By Jennifer Mpango
Host for the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit, President Vladimir Putin, had private talks with African leaders including Malawi’s Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika ahead of the opening of the conference to discuss politics and business “worth billions of dollars”.
President Mutharika met Putin at the Sirius Park of Science and Art in Sochi; Russia in the private meeting that lasted for 30 minutes.
President Mutharika is leading the Malawi delegation at the Russia-Africa summit and the focus of Malawi at the summit is ‘Investment in Enegry, Mining’ and opening up of new markets for Malawi in Russia for products such as tobacco and legumes.
He is expected to address the first Plenary Session onn Thursday, Oct 24, at the Sirius Park for Science and Art.
Unlike China, Putin has promised to refrain from “political or other” influence during the summit.
The two-day event have more than 3,000 delegates from across Russia and Africa to discuss an array of topics from nuclear energy to mineral extraction at which all 54 African states have sent a representative.
It includes 43 heads of state or government, as according to Kremlin advisor Yuri Ushakov speaking with www.dw.com.
“We currently export to Africa $25 billion worth of food — which is more than we export in arms, at $15 billion. In the next four to five years I think we should be able to double this trade, at least,” Putin is quoted as saying by www.dw.com.