President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in Sochi where he is leading a South African delegation to the first Russia-Africa Summit.
The two-day event is expected to focus on key areas of cooperation between Russia and African countries. Discussions, the Presidency said in a statement, are framed by three thematic pillars, namely, Forging Economic Ties, Creating Joint Projects, and Collaborating in the Humanitarian and Social Sector.
“While in Russia, President Ramaphosa is expected to attend the inaugural Russia-Africa Economic Forum, have bilateral meetings with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and other Heads of State and Government attending the summit,” the Presidency said.
President Ramaphosa will also address the first Russia-Africa Summit plenary session.
The Presidency said the summit is expected to deepen friendly relations between Russia and countries on the African continent at both bilateral and multilateral levels, forge closer collaboration on regional and international issues of common interest, raise strategic dialogue between Russia and African countries to a qualitatively higher level, and contribute to peace, security and sustainable development in Africa.
The Russia-Africa Summit will also contribute towards the overall objective of addressing the aspirations of African countries, as encapsulated in Agenda 2063.
“As the continental development blueprint, Agenda 2063 calls for a people-centred developmental process that ensures, inter alia, economic diversification and growth in order to eradicate poverty, unemployment and inequality,” said the Presidency.
The participation of South Africa at this inaugural summit is in line with the South African Foreign Policy pillar of encouraging South-North Cooperation in various technical fields, as well as promoting economic development.
Bilateral relations between South Africa and Russia are at optimal level and continue to grow from strength to strength.
President Ramaphosa is accompanied by the Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan; State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo and Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
Deputy President David Mabuza has been appointed Acting President for the duration of the President’s trip abroad.