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Nataliya Zaiser

Chair of the Board, Africa Business Initiative, RIAC Expert

Irina Ruzankina

Chief expert of the Department of international cooperation and work with business councils of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2002-2015)

The foreign policy situation of recent years has left a serious impact on all forms of international interpersonal interaction. Cooperation and competition have acquired a completely different connotation, and the achievement of joint or any other goals is accompanied today by a number of factors aggravating the already fragile nature of international relations framework. The “mutual alienation” and “multilayeredness” that are characteristic of relations between Russia and Europe, and the corresponding “narrowing of contacts and aggravation of tone” for some time seriously worsened the situation in all previously successful areas of cooperation: in the economy, trade and industry, healthcare, and agriculture, social sphere, science and, of course, in the entire foreign policy course as a whole.

Nevertheless, it is interpersonal relations and the language of society today that are still one of the key and least conflicting tools for dialogue. Controversial and uncompromising positions, diverging views on the international arena, sanctions policy and rivalry in foreign markets do not add a positive touch to Russian-European relations. But the modern political field is no longer inert, it requires a completely different speed reaction. But behind this swiftness, it is necessary to remember the fundamental and unshakable basics that will allow us to avoid illusions about permissiveness, impunity, lack of morality and highly risky self-confidence.

The development of print media, television and radio broadcasting in Africa is also problematic because of the varied linguistic composition of the population, the low literacy rate, especially among the poor, the uneven development of communications and infrastructure, the underdeveloped technical and technological base, and the need for additional investments (especially in TV and Internet), low solvency of the majority of the population, etc. However, the media in Africa is evolving. So, from the middle of the last century, TV broadcasting began in many countries, which became possible with the technological assistance of Western countries (USA, France, Great Britain, etc.), as well as after the creation of its own broadcasting system Afrovision (similar to Eurovision) and launched in 1993 with the assistance of UNESCO, a number of international organizations and companies of the communication satellite Afrostar. The development of print media was largely facilitated by the creation after 1960 of its own news agencies and associations of African journalists. In 1965, the Federation of Arab News Agencies, FANA, appeared, and in 1983, the Pan-African News Agency, PANA, in which 40 countries participated. One of the oldest and most widely read pan-African magazines, Jeune Afrique, largely contributes to the Western audience's awareness of Africa. This weekly French-language news magazine was founded in Tunisia in 1960 and is headquartered in Paris. Since 2000, Jeune Afrique has also run a news website. Journalists of the publishing house cover both African and international news, write about the economic and political problems of Africa. Its average circulation is 90 thousand copies. In Russia, the only profile publication on the interaction of Russia and Africa on a wide range of issues is the “Africa Active” magazine, published since 2017. Cooperation in the field of media and journalism development is a new, capacious, useful topic and, it seems, in demand. It provides an extensive field of activity. In addition to many possible measures to establish and develop cooperation in this area, it would also be useful to periodically hold international meetings of media representatives to meet, share experience and improve skills, to explore new opportunities in the field of information technology to expand and deepen knowledge about each other. After all, nothing contributes more to the achievement of mutual understanding than personal communication and awareness.

The foreign policy situation of recent years has left a serious impact on all forms of international interpersonal interaction. Cooperation and competition have acquired a completely different connotation, and the achievement of joint or any other goals is accompanied today by a number of factors aggravating the already fragile nature of international relations framework. The “mutual alienation” and “multilayeredness” that are characteristic of relations between Russia and Europe, and the corresponding “narrowing of contacts and aggravation of tone” for some time seriously worsened the situation in all previously successful areas of cooperation: in the economy, trade and industry, healthcare, and agriculture, social sphere, science and, of course, in the entire foreign policy course as a whole.

Nevertheless, it is interpersonal relations and the language of society today that are still one of the key and least conflicting tools for dialogue. Controversial and uncompromising positions, diverging views on the international arena, sanctions policy and rivalry in foreign markets do not add a positive touch to Russian-European relations. But the modern political field is no longer inert, it requires a completely different speed reaction. But behind this swiftness, it is necessary to remember the fundamental and unshakable basics that will allow us to avoid illusions about permissiveness, impunity, lack of morality and highly risky self-confidence.

Today, the time has come, many problems have worsened, and many have faded before a disaster that has suddenly fallen to the whole world: the epidemic of the coronavirus COVID-19, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. It marked the beginning of a new world reality and became one of the toughest stress tests for the entire international society. Unprecedented circumstances force us to reconsider values, familiar ways of life, principles and priorities. The fight against the virus exposed the problems and advantages of the state structure, governance structure, international interaction and the willingness of systems to withstand human-independent turbulence.

To understand and find solutions to the problems that have arisen today, it is important to develop global interpersonal interaction. Undoubtedly, the most important role in the implementation of such interaction today is played by modern technologies, which, with all their progressiveness, are simultaneously “angels” and “demons”. On the one hand, the on-line mode in a pandemic provides the opportunity for continuous communication in all areas of human life and activity, on the other hand, the dissemination of fake information via the Internet and conducting false propaganda significantly aggravate the catastrophic situation in the world. All this applies to all continents and every country in the world, without any exception. Africa, which has good psychological immunity to all kinds of deadly diseases, is today not in the most critical situation. The countries of the continent react very quickly and implement today the best practices of other countries in the fight against the virus. Almost with the detection of the first cases of infection in all African countries, a self-isolation regime was introduced, and in a number of countries the emergency mode. Citizens were forbidden to visit public places without personal protective equipment (masks and gloves). Egypt, for example, in the very first days conducted more than 200 thousand tests per day for the detection of coronavirus. Europe, previously successful and united, turned out to be completely unprepared to confront the pandemic: EU countries are closing borders, demonstrating the policy that every man for himself. And Russia, subject to strict restrictive measures within the country, on the contrary, urgently started to provide assistance to Europe, showing universal and humanitarian solidarity.

Making the long story short: the world has changed dramatically overnight. Even the eternal struggle for geopolitical interests in Libya and conflicts in the Middle East, even the question of oil prices, the fall of which could lead to a global economic crisis, are far behind. Today, all of us are united by one thing — the struggle against a common enemy — a pandemic. Only faith, responsibility and mutual assistance in the name of restoring a normal life can withstand universal misfortune. And the carrier of this healing power can only be a rational and thinking individual, capable of constructive dialogue with himself. In these conditions, civil society and its interaction with the state are acquiring new, special value. Maybe it is on these “whales” that the new world will have to line up further?

Each of us has its own paradigm of values and goals: universal, corporate, family, there are also generally recognized world values. But no matter what we do, whatever rank or position we occupy, we do it for the benefit of current living and future generations. It is exactly here that a wide field is seen for building a “new” format of interethnic and supranational practical interaction between Russia, the EU and Africa. It is necessary to lay down the foundation of a “new” public opinion — an opinion based on the values of human life, the uniqueness of cultural, historical and linguistic heritage, respect for economic and political sovereignty, on a change of consciousness from the “consumer” one to a “creator”, on the revival or creation of new strong foundations of statehood. The basic idea of sustainable development, simultaneously promoted and supported by all world leaders, is to improve the welfare and protection of our planet. The problem is more than ever relevant for Africa. This goal can only be achieved by combining the interests of modern and future generations. Society, as the main actor in this partnership system for building constructive interaction, can act as a powerful regulator of all processes. Russia and Europe have a colossal historical "reserve of intercultural, scientific, educational ties." Like Russia and Africa have a solid historical base and experience for mutual assistance and friendship. This unique mutual “capital” may prove to be one of the most successful and realizable in the revival of trust, openness and overall stability.

We propose to consider several aspects of trilateral interaction between the EU, Russia and Africa

Great potential for cooperation lies in the field of formation, development and improvement of civil society. Given the dialectic and scale of the concept of "civil society" there is no single definition for it. However, in relation to today and the topic of this proposed study, in general terms this concept can be defined as a set of non-governmental organizations / structures and individuals who, in cooperation with the state in various fields of human activity (politics, economics, social life, culture, sports etc.) are working to create the most favorable living conditions and increase the welfare of society and each member. The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin emphasized that “the State and civil society are natural allies in achieving common goals, the main of which is the well-being of our people.” (From the speech by the President of Russia V.V. Putin at a meeting of the Human Rights Council in Kremlin, December 2016, RGRU of 12.08.2016). Undoubtedly, between these three parties — the EU, Russia and Africa — there is a significant difference in terms of starting positions and the degree of development (maturity) of civil society.

This difference applies to:

  1. the dynamics of historical evolution;
  2. the level of socio-economic development;
  3. mentality of nations and nationalities, understanding of the essence and functions of civil society;
  4. historical experience and the main features of civil society (democracy, human rights, social activity, etc.);
  5. the presence and degree of development of civil society structures in a particular country;
  6. the degree of influence of religious and national-ethnic factors on the formation and functioning of civil society;
  7. conditions and opportunities for the formation and development of civil society (the state of peace or war, the presence of military conflicts, terrorist threats, security level, the degree of political and civil maturity of members of society, the level of education of the population, the level of preparedness of the population and its desire to form and develop civil society).

To develop cooperation in this area, it is advisable to highlight the basic aspects of the formation of civil society taking into consideration the characteristics of individual African countries and Africa as a whole, and determine the possibilities of assistance from the EU and Russia. It is advisable to conduct a study both on the scale of the entire African continent, including involving the capabilities of the Hobbes International Institute for the Development of Civil Society (MIRGO) (created by the union of a number of socio-economic organizations from Belgium, Bulgaria, Russia, Sudan, and Egypt), as well as in the country level, highlighting, for the beginning, the most prepared for this country in Africa.

It seems that the key to the successful promotion of this work is the establishment of mutually beneficial interaction between people.

First of all, it is proposed to consider the possibilities of cooperation in the field of culture, which is the most natural and understandable language of communication and is most effective also for mutual understanding between people. To do this, we can use traditional forms of cultural exchange: festivals, competitions, concerts, forums both at the country, regional and continental levels. For example, the organization of a folkdance festival. The language of the dance is understandable and accessible to everyone, it is colorful, multifaceted, it is a vivid way of expressing the nature of people.

Practice shows that Africans love their culture and are proud of it. It is colorful and original, and therefore attracts the attention of representatives of other countries and continents, including Europeans. Africans regularly host cultural festivals at the continental and regional levels under the auspices of international organizations, especially the UN. Representatives of the creative intelligentsia of other countries, including European ones, also take part in them, and therefore they rightfully have the status of international events. So, in 1966, at the initiative of the President of Senegal, the first International Festival of African Art was held under the auspices of the United Nations in Dakar with the participation of 45 African, European, Caribbean, Northern and South African countries. The festival featured African literature, music, theater, visual arts, film and dance.

In 1977, Lagos, Nigeria hosted the Second World Festival of African Art, known as FESTAC’77. It was attended by more than 17,000 participants from more than 50 countries, including non-African ones: the USA, Brazil and others. It was the largest cultural event ever held on the African continent.

In 2010, the third World Festival of African Art on the theme of African Renaissance was held in Senegal. In addition to music and cinema, the festival featured art exhibitions, theater and dance performances, fashion shows, photographs and other events in which artists and intellectuals from dozens of countries in Africa and other countries, including the United States, Brazil, Haiti, France and To Cuba.

In addition, regional festivals are regularly held, which are also of interest to Europeans. These are: “Festival des Desert” in Mali, FESTIMA in Burkina Faso, Asa Baako in Ghana, Jazz Festival in Cape Town (South Africa), AfricaBurn in South Africa, HIFA in Zimbabwe, Gnaua festival in Es Sureira in Morocco, the International Sahara Festival in Tunisia and many others.

It is worth noting that similar events are also held at other non-African venues. So, in 2015, the Afrofest 2015 festival of African culture was held in the Moscow Fili park, and in 2016, the GATINGO festival of Russian and African culture in St. Petersburg.

As you can see, there are already good traditions of popularizing African culture. Apparently, it would be advisable to use the existing base for the development and improvement of this practice using new forms and platforms, as well as giving them a more multilateral character with the involvement of European and Russian interested structures.

Culture is an eternal value that is passed down from generation to generation. Political and socio-economic systems can change, and culture always lives and develops. Culture penetrates into all spheres of human activity: there are such concepts as political culture, the culture of doing business, even the culture of driving a car, therefore the preservation and development of culture, cultural exchange between nations is an essential component of the development of civil society and mutual understanding between people.

Given the multifaceted national and ethnic structure of the African population, the experience of forming a civil society in the multinational states of the EU and in Russia would be important. The national question is one of the most difficult, therefore, various approaches to its solution in the context of the formation and development of civil society and the experience already gained during the historical development of Europe and Russia would be very useful for Africa.

The EU and Russia, having a rich foundation of formed and functioning educational systems, could very successfully cooperate in this regard with African countries, especially since many European and Russian universities and higher educational institutions in the past have trained more than one hundred specialists of various fields FROM Africa and FOR Africa.

During the time of the Soviet Union as more African countries became independent and needed skilled personnel, the number of African students in Soviet higher education establishments was constantly growing: it stood at 8,101 persons in the period from 1960–1961 to 1970–1971, 21,911 in the period from 1971–1972 to 1980–1981, and over 35,000 in the period from 1981–1982 to 1992–1993. As of late 1992, Soviet higher education establishments had 15,660 students, interns, post-graduate students, and students of preparatory courses of institutes and academic research centers from 50 African countries (including about 9,000 studying at higher education establishments and research institutes of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR)). More than half of them studied engineering and technical specialties (including agriculture, fisheries and forestry and veterinary medicine). In total, before the collapse of the USSR, more than 50 thousand African citizens received Soviet higher education, which amounted to approximately 15% of the total contingent of foreign graduates of Soviet universities. Nearly all African university students, interns, post-graduate students, and students of technical and vocational schools were trained in the Soviet Union for free, on the basis of interstate treaties and agreements, and all of them were provided with accommodation at dormitories, scholarships (higher than those of Soviet students) and winter wear. The number of African students at Russian higher educational establishments drastically reduced after the breakup of the Soviet Union (approximately to 4,000), primarily for economic reasons (most foreign students had to pay for their education), yet a slow growth started afterwards to 7,100 students in the academic year 2006–2007. The number was practically unchanged till the academic year 2010–2011 (7,900).

At present, African citizens, with rare exceptions — 7,042 out of 7,060 students — study in Russia in full-time studies and account for 6.3% of the foreign contingent of full-time education (over 110 thousand people), and if we count foreign students, trainees, graduate students, taking into account correspondence courses in Russia (total 170 thousand people.), then the proportion of Africans among them will be equal to 4.1% [1]. Today, about 17 thousand African students study in Russia.

Nowadays, statistics shows that all over the world for 10 students studying abroad, one or more students are from Africa. African students' mobility is twice as high as the world average — about a fifth of North Africa and more than half of the French-speaking countries of the rest of Africa. Half of them choose Europe as a place to study. Geographically, 170,432 African students arrived in 28 countries of the European Union (49.1%). French-speaking and English-speaking countries of destination attract about two-thirds of African students, Portuguese-speaking countries, mainly Portugal and Brazil, attract only 7% of students.

In addition to studying at their universities and implementing educational projects, Europe and Russia could successfully share their experience in creating educational systems directly in African countries, as well as continue the work already started in this direction.

So, in 2019, the EU invested an additional 17.6 million Euros to support more than 8500 new selected African students and staff to participate in the Erasmus + project. Since the start of the program in 2014, its results in 2019 have brought the total number of exchanges between Africa and Europe to 26,247. Such dynamics can achieve the goal of supporting 35,000 African students and researchers by 2020.

The issue of education is closely related to the issue of the formation and development of the young generation. It is universally recognized that Africa is the “youngest” continent on our planet. It is expected that by 2055 the number of young people on the continent (aged 15-24) will more than double, and the percentage of older people on the continent will be only 9%. The future of Africa and in many respects the future of the planet depends on what African youth will be like. In this regard, the interaction of the young generation of the EU, Russia and Africa is undoubtedly the most promising, dynamic and interesting area of cooperation. After all, youth is the future not only in Africa, but also on the globe. Moreover, taking into account the new mentality of youth, the forms of cooperation can be very different: both traditional and virtual, using the achievements of information technologies.

In this sense, the Fifth Summit “African Union — European Union” (AU — EU), which was held in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, in November 2017, was especially indicative in November 2017. The leaders of African countries and EU countries gathered once again to develop strategic decisions regarding future collaboration. The theme of the summit is "Investing in youth for a sustainable future." Investing in the future of young people is a key priority for Africa and the EU, as 60% of the African population is under 25 years of age, and their contribution to the economic development of the African continent can be huge if they are provided with the necessary opportunities — education, training, jobs. If this is not done — and at the moment the unemployment rate among African youth as a whole has exceeded 31% — then desperate young people will join the ranks of migrants to more prosperous EU countries, which represents a huge challenge for the European Union.

This very important topic of youth cooperation leads to interaction in the field of high innovative technologies. Innovations permeate all spheres of human activity: from science and production to everyday life. The degree of innovation penetration into the life of Africans and Europeans is significantly different. This fact opens up great opportunities for the introduction of new technologies in countries less developed in this regard and for the application of existing successful practices in specific conditions.

This topic is constantly voiced in various assistance programs for Africa, the outcomes of conferences and summits on African development and cooperation with Africa. This is one of the most pressing issues, as it is the command of the time. Without the introduction of innovative technologies, without the digitalization of the economy, neither movement forward nor full-fledged interaction is possible. However, taking into account the differences in the level of socio-economic development of African countries, the diversity of the national and ethnic composition of the population, the low literacy and stratification of society, as well as the insufficient prevalence of the Internet, it requires very careful and detailed study, as well as additional financial resources.

The experience of the EU and Russia in the fight against terrorism and terrorist threats and in the field of security in general would also be useful.

Issues of paramount importance include preventing the incitement of local and regional conflicts and resolving existing ones, and combating piracy. For these purposes, apparently, it is necessary to combine the efforts of the AU, the EU and Russia to create an effective security system on the continent. The question is very difficult. But European countries and Russia have already taken certain steps in this direction to resolve conflicts in a number of African countries. Indeed, without ensuring the peaceful development of the continent, the development of society and international cooperation is impossible.

Environmental safety issues are also an international problem that unites all countries and peoples. Collaboration in this area would also be extremely effective, especially in regards to Africa's unique natural resources deposits. The aggravation of environmental problems in Africa poses a threat to all of humanity. The UN and UNESCO, together with African governments, are constantly working to find ways to solve them. Thus, representatives of 34 African countries participated in the Stockholm UN Conference on the Human Environment of 1972. The conference was the first international forum at which it was announced that measures should be included in the program of action at the government level to address urgent environmental problems and environmental issues. The result was the creation of agencies to combat environmental instability in 25 countries. And in the final declaration of the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi and in the updated EU strategy for Africa, one of the key points is to maximize efforts in the field of ecology and environmental protection in full compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. An important aspect of triangular cooperation can be a significant increase in environmentally, socially and financially sustainable investments that are immune to the effects of climate change, and promotion of investment opportunities by expanding the use of innovative financing mechanisms and stimulating regional and continental economic integration, in particular through the African Agreement on the Continental Free Trade Zone.

A good tool for the development of civil society is “civil” or “public” diplomacy, which brings together the activities of various non-governmental organizations (educational, cultural, sports, etc.), as well as individuals in order to maintain peace, develop international relations, establish friendship and understanding between people and cooperation between nations.

In the modern world, public diplomacy is becoming an increasingly influential force that unites an increasing number of people who are not indifferent to the fate of the country and the world. It acquires the features of a new technology of self-organization of citizens and public organizations to promote the democratic principles of the development of society, peaceful resolution of conflicts and disputes, improve the quality of life of people, protect the environment, understanding of peoples and rapprochement of states. In practice, public diplomacy is often associated with charity and volunteerism — activities that bring help and kindness. The European and international community is pleased to support the stars of show business and sports in their charitable activities. So, the famous musician Elton John in 1992 became the founder of the AIDS Fund and continues to develop it today. He repeatedly organized charity concerts (including in Moscow) to raise additional funds for the Fund. Many “stars” have the honorary title and work as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors. These include David Beckham (Great Britain), Emma Witson (Great Britain), Emmanuelle Bear (France), Valeria (Russia). In this passage, we mention with some reservations the representatives of Great Britain, since at present this country is no longer a member of the EU, but their active work as philanthropists falls on the period when Great Britain was still a full part of the EU.

On all issues of interaction in the field of development of civil society, it would be advisable to hold working bilateral (EU — Russia) and tripartite meetings (EU — Russia — Africa) with the participation of relevant interested structures to develop a mechanism for interaction and search for mutually acceptable areas of cooperation.

One of such tools in Russia was the first ever Russian-African Public Forum, held in 2018, which attracted wide attention of the Russian-African community. The second forum is scheduled for October this year. In the current situation, international interpersonal relations and the dialogue of civil societies are extremely important. The Russian-African Forum on its agenda will certainly pay special attention to the global problem of the pandemic that has occurred, the need to use innovative technologies in the development of modern healthcare systems, humanitarian assistance, the system of interpersonal communications, international volunteering, the role of youth and women, etc. Our reality will no longer be the same. Mankind is reaching a fundamentally new level of interaction and cooperation, which is headed by the task of forming a new society focused on survival in connection with the challenges of our time. At the source of these changes is a society with already accumulating knowledge, skills and abilities and ready to apply all this in a new reality for the benefit of the future generation. Public, state and entrepreneurial analysts and experts have something to discuss together in the framework of the planned Forum and to develop innovative approaches and practical recommendations to the urgent problems of mankind. Such a format could be expanded by attracting European colleagues to create a multipolar dialogue.

And now the main. None of the above can be done without information and awareness. The more we know about each other, the higher the probability of reaching mutual understanding, the higher the quality of cooperation. There is reason to believe that there is a significant shortage of information between the EU, Russia and Africa, namely, relevant, timely and reliable information. Information flow is conducted through various media sources. Unfortunately, the media is not only distributing truthful information. Cases of the dissemination of knowingly false information are quite frequent. It all depends on whose interests this or that information is delivered. Media plays an extremely important role in society: they can perform the function of a passive disseminator of information, and can actively influence certain processes in society, the minds and moods of people.

It seems that to maximize the achievement of the goals of development and cooperation, high-quality and reliable information is needed, both simply carrying knowledge and actively shaping public opinion. In this sense, the importance of the responsibility of journalists to society in terms of providing relevant and truthful information cannot be underestimated.

The EU and Russia, having significant potential and experience in the formation of public opinion through media, as well as in the field of information technology, could provide significant assistance not only in the formation of a modern media system in Africa, but also in establishing effective information exchange between the EU, Russia and Africa. Apparently, it is unnecessary to remind that information processes cannot be one-sided, and this should be an exchange of information between all interested parties. Significant opportunities for this are provided by the Internet, which does not detract from the importance of creating, in addition to existing ones, paper editions. Sometimes it’s very nice to pick up a magazine with colorful photographs and read something interesting about the life of the peoples of one of the African countries. After all, perhaps the Internet has not yet reached all corners of the vast African continent.

The development of print media, television and radio broadcasting in Africa is also problematic because of the varied linguistic composition of the population, the low literacy rate, especially among the poor, the uneven development of communications and infrastructure, the underdeveloped technical and technological base, and the need for additional investments (especially in TV and Internet), low solvency of the majority of the population, etc. However, the media in Africa is evolving. So, from the middle of the last century, TV broadcasting began in many countries, which became possible with the technological assistance of Western countries (USA, France, Great Britain, etc.), as well as after the creation of its own broadcasting system Afrovision (similar to Eurovision) and launched in 1993 with the assistance of UNESCO, a number of international organizations and companies of the communication satellite Afrostar. The development of print media was largely facilitated by the creation after 1960 of its own news agencies and associations of African journalists. In 1965, the Federation of Arab News Agencies, FANA, appeared, and in 1983, the Pan-African News Agency, PANA, in which 40 countries participated. One of the oldest and most widely read pan-African magazines, Jeune Afrique, largely contributes to the Western audience's awareness of Africa. This weekly French-language news magazine was founded in Tunisia in 1960 and is headquartered in Paris. Since 2000, Jeune Afrique has also run a news website. Journalists of the publishing house cover both African and international news, write about the economic and political problems of Africa. Its average circulation is 90 thousand copies. In Russia, the only profile publication on the interaction of Russia and Africa on a wide range of issues is the “Africa Active” magazine, published since 2017. Cooperation in the field of media and journalism development is a new, capacious, useful topic and, it seems, in demand. It provides an extensive field of activity. In addition to many possible measures to establish and develop cooperation in this area, it would also be useful to periodically hold international meetings of media representatives to meet, share experience and improve skills, to explore new opportunities in the field of information technology to expand and deepen knowledge about each other. After all, nothing contributes more to the achievement of mutual understanding than personal communication and awareness.

1. “Training of African Students in USSR, Russia”, Alexander Arefiev, Deputy Director of the Center for Sociological Studies of the Russian Education and Science Ministry, Africa Active magazine №1, 2017


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