HSE University-St Petersburg Hosts Forum of African Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities
The first international Forum of African Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities, held at HSE University-St Petersburg as part of the second Russia–Africa summit, has concluded.
Guests from 25 African countries took part in the event. More than 200 former students of Russian and Soviet universities from Tanzania, Morocco, Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, and other counties took part, as did representatives of BRICS, the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, Rossotrudnichestvo, and Russian and African universities. The attendees discussed a wide range of issues related to cooperation in education, science, economics, and the humanitarian sphere.
Among the speakers of the forum were Pierre Claver Mupendana, President of the Institute for Peace and Development of Africa; Zenebe Tafesse Kinfu, President of the Union of African Diasporas in Russia; and Ellen Peter Otaru-Okoedion, Chair of the Journalists' Environmental Association of Tanzania.
The forum was opened by Sergey Glazyev, Commissioner for Integration and Macroeconomics within the Eurasian Economic Commission.
Sergey Glazyev, Commissioner for Integration and Macroeconomics within the Eurasian Economic Commission
The forum has gathered people who have known Russia for a long time and know it well, understand Russian, and truly feel the spirit of our country. Now is the time to turn this potential of historical ties into real cooperation. In the new circumstances, Russia and African countries are working together to create a new global architecture of cooperation in economics, education, science, and the humanitarian sphere. And the first forum of African graduates is an important step towards this.
During her welcoming speech, Anna Tyshetskaya, the Director of HSE University-St Petersburg, also underscored that the key topic of the forum is the development of ties between Russia and Africa.
Anna Tyshetskaya, Director of HSE University-St Petersburg
Today, our countries are faced with similar tasks in the search for answers to new challenges in the technological and economic spheres. The forum has brought together people who have an influence on the economic development of their countries. All the participants are graduates of Russian and Soviet universities. HSE University is one of the youngest universities in Russia, but it already has a great reputation in our country and the world in the spheres of economics and social sciences. As such, it is symbolic that this conversation about the future is taking place at HSE University in St Petersburg. It is even more symbolic that we are having this international dialogue in the Russian language.
The programme of the forum included conferences and round tables which took place over two days. During the session 'Culture, Peace, and Security', experts discussed the role of Russian education and the contribution of graduates of Russian and Soviet universities to the economic and humanitarian development of Africa, as well as decolonisation and the emergence of conflicts on the continent.
During the working session 'Ecology, Business, and Twin Cities', researchers and environmental activists examined Africa's environmental problems, looked at modern approaches to creating better living conditions, and shared cases on generating ecological content.
The session 'Humanitarian Cooperation' featured presentations on future and existing projects aimed at promoting African culture in Russia and developing Russian as an international language.
Summarising the results of the forum, Chair of the Union of African Diasporas Francois Xavier Tulikunkiko thanked HSE University-St Petersburg for the hospitality, highlighted the importance of cooperation between Russia and Africa in higher education, and announced the creation of some joint educational projects with HSE University.
Francois Xavier Tulikunkiko, Chair of the Union of African Diasporas
For the African continent, Russian education has been a mark of quality for decades. The most in-demand professionals in medicine, science, business, and public service are former students of Russian and Soviet universities who spent the best years of their lives in your country, and we will always remember that. For us, the interests of Russia are as important as the interests of our home countries.
One outcome of the forum was the signing of a resolution to create an international Association of African Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities, which includes plans for the all-round development of Russia–Africa relations. The participants of the forum also thanked the administration of HSE University-St Petersburg for hosting the event, and requested that the campus serve as the venue for working meetings of the initiative group.