs, in particular in the maintenance of international peace and security, while coordinating the reform efforts of the United Nations and its Security Council, and strengthening its capacity to respond to current and emerging global challenges and threats.
In the area of security cooperation, the participants decided, among other things, to foster greater cooperation to address traditional and modern security challenges, in particular international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as extremism, cross-border crime and trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.

In the area of economic and trade cooperation, and following the launch of the continental free trade area in July 2019 in Niamey, Republic of Niger, Russia and African countries agreed to promote trade, investment and sustainable development with a determination to strengthen efforts for economic diversification, infrastructure development, and industrialisation.
The stakeholders at the Summit also decided to identify areas for economic, trade and investment partnership between the Russian Federation and key regional organisations in Africa, including the African Union, and Regional Economic Communities. What is more, the facilitation of cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and the African Continent was adopted.

Efforts are also underway in the area of legal cooperation, particularly in relation to membership and compliance with the fundamental principles of international law of the United Nations Charter.

Lastly, with regard to scientific, technical, humanitarian and information cooperation, stakeholders planned to strengthen their cooperation in scientific research, with greater collaboration between universities and major research centres and the organisation of university conferences, exchanges and seminars. They also agreed to explore potential areas of cooperation in the prevention and management of natural disasters and epidemics, to consider ways to strengthen cooperation in areas such as humanitarian assistance, the fight against climate change, drought and desertification, the prevention and management of natural disasters, and disaster monitoring and forecasting.

It should be noted that the Economic Forum that preceded the Summit focused on exhibitions on business opportunities as well as about thirty panel discussions structured around themes of major interest to the parties.

The Commission President’s entourage to the Sochi Summit was composed of Commissioner Mamadou Traore of Industry and Private Sector Promotion, Mr Dedou P. Jonas Hemou, ECOWAS Representative in Brussels, Mr Abel Essien, Director of Multilateral Relations and Surveillance, Jérôme Boa, Director of External Relations of the ECOWAS Commission and Kadja Eugène Etche, Executive Assistant to the President of the ECOWAS Commission.

Member States