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Russia's Influence to Be Positive for African People, Head of Russian House in Burkina Faso Says

© Photo Telegram / Russian House in Burkina FasoRussian House in Burkina Faso
Russian House in Burkina Faso - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 30.03.2024
In January, Russian House, a non-governmental Russian cultural center, began work in Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou. Its opening was preceded by the resumption of Moscow's activities in the West African country in December 2023.
Impact of Russia's arrival in African countries will be beneficial for the people of the continent, Evgenia Tikhonova, head of the Russian House in Burkina Faso, told Sputnik.

"There are many ways to exert influence. You can pump out resources, as the Western countries did. And the metropolises lived on these resources. But if Russia comes here [to Africa] and brings some influence of its own, it will be positive for the people of the region," she noted.

Speaking about the activities of the Russian House in Burkina Faso, Tikhonova pointed out that the institute conducts Russian language courses, which are now attended by about 120 people, and 1200 are on the waiting list.
She emphasized that the demand for the courses is created by both residents who are simply interested in the Russian language and by professionals who thus want to increase their value on the labor market, as well as those who want to come to Russia to study.
"Our courses are a good help not to lose a year in Russia to learn Russian," Tikhonova said, adding that the Russian House will recommend high-achieving students to enroll in Russia.
The head of the Russian House also noted the prospect of the Russian language for the people of Burkina Faso, saying that sooner or later Russian campaigns will come to the country.
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She also shared plans for Russian House activities, including inviting the Russian Ballet to Burkina Faso, touring symphony orchestras, dance ensembles, and Russian film weeks. There is also a desire to open a music school for children and a dance school. It's an "investment in the future," Tikhonova added.
"By investing in children, we change the world. And these children will then realize what Russian teachers have put in them. You probably know that South Africa was the first country in the world to perform a heart transplant. The Soviet Union tried, the US tried, and Europe tried. But South Africa did it," she opined. "This is how I see the meaning of our work - to work in Africa and for Africa, for the glory of Russia."
Summing up, the head of the Russian House said that such institutions in Africa are an element of Moscow's soft power and the country's task is "not to waste these opportunities that are being given to us."
On December 28, after a 31-year gap, the Russian Embassy in Ouagadougou has resumed its operations. According to Karamoko Jean-Marie Traoré, Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso, the move indicates the "strengthening of diplomatic relations" between the countries, adding that Russia is "a truly strategic partner" for Burkina Faso.