Moscow has written off more than $20 billion in debt accumulated by African countries during the Soviet era, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday. Russia is now focusing on investigating Africa’s huge energy potential.
Africa’s economic potential is enormous and it seems that Russia wants to capitalize on it: the continent contains significant mineral and energy deposits, a young and growing population, and an underdeveloped energy sector desperately in need of investment.
“It was not only an act of generosity but also a manifestation of pragmatism because many of the African states were not able to pay interest on these loans,” Putin told TASS on the eve of the summit. That may sound nice but the total truth is that Russia now seems ambitious about using Africa’s resources that will grow the Russian economy exponentially – Always a catch! Right?
While addressing the Russia-Africa forum in Sochi, he called for trade between Russia and African countries to be doubled in the next four to five years.
Putin also said that Russia intends to increase its presence in Africa at the state level. That’s the same thing the Chinese did who now seem to be slowly spreading over Africa like a virus and buying up and controlling everything.
The first-ever Russia-Africa Summit brought more than 50 African leaders to Sochi.