The next Russia-Africa Summit in Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls? Why not, says Russia

Russia says there is a possibility that Zimbabwe may host a future Russia-Africa Summit, but that it would need to upgrade infrastructure.

Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Nikolay Krasilnikov says Victoria Falls could become the venue for one of the next Russia-Africa summits. Last year’s summit, which was the second Russia-Africa summit, attracted 49 African nations to St Petersburg, with 17 heads of State and 10 Prime Ministers attending. Holding such a meeting would need Zimbabwe to expand infrastructure.

“It is quite possible, because Zimbabwe is showing increased interest in partnership in the Russia-Africa format. Zimbabwe has the potential to host such an event,” Krasilnikov told Russian newspaper Izvestia. “The only thing is that the country needs to work on infrastructure. If not the third summit, then it is quite possible to hold the fourth summit in Zimbabwe – for example, in the area of Victoria Falls.”

He said Zimbabwe has shown interest in joining a development bank recently set up by the BRICS economies, “increasing the level of its political and economic cooperation with the BRICS countries.”

Krasilnikov said: “Everyone is interested in this. There is such a movement towards each other. Zimbabwe has shown interest in joining the New Development Bank. I think that if this happens in practice, then we can say that the country is ready to join BRICS. That is where we are starting from.”

He was speaking ahead of Wednesday’s handover of 25,000 tonnes of wheat and 23,000 tons of fertiliser to Zimbabwe. The grain and fertiliser is part of a consignment donated to African countries by Russia. The fertiliser is from Uralchem-Uralkali, one of the world’s largest fertiliser firms. The company has previously sought to buy into state company Chemplex, but failed to reach a deal with government. Uralchem, however, has a distribution channel in Zimbabwe.