VP Taylor tells Russia-Africa Summit; Russia announces US$5 Billion investment package for Africa
Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor was among 35 African Heads of States and Government at the First Russia- Africa Summit, held in Sochi, Russian Federation from October 23-24, 2019, a dispatch from the Summit has said.
The Vice President, according to the dispatch, represented President George Weah, and made a strong case at her first major international stage.
In her presentation, she said that Africa remains the last economic frontier zone in the world, and is therefore opened for business, industrialization and international cooperation.
She said that Africa cannot continue to do business as usual, and the need to transform the continent’s natural resources to finished products for the global market.
VP Taylor also applauded the leadership of President Vladimir Putin for his level of international engagements with the African continent, and called for an international cooperation based on mutual interest.
She reiterated President Weah’s pronouncement that Liberia is opened for business, and will continue to create the economic ambiance to engender trade and investment.
She then thanked the Russian government for their support to Liberia in the fight against the Ebola virus disease, and the provision of training for Liberians in the mining sector.
The Russia-Africa Summit is the first of its kind in the history of Russia and Africa relations. It featured the economic and political forums, which centered on Russia’s economic agenda for Africa.
At the economic forum, President Putin announced an investment package of US$5 billion for Africa, which would be managed by the Russian Development Council through the AFREXIM Bank. The development package will be accessed by African Nations for investment, and development purposes to stimulate economic growth.
President Putin also announced a US$20 billion debt waiver for African Nations indebted to Russia as a sign of renewed partnership with the African continent.
He said that there are 17,000 African students studying in Russia and 4,000 of these students are sponsored by the Russian government. The Russian President also recounted the country’s contribution of US$60 million for the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) in 2014 in which Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were major beneficiaries.
Russia is the world’s largest country and has 30 percent of the world’s natural resources. The country is among the top 10 exporters of food to African markets. It has significant strength in human resource development, military, science and technology, energy and agriculture.