He made the remarks when speaking at the inaugural session of the Russia-Africa Economic Summit recently held in Sochi, Russia. EAC partner states participated in the forum led by Heads of State.
He said: “One potential area where the EAC is deficient is the provision of critical services for business and investment in areas like transport, logistics and technicians. Both parties need to explore existing gaps.”
The EAC chief executive said that EAC economies are still green and quite endowed with massive natural resources, thus Russian investors coming to the EAC can explore how to exploit this potential.
“There is need to organize periodic bilateral traders and investor interactions through visits or trade and investment fairs,” he said, noting that EAC partner states and Russia can explore the possibility of removing travel restrictions such as visas to enhance the movement of persons between both parties.
Ambassador Mfumukeko said that there is a need for the EAC to develop education and youth exchange programmes in addition to exploring the development of the respective languages of each party in the education curricula of the other party.
He informed the forum that EAC has a population of 168.2 million and a combined GDP of $ 155.2 billion making it one of Africa’s fastest growing regional blocs.
The forum was the first where the rich history of cooperation between Africa and Russia was re-examined. It was attended by government officials and members of the business community from Russia and Africa.
Delegates discussed the current status and prospects of cooperation and a wide range of topical issues of the world economy.
Russia acknowledges the fact that today African countries are well on their way towards social, economic, scientific and technological development and are playing a significant role in international affairs.
Russia further appreciates that African countries are strengthening mutually beneficial integration processes within the African Union which has eight regional economic blocs, among them the EAC.