President Vladimir Putin of Russia has signaled Russia’s strong intention to revive foreign direct investment (FDIs) in Nigeria and other African nations, spanning various sectors of their economies. During the first plenary session with heads of governments from African nations at the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum in St. Petersburg, President Putin outlined the sectors of interest, including iron and steel industries, petroleum refineries, and industrial machinery manufacturing.
Nigeria, in particular, has historically been a significant beneficiary of the Soviet Union’s FDIs in these sectors. However, Russia now seeks to expand its investments into Africa’s burgeoning Information and Communications Technology, infrastructure, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) industries, as the continent’s potential continues to capture global attention amidst geopolitical tensions.
President Putin expressed optimism about the attractiveness of African economies for investments, citing their impressive average annual GDP growth of 4-4.5% over the past two decades, surpassing the world’s average. He conveyed Russia’s sincere interest in deepening trade, investment, and humanitarian ties with African nations, fostering stable growth and prosperity for both parties.
In the first half of 2023 alone, Russia witnessed an increase of over one-third in export-import transactions with African countries, indicating a growing economic engagement. Furthermore, Russia aims to enhance energy cooperation with Africa, with more than 30 ambitious energy projects led by Russian companies underway in 16 African nations, with a total capacity of about 3.7 gigawatts.
Russian firms such as RusHydro, Gazprom, Rosneft, LUKOIL, and Zarubezhneft are actively involved in developing oil and gas fields in Algeria, Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Republic of the Congo, providing the continent with access to sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources.
President Putin’s vision for multifaceted trade and investment cooperation holds the promise of bolstering economic ties between Russia and Africa, fostering mutual growth and reinforcing stability in the region.