Mutharika sits next to Putin


President Peter Mutharika Peter Mutharika this morning attended the official opening of the Russia-Africa Economic Summit at the Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia where he sat close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mutharika (fourth from L) attends the opening of the Russia-Africa summit

The summit has attracted 42 other heads of state and governments while some African leaders have sent representatives.

Addressing the African leaders and business gurus at the opening of the Summit, President Putin said Russia currently export to Africa $25 billion ($22.5 billion) worth of food — which is more than what they 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 said.

The Russian Federation President said joint projects are underway in extractive industries, agriculture, healthcare and in education adding that African governments including Malawi are to benefit from such support without strings.

In addition to military and security cooperation with Africa, Putin pledged Russian commitment to combat the Ebola virus with aid, and the training of African cadres by Russian universities.

The Russia-Africa summit is the first of its kind and it has been organized by the RosCongress.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, exhibitions, and public events.

Russian President, Putin co-Chaired the summit alongside Egyptian President General Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi.

President Mutharika is expected to meet Putin later in the day and will attend a gala dinner in the evening.