The President said that with the huge market in Africa, there is big opportunity for supporting one another’s prosperity
President Yoweri Museveni has said the historic relationship between Africa on one hand with Russia, China, India and other third world countries on the other, can bring about stability in the world through balanced and mutually beneficial trade, investments and tourism.
"Recently, we signed the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) Agreement as a follow up on the 1991 Abuja Treaty. Therefore, we can now support one another's prosperity through trade, investments and tourism. The historic relationship between Africa, on the one hand, with Russia, China, India and the other third world countries on the other hand, can bring about stability in the world through balanced and mutually beneficial trade, investments and tourism," he said.
Museveni was on Thursday addressing the plenary of heads of state at the first Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi. The summit held under the theme, 'Russia-Africa: Uncovering the Potential for Cooperation' is ongoing at the Sirius Park of Science and Art in Sochi, one of Russia' largest convention venues.
All 54 African states sent a representative to the meeting, including 43 heads of state or government.
Museveni said that with the huge market in Africa, there is big opportunity for supporting one another's prosperity through trade among the four blocs; Africa, Russia, China, India and with Europe and the United States of America.
"The population of Africa has been small on account of tropical diseases. This problem, however, has been addressed by modern medicine. Consequently, the population of Africa will be 2.5 billion by 2050.
The population of Uganda is now 42 million. However, it will be 106 million by 2050. This creates a big opportunity for cooperation for which Africa will be a great stimulus in the cluster," he said.
The President thanked Russia for having supported Africa's anti-colonial struggle and having saved the human race from the dangers of demonic fascism of Hitler and allies.
"One of the factors that helped us overcome colonialism was the support for our struggle for freedom by the Soviet Union after 1917, joined by China and other socialist countries after 1949…I am therefore pleased to visit the Russian Federation because it carries the heritage of glory of the Soviet Union" he said.
During his opening remarks, the host President Vladimir Putin said in addition to military and security cooperation with Africa, his government is committed to combat the Ebola virus with aid, and the training of 'African cadres' by Russian universities.
"Joint projects are underway in extractive industries, agriculture, healthcare and education," Putin said.
The summit is a much-anticipated milestone in laying foundations for the promotion and enhancement of trade and economic relations among the economies across the African continent and enabling the diversification and deepening of economic collaboration between Russia and Africa.
A final declaration of the Summit titled "For Peace, Security, and Development" has been delivered and it includes issues on the global and regional agendas as well as comprehensive proposals on diverse ways to develop the full scope of future Russian-African relations.