TASS, October 21. Russia could become a prospective partner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in various industrial sectors, Russian Ambassador to the DRC Alexey Sentebov said in an interview with TASS on Monday in the run-up to the Russia-Africa summit.
"We have significant experience of building nuclear power plants, hydroelectric power stations, light manufacturing and agro-processing enterprises. The Africans are interested in the developments in the space industry, namely, the launch of satellites," the ambassador said.
According to Sentebov, Russia could become a prospective partner of the DRC "in the mining industry, development and production of natural resources." "The potential is also high in the area of transport, infrastructure, agricultural cooperation, along with healthcare, energy and the sphere of finance."
The ambassador added that Russia could offer a lot to the African continent: education methods, information and communication technologies, projects in the sphere of digital transformation, smart cities, cybersecurity, as well as various technologies in the area of development and processing of mineral resources and medicine. Sentebov reminded that in July, "Russian virologists were able to present the newest vaccine against Ebola during the international conference on combating this disease."
"Africa can be a consumer of Russian goods and services, which is especially important in light of the current policy course to diversify export," the ambassador noted.
Russian efforts in Africa
"Not everyone likes our diplomatic policy on the continent, and we can see on the example of the DRC that various Western states are committed to slowing down the process of convergence between Moscow and African states," the ambassador said. He mentioned that lately, "there has been disinformation of various sorts with the aim to tarnish not just Russia, but also representatives of the Congolese leadership willing to cooperate with it."
"In the region to the south of Sahara, there has been a noticeable decline in Russian presence for a while," Sentebov noted. "Diplomatic relations with the DRC were established nearly 60 years ago, however, for dozens of years, the Soviet Union and then Russia had practically no presence here due to the blatant pro-Western policy of the previous governments," he said, adding that it led to a lack of "mutual knowledge and contacts between the two nations."
"The Russia-Africa summit would provide an opportunity to outline the forgotten path toward each other. Our country has never exploited the continent or pillaged its natural resources. Our partners understand and value this. The objective of the modern Russia is to maintain old friendships in Africa and to build new ones," Sentebov stated. He reminded that DRC President Felix Tshisekedi lauded the upcoming summit as a wonderful initiative.
The Russia-Africa summit, co-chaired by the Russian and Egyptian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, will be held in Russia's resort city of Sochi on October 23 and 24. Leaders of all 54 countries of the African continent have been invited to the forum, with over 40 having confirmed their participation. Concurrently, an economic forum will take place, which is expected to be attended by heads of state, representatives of state structures, business and integration associations of the continent.