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Sochi(SONNA)- President of the Federal Republic of Somalia H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo Along with a Delegation travelled to Russia to attend Russia-Africa forum that will be held in Sochi, Russia.

The first-ever Russia-Africa summit and business forum will be held from Oct. 23-24 in Sochi, Russia, with over 50 heads of state invited, trade experts and investors to focus on strengthen bilateral relations and Cooperation between Russia and Africa. During the forum, leaders will discuss several topics including Economic growth, investments, Security and the fight against terrorism. This forum will be chaired by the Russian president Vladimir Putin who stressed that he has high hopes on this forum to bring great results and huge investment opportunities to Russia and Africa.

At the same time, The Somali president's delegation included the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ambassador Ahmed IsseAwad, Minister of Defense Hon. Hassan Ali Mohamed (Amar dambe) and the Director general of Villa Somalia Mr. Nor DirieHersi (Fursade).

Mogadishu and Moscow shared strong diplomatic relations rejuvenated by military cooperation before the break out of the civil war in the early 1990s.Russia had a military base in the port city of Berbera before fall out with Siyad Barre regime. Russia had huge cooperation with Somalia ranging from military, business and education.

The current government of Somalia led by His excellency Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has re-established connection with Somalia former ally. In September the somali president hosted the Russian ambassador to Somalia at his office, villa Somalia. They both agreed to reestablish the bilateral relation that used to exist before the fall of Somalia's central government.

Traditionally most of Russia's relationships have been based on military areas, and now they are opening up to deals in other sectors. Russia wants to re-engage from a business standpoint

Most African leaders have welcomed Russia's renewed interest in part because it aligns with several African political, security and economic objectives. Africa is making rapid economic growth and the continent wishes to chose on whom to partner based on how well it aligns with its interests.

Russia is a big geopolitical player in Africa during the cold war, Moscow has been vying with China, Europe and the Gulf states for influence and commercial opportunities in the resource-rich continent.

For African states, obviously any diversification of funding sources is good. Having companies compete against each other for investments is also positive. For African governments, the more people coming to mine or explore for oil, the better

Speaking at the plenary session of the forum, Putin said they were seeking to unearth the potential for cooperation between Russia and Africa.

"Integration processes unfolding in Africa provide additional opportunities for cooperation. We welcome the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area as part of the African Union and are willing to work with this new entity," he said.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said in interview that, At present, Russia's relations with African countries were progressing both on a bilateral basis and along the line of African regional organizations, primarily the African Union and the Southern African Development Community.He noted, Russia has maintained an intensive political dialogue with African countries on one hand and on other side, representatives from African countries are active participants in international forums hosted by Russia.

Africa's GDP is expected to reach USD 29 trillion by 2050 and will exceed the combined GDP of the U. S. and Eurozone for 2012. Africa does not only consist of raw materials and agricultural resources, but also has rapid population growth as well as huge untapped opportunities for industrialization, electrification, and the development of logistics. These are all growth points, but they also have risk components, especially at the initial stage. In addition, the education industry is booming in Africa, while the share of the middle class and the availability of financial and telecommunication services is relatively high. Many countries have already been down this path, but whose experience will be the most applicable and effective, and for whom?

Interest in investing in regions with rapidly growing economies is especially acute given the slowing production growth around the world. North Africa is geographically and historically close to Europe and is now ready for industrial development. East Africa is close to the developed countries of Asia and is also steadily trying to catch up with them. We are all well aware of South Africa's strong positions, and West African countries feature a higher average literacy rate. Economic growth as a result of the industrialization of East Asia has been explosive and swept over the region for many decades in fact, it has yet to end. And a lot of people regret that they did not get in on the ground floor. Egypt is vying for the title holder in terms of industrialization for the coming decade. You need to seize the moment and see who will be next

A number of strategic cooperation agreements have been signed on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum today. Joint projects will be implemented in the economic, social, and humanitarian spheres. The Forum served as a platform for dialogue and a meeting place for the expert community and laid the foundation for long-term mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Africa, said Irina Abramova, director of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

With these renewed efforts Somalia has much to offer to Russia and the Russian market which will greatly benefit business community from both countries.

Somalia is on path to recovery, recovering from years of destruction. The financial sectors have been reformed to a level hailed by the international community and the IMF. Security is gradually improving, thanks to its partners how have tirelessly supported Somalia's security sector.

With the right investment and support Somalia is ready to prosper and take an important role in the continent.

Source: Somali National News Agency