Russia-Africa look to deepen scientific ties

Monday, October 14, 2019

With a week to go until the first ever Russia-Africa Summit, Russia has emphasised the need to expand and deepen scientific ties between that country and the African continent. 

The Russia-Africa summit, set to be held in Russia's Sochi city on October 23-24, will be co-chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

The Russia–Africa Economic Forum will take place on the sidelines of the summit and will feature a business programme.

The programme will feature a session devoted to humanitarian and social cooperation between Russia and African countries themed ‘Russia and Africa: Science, Education, and Innovation for Economic Development’.

Russian Science and Higher Education Minister Mikhail Kotyukov, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on Science, Education, and Culture Igor Morozov, University of Russia Rector Vladimir Filippov, African Union Human Resources, Science, and Technology Commissioner Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary George Albert Omore Magoha and Mozambique Science and Technology Minister Jorge Nhambiu are among the individuals set to participate in the session.  

The meeting will be moderated by Irina Abramova, the Director of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Participants will discuss what Russia can offer African countries in terms of developing science and education as part of the implementation of the African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063’, and what new opportunities Russia can gain from scientific and educational cooperation with countries of the African continent.

“We expect the diverse humanitarian cooperation between Russia and Africa to further expand, particularly in higher education and scientific research.

“Along with the memorandums on research, scientific, and technical activities that have already been signed with Guinea, Uganda, and South Africa, similar documents are being prepared for signing with Mozambique and Namibia,” said Minister Kotyukov.

The memorandums provide for joint work in such fundamental sectors of the African economy as agriculture, the sustainable use of subsoil, and the environment.

New projects are also being developed in such high-tech areas as telemedicine and satellite technologies.

Countries are working on opportunities and ways to increase the number of students from African countries at Russian universities.

Abramova noted the high level of interest that African representatives have in Russian education.

“The number of students from African countries who choose Russian universities is growing each year. Foreigners are attracted to our education thanks to its strong scientific base and high educational standards, especially in the field of exact sciences. The number of students from Africa at our universities increased by 130% over the eight years from 2010 to 2018,” he said.

This above all concerns the wide range of biological and medical inventions, agriculture, new technologies used in mining and geology, the exploration of the world’s oceans, and humanitarian research. –