On January 30, 2020, an International Roundtable Meeting "Eurasia-Africa: Connecting Continents. Priorities and Synergy of Cooperation" was held in Moscow as part of the working program of the General Council of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly.
The leadership of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, representatives of expert and business communities from the EU and Africa took part in its work.
Recognizing the spiritual, cultural and historical heritage, as well as the enormous potential for cooperation between the two largest continents of the planet, the participants of the roundtable meeting noted the importance of developing comprehensive ties between the countries of Eurasia and Africa. Moreover, the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly was unanimously recognized the optimal platform for the development of such cooperation.
The discussions revolved around three title topics:
- economics and computer science;
- humanitarian, cultural and educational links.
There has been the potential, the main priorities and bottlenecks of cooperation on the Eurasia-Africa axis identified. The participants agreed that the humanitarian aspect, the human dimension, should be at the heart of all formats and directions of relationships.
In terms of coordination and convergence of the approaches of the two continents across a wide range of international agendas, the participants noted the role of public diplomacy, the use of the potential of compatriots, and the need for special support institutions for implementation of joint programs and projects (Coordinating Council, Eurasia-Africa Business Council, etc.).
In the economic sphere, it is recognized that innovative solutions, especially in the financial area, should be used to remove existing barriers. It is advisable to explore the possibilities of transition in relations to the use of national currencies, the creation of payment and settlement platforms on a digital basis, crypto currencies.
Information exchange remains a matter of paramount importance. There are significant growth reserves in this area. Participants, especially African participants, noted the need to significantly increase the presence of Russian-language media, especially television, on the Black Continent.
The educational sphere plays a huge role in the development of bilateral ties. Its potential is clearly not being used enough. Teaching of the Russian language plays an important role here. African experts said it was necessary to open more "Russian" schools available to local children in their countries. The next step in this direction, coupled with the allocation of more places to African students in Eurasian universities, should be the creation of branches of Eurasian universities on the Black Continent.
In the field of culture, the idea of awarding special "Pushkin" prizes in a number of nominations (winners of poets and readers' contests, authors of the best works in Russian language, start-ups of cultural profile) attracted great interest.
Noting the importance of developing and maintaining a positive dynamic of relations, it was proposed to hold a High-level Forum "Eurasia-Africa" at the end of 2020 (the 60th anniversary of independence by many African countries). The Forum is supposed to give additional impetus to the development of links between the two continents. The main organizer of this event will be the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly. A special working commission will be set up to prepare the Forum.
A number of business meetings in b2B format took place on the sidelines of the International Roundtable "Greater Eurasia - Africa". On January 31, 2020, at the Expanded Meeting of the General Council, the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly signed cooperation agreements with the Russian-French Economic Chamber and African Advisory Board.