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President Buhari being welcomed by Russian officials at the Sotchi International Airport /Photo: Nigerian Presidency

Buhari, other African leaders arrive in Russia for historic summit

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Russia for a three-day inaugural Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum, which will focus on peace, security, and development.

The President, who arrived at the Sochi International Airport at 11.25pm on Monday, was received by the Mayor of the City of Sochi, Anatoliy Nikolayevich Pakhomov, and other state officials.

President Buhari is accompanied by Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

Ministers on the trip include Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), Adeniyi Adebayo (Trade and Investment), Olamilekan Adegbite (Mines and Steel Development), and Timipre Sylva (Minister of State, Petroleum).

Other African leaders, including President Salva Kirr of South Sudan, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Republic of Djibouti, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, among others.

READ ALSO Russia offers African countries ‘help without political conditions’

The Economic Forum and Summit will hold on Wednesday and Thursday with four plenary sessions that will be attended by over 30 African Heads of State and governments, including the Chairman of the African Union and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

The summit will be co-chaired by President Vladimir Putin, who will present a keynote address at the opening on Wednesday, and the African Union Chairman.

Other participants at the summit that will showcase Russian interest and investment potential in Africa include businessmen and women, experts, investors, leaders of major sub-regional associations and organisations.

An African Business Forum, which will bring together African and Russian business leaders, will be held during the event to enhance Russian investments in Africa, and promote African business interest in the host country.

The Russia-Africa Summit, following US-Africa Summit, India-Africa Summit, China-Africa Summit and Japan-Africa Summit, signifies the interest of the rest of the world for increased engagement with Africa, say analysts.

Kola Tella

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