The upcoming Russia Africa summit is looking to cement Kremlin’s position in Africa. The conference will take place in the city of Sochi, Russia on the 23rd and 24th October and is expected to create favourable trade conditions between the two regions. President Putin will co-chair the Russia–Africa Economic Forum featuring heads of state, government agencies, business bodies. Furthermore, AU chair Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will co-host the forum, which anticipates the closing of several investment deals.
According to Quartz Africa, the conference is an indication of Russia’s membership into the quest for Africa. This comes after other parties like China, Japan, and the U.S continue to establish trade and military connections with Africa.
The conference will also help Russia establish new diplomatic partners and a market for arms and goods. In the past decade, Moscow grew its trade with Africa from $5.7 billion in 2009 to $20.4 billion in 2018.
At the same time, Moscow hopes to achieve an influence similar to China. For instance, Putin has put continuous effort through diplomatic, economic, and military push.
While China has successfully established its position as the economic shoulder for the many African States, Russia might be looking for something different. Since 2015, Russia has signed over 20 bilateral military deals with African states. Besides, Moscow is looking into oil and gas and mining contracts with countries like Sudan, Madagascar, and Mozambique.