In a congratulatory message to the continent on Africa Day, the Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, said that his country is ready to continue supporting Rwanda and other African countries in their quest for development.
In his message sent to The New Times, Medvedev said that Africa Day is important for the continent to reflect on its aspirations for freedom, unity, peace, stability and sustainable development.
“In the recent years African countries have been steadily moving on the way of fundamental transformations and modernisation. A lot has been done for acceleration of growth rate, strengthening of political, economic and cultural unity on the continent,” the Russian leader said.
The Russian President said that Russia would continue to render the most active assistance to Africa and initiatives by the African Union as well as sub-regional communities towards peace and security and creation of their own peace keeping potential.
“At the same time, the situation in certain North-African states fills us with deep misgivings.
“I firmly believe that it is in our common interests to settle the emerged crises as soon as possible and to bar them from spreading deep into the continent,” Medvedev further said.
The Russian President said that his country’s opinion is that the key role in determination of ways and methods to end the crises should belong to the Africans themselves with the support of the international community.
He reaffirmed that Russia is ready to continue further participation in the integrated socio-economic assistance to Africa on intergovernmental level as well as in the framework of existing international organisations – mainly through the United Nations, G8 and other multilateral forums.
“We are ready to expand fruitful ties with African countries. Strong traditions of friendship and close cooperation compose a solid base for this purpose,”
“Nowadays, political dialogue, business affairs and humanitarian interaction between Russia and African states assume a new evolution; it allows us to look to the future with optimism,” he said.
Africa Day will be celebrated, today, all over the continent and in the Diaspora, under the theme: “Accelerating Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development’’.
The African Union will join the rest of the continent to observe the Africa Day with several activities to mark the day organised at the headquarters of the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Africa Day at the African Union headquarters will be celebrated in the presence of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Also expected to grace the occasion is the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping.