Russia Expresses Intensification Of Visits For Top African Officials – OpEd


In his first trip as Namibia’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Peya Mushelenga held diplomatic talks with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on March 26 in Moscow. The significance of this official visit was noted to have a special meaning in what Namibia thinks about developing its partnership with Russia. 

Mushelenga as the head of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, co-chaired a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, reviewed performance and discussed challenges and the way forward in the bilateral relations between Russia and Namibia.

During the media conference, not much was said about concrete projects undertaken and completed. But Russia has expressed its readiness to provide a firm foundation for  the development of relations in all areas and in all economic sectors, on the historical basis that exactly next March 2025 will mark 35 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations. 

These 35 years of diplomatic relations, Russia and Namibia have established the possibility for frequent political dialogue. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, without statistics, that there has been trade relations between the two countries. He further remarked that “unfortunately, bilateral trade turnover is still very modest” and added that their meeting on March 26 showed mutual interest in the growth of mutual trade and the implementation of investment projects.

“Among the most promising areas of cooperation are geological exploration, extraction and processing of mineral resources (including uranium and diamonds), energy, agriculture, fishing, healthcare, personnel training, culture, tourism and sports. We also agreed to intensify joint work to complete the approval of a number of draft intergovernmental and interdepartmental documents,” Lavrov told the joint media conference after their closed-door talks.

Russian officials extremely admire holding series of interactive meetings, conferences and summits. At least, these offer opportune platforms to deliver speeches on emerging multipolar order and renew their bilateral pledges. In addition, to criticize the exploitation by Europe and the United States on behalf of Africa. The leaders are excited that Russia is also fighting growing neo-colonialism across Africa, and reminding them of ‘African problems, African solutions” as the best development strategy. Namibia took part in both the first Russia-Africa summit in 2019 and the second in 2023 in St. Petersburg. 

According to the decision to hold another high-level ministerial summit in St. Petersburg in November this year, 2024. The Russian-African meeting at the level of foreign ministers, designed to engage in another comprehensive discussions on multifaceted economic directions, will take place in Russia. Namibian foreign ministry officials have accepted invitation to attend. The March 26 meeting was the 10th of the Intergovernmental Commission held in Moscow.

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and a policy consultant on African affairs in the Russian Federation and Eurasian Union. He has won media awards for highlighting economic diplomacy in the region with Africa. Currently, Klomegah is a Special Representative for Africa on the Board of the Russian Trade and Economic Development Council. He enjoys travelling and visiting historical places in Eastern and Central Europe. Klomegah is a frequent and passionate contributor to Eurasia Review.

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