Liberia’s First Female Vice President, Chief Dr Jewel Howard-Taylor was among 35 African Heads of States and Government at the First Russia- Africa Summit, held in Sochi, Russian Federation, from October 23-24, 2019.
The Vice President according to a dispatch from Russia, represented His Excellency President George Manneh Weah and made a strong case at her first major international stage.
In her splendid presentation, the Vice President asserted that Africa remains the last economic frontier zone in the world and is opened for business, industrialization and international cooperation.
She opined that Africa cannot continue to do business as usual, and the need to transform the continent’s natural resources to finished products for the global market.
She applauded the leadership of President Vladimir Putin for his level of international engagements with the African continent and called for an international cooperation based on mutual interest.
Madam Howard-Taylor also reiterated President Weah’s pronouncement that Liberia is opened for business and will continue to create the economic ambiance to engender trade and investment.
She thanked the Russian Government for their support to Liberia in the fight against the Ebola Virus and the provision of training for Liberians in the mining sector.
The Russia-Africa summit is the first of its kind in the history of Russia and Africa relations.
The Summit featured the economic and political forums which centered on Russia’s economic agenda for Africa.
At the economic forum, President Putin announced an investment package of 5 billion United States Dollars for Africa, which will be managed by the Russian Development Council through the AFREXIM BANK.
The development package will be accessed by African Nations for investment and development purposes to stimulate economic growth.
President Putin also announced a 20 billion United States Dollars debt waiver for African Nations indebted to Russia as a sign of renewed partnership with the African continent.
He disclosed that there are 17, 000 African students studying in Russia and 4,000 of these students are sponsored by the Russian government.
The Russian President also recounted Russia’s contribution of 60 million United States Dollars for the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus in 2014, in which Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were major beneficiaries.
Russia is the world’s largest country and has 30% of the world’s natural resources. The country is amongst the top 10 exporters of food to African markets. Russia has significant strength in human resource development, military, science and technology, energy and agriculture.