By Sarah Munthali in Sochi, Russia
Government says it expects Russia to invest in Malawi’s technology, energy and mining sectors to help in the economic development process of the country.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Kasaila expressed the hope Sunday in Sochi, Russia ahead of the first Russia-Africa Summit to be held on 23 and 24th October, 2019.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin will host 35 African Heads of State and Government to the summit in the Black Sea Resort City of Sochi, Russia aimed at renewing Russian-Africa cooperation.
President Arthur Peter Mutharika will attend the summit.
“We are pleased that we are getting more countries involved in the development of our continent and Malawi in particular.
“It is good that with the coming in of Russia, we have more stakeholders in the development process of the country,” he said.
Kasaila said Malawi and other African countries have an opportunity to woo investors from Russia who can bring technology and invest in the country to create more opportunities for Malawians.
“Russia is a huge country; it has technology, experience, manpower and, therefore, it is good for us in Africa.
“But as Africa, we would like to see to it that we are able to create opportunity for our youths because they are in majority. If we cannot attract investors to invest in Africa then these youths will be forcing themselves to travel out of Africa which is a challenge,” he explained.
Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Salim Bagus echoed Kasaila’s sentiments saying Malawi would specifically woo investors in energy and mining.
“This is a great opportunity for Malawi. After our discussions during the economic forum to be held this week, we will open trade links with Russia.
“We have brought officials from Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) to identify other possible areas of trade where Russian companies can invest,” he said.
Bagus also said Malawi needs serious investors in energy and mining sector hence the need for Russian companies to invest and explore mining in the country.
In his pre-address statement to participants to the Russia-Africa summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the forum would help identify new areas and forms of cooperation.
He also put forward promising joint initiatives that would bring the collaboration between Russia and Africa to qualitatively new level and contribute to the development of economies and the prosperity of the people.
The summit will be preceded by an open plenary session of the Russian-African Forum which will be addressed by President Putin and Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah El Sisi who is the current Chairperson of the African Union.
In his pre-address to the participants to the summit, President El Sisi underscored the importance of the event noting that it is the first of its kind during a period of major global and international transformation.
“African countries and Russia have common positions in their international actions based on the principles of respect for international actions and respect for international law, equality, non interference in the internal affairs of states, the peaceful settlement of disputes and a commitment to multilateral actions in accordance with the two sides’ similar vision of how to confront new international challenges,” he said.
The plenary session of the Russia-Africa economic forum will provide a potential growth point in cooperation between Russia and African countries.
More than 30 business events will be held on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa economic forum and panel sessions on security and industrial collaboration between Russia and Africa.
At the end of the summit, a joint communiqué on trade, economic and investments agreements will be signed by African heads of state,