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'Russia Sets Pace for Western Companies' in Africa, Malian Minister Says

© SputnikMalian Energy and Water Resources Minister Bintou Camara
Malian Energy and Water Resources Minister Bintou Camara - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 14.10.2023
On October 11-13, Moscow hosted the Russian Energy Week (REW), where numerous high-profile officials and experts discussed various energy issues, including the development of the energy sector of African countries, reinforcement of the cooperation in this field, renewable energy and the impact of Israeli-Palestinian escalation on the industry.
Russia, which had no colonies in Africa, is setting the pace for Western companies, which "will now know that when they come [to the continent], it will now be a negotiation, a win-win partnership for both sides," Mali's Energy and Water Resources Minister, Bintou Camara told Sputnik Africa during her visit to Russia for the REW.

"So all these companies that are coming, it's a win-win. [...] Especially because we are with Russia, which did not have colonies in Africa, and which is setting the pace. Even the Western companies [...] will now know that when they come, it will now be a negotiation, a win-win partnership for both sides," the minister said.

Camara added that this implies that the Western companies are no longer "allowed to say that they are going to do what they want to do because they colonized" Africa.
As for the Russian companies in Africa, the country's state nuclear corporation Rosatom is actively building relations with the continent's nations. For instance, on October 13, Burkina Faso's authorities signed a memorandum with the company for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the West African country.
Apart from this, earlier, Rosatom concluded agreements on collaboration in the field of use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes with Zimbabwe and Burundi.
In addition, the minister highlighted that the continent is "trying to restore sovereignty," noting that as well as the foreign enterprises working in the region, African countries should also benefit from the partnership.
"Sovereignty is what we are creating now. Now in Africa, we are talking about restored sovereignty. We are trying to restore sovereignty, and so now, no matter what companies come to the continent, there has to be a mutually beneficial partnership. It is not free, they gain profit and we should gain it too," she underlined.
Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Mali Bintu Kamara - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 12.10.2023
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Speaking about the advantages of such "mutually beneficial" cooperation in energy sector, the minister emphasized that the continent will have an opportunity to industrialize as "energy is development."
"First of all, we will benefit from the fact that we will be able to produce energy and give it away, use it, transport it so that we can pass it on to our people. You see, energy is development, it's what allows industries to develop, it's what promotes economic development in our countries. So it is still an advantage for us. Because finally, Africa will be able to industrialize as well," Camara explained.
Moreover, according to her, renewable energy is Africa's future. She also pointed out that the continent has great potential in terms of solar energy production.

"We mustn't forget that Africa is also sunny. We have a lot of sun. We have sun that we can exploit. It's a renewable energy. We don't need fuel, we don't need etc.... On top of that, we also have a lot of rivers and streams, so they can also produce electricity. So all this is renewable energy that we intend to put in place now to depend less on hydrocarbons," the minister concluded.

REW was held in Moscow from October 11 to 13. Officials from several countries, as well as African, took part in the event, including the Malian official and Burkina Faso's Minister of Energy, Mines and Quarries Simon-Pierre Boussim.