The Coordination Committee for Economic Cooperation with African Countries (AFROCOM) at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation held an annual meeting on December 19, dedicated to the results of the outgoing year 2023, and determined plans for the coming year 2024.
In his welcoming speech, Vice President of the Chamber Vladimir Padalko noted that AFROCOM managed not only to maintain work on the African continent, but also to reboot it in business areas. “There are results, initiatives, positive proposals,” noted the Vice President of the Chamber. He recalled that this year the President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sergei Katyrin visited the African continent as part of the presidential delegation at the BRICS summit.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry supports 8 business councils operating with African countries, Vladimir Padalko specified. According to him, an organization such as AFROCOM is an “umbrella organization” that makes it possible to understand what neighbors on the right and left are doing and coordinate joint work.
AFROCOM Chairman Igor Morozov showed a computer presentation to the meeting participants, highligting the directions in the activities of the business association and, as he emphasized, the available strategic horizons. He expressed gratitude to the ambassadors of African countries in Russia for supporting the main initiatives of AFROCOM. Igor Morozov named the system of trading houses on the African continent as one of such undertakings. And, in particular, he said that such a Trading House would be opened for the first time in January in Addis Abbaba (Ethiopia), where “we will be ready to accept everything related to the certification and registration of goods,” said the head of AFROCOM. Mr.Morozov named lobbying the interests of Russian companies through AFROCOM representative offices as one of his tasks.
According to Mr.Morozov, the main direction of AFROCOM’s work will be to continue to create a network of representative offices that will allow consulting and supporting Russian companies that are planning to enter the African market. Igor Morozov said that AFROCOM already has 9 representative offices in Africa in countries such as Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Tanzania, Angola. Among the key projects, Igor Morozov named projects in the field of energy. digitalization, agriculture, mining, culture and education.
Speakers at the meeting included Vsevolod Tkachenko, Director of the African Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Roman Chekushov, Director of the Department of International Cooperation and Licensing in the Sphere of Foreign Trade of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, and State Duma Deputy Nikolai Novichkov, Coordinator of the Deputy Group for Relations with the Parliaments of South Africa and other African Countries, Secretary General International Union of Non-Governmental Organizations "Eurasian Peoples' Assembly" Andrey Belyaninov, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to Russia Ivan Vangu Ngimbi.
Russian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo Alexey Sentebov joined the meeting remotely from Kinshasa.
The speakers noted the importance of an integrated approach to developing relations with African countries, as well as building priorities in areas such as culture and education.
By Peter Cheremushkin
Press Service of the Chamber