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'Africa is Awakening Giant,' Continent's Countries Can Learn From Russia, African Woman CEO Says

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Africa, Earth - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 14.06.2023
Recently, Irina Abramova, director of the Institute of Africa at the Russian Academy of Sciences and member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Sputnik that Africa is a topic of interest for nations adopting neocolonial policies since it has enormous natural resource endowments.
Interest in Russia as a country and a partner is rising every year both globally and in Africa in particular, Slauzi Mogami, chairperson of the Leading Ladies of Africa and the World told Sputnik Africa on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

"The relationships that we forged with Russia are even strengthened, [...] the current situation has gotten more people curious about Russia.

More and more African nations are taking part in events held in Russia, the chairperson stated, pointing to this as an indicator of the rising attraction towards Russia.

"President Putin invited [me] for the first time to the Russia–Africa Summit in Sochi in 2019, [...] where you had probably 30 African countries. A few months ago in Moscow in the opening of the Duma, there were over 40 African countries. In SPIEF, as we speak now, there's probably more than 40 African countries. In the Russia–Africa Summit that's coming next month, there will probably be over 50 African countries," Mogami noted.

She outlined that the SPIEF forum itself is a great opportunity for participants to discuss business issues with many different people.
"Within SPIEF there're always programs for youth, for social cohesion. [...] That under one umbrella of forum you can interact with more than 100 countries," she stressed. "It is phenomenal. So it is exciting. It is encouraging."
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is one of the most well-known platforms for a variety of discussions on the Russian economy and international concerns. The event last year attracted more than 14,000 attendees from 130 countries, and 695 agreements worth about 5.6 trillion rubles ($66.8 billion) were signed.
Tambov region exhibition stand at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2023). - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 14.06.2023
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The interviewee also touched upon the topic of cooperation with Russia in such spheres as technology, science, creating programs for engineers and exchanges in this area, and thanked Russia for training African students.
In the context of cooperating with Russia, she recalled how the USSR helped Africa in gaining independence, suggesting that today, the Soviet Union's “successor may” assist the continent in its development processes.
"Russia has come a long way from the Soviet Union that we know as Africa that participated in helping the African continent. If at the time Africa learned and got help from Russia in terms of surviving and gaining their freedom, why wouldn't the same Russia help Africa move from using manual [labor] and getting technology to extract their resources faster and more in a much more advanced [way]," Mogami suggested.
In overall, she outlined that Russia is a country African nations "can learn from," adding that Russia plays an important role on the international arena.
"Countries like Russia, that so many African countries can learn from, is a vital part of the link that connects the world, the sovereignty of nations and social cohesion, economic cohesion and collaborations," she outlined.
Africa, in its turn, used to be a "sleeping giant," but recently it has begun realizing its role and capacities, regaining power, Mogami stated.

"Africa is now the awakening giant, […] it's beginning to embrace its value. Africa is beginning to realize just how important its sovereignty is and slowly taking back its power, but somehow, through the years for many reasons, had actually been downplayed," the chairperson outlined. "So Africa is coming out bravely and saying our sovereignty for the development of our countries is of paramount importance."

Speaking about global cooperation, Mogami noted that BRICS presents a peculiar interest for many nations.
"There is a big interest of other countries wanting to join the BRICS, and we are hoping that as we host the summit in South Africa in August, other countries that would come on board in joining BRICS," she stressed.
BRICS is a club of the world's major emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, with the latter having joined what was known as BRIC in 2006-2010. Since 2022, a number of countries all over the world have expressed interest in joining the group.