Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi stressed on Friday the need to reach an agreement to resume the Black Sea Grain Initiative, calling for taking into account the needs of developing countries, especially in Africa.
Speaking at the Second Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg, President El Sisi highlighted the need to find fair solutions increasing prices of food and fertilisers for African countries. Russia held its first Africa summit in 2019.
The Black Sea Grain Initiative specifically allows for commercial food and fertiliser (including ammonia) exports from three key Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea – Odesa, Chornomorsk, Yuzhny/Pivdennyi.
In his speech during the Russia-Africa summit, President Sisi outlined Egypt’s vision regarding the current international situation in a bid to boost co-operation under the umbrella of our strategic partnership between African countries and Russia.
“Our summit today takes place on the back of tough and complex international circumstance, characterised by a high degree of polarisation,” he said, pointing out that African countries are facing a huge number of challenges that affects its ability to complete its development path and even pose a threat to their security and the rights of future generations.
The president explained that African states have independent will and seek peace, security, and sustainable development that achieves the interests of their peoples.
He has made it clear that “formulation of sustainable solutions to world conflicts should be based on the objectives of the United Nations Charter as well as the principles of international law.
The president highlighted the need to consider the needs of developing countries, especially African countries, with regard to tough repercussions on their economies in the wake of world conflicts and challenges and impacts on food security, supply chains and high energy prices.
“In this regard, I stress the importance of finding urgent solutions to provide food and fertilisers at prices that help Africa,” Sisi said.
The president reiterated Egypt’s commitment to continuing its serious and sincere efforts to deepen strategic partnership with Russia.
He highlighted the need to boost co-operation between Egyptian and Russian companies.
He lauded “deep strategic relations” between African countries and Russia calling for strengthening these ties to promote peace and security as well as economic development by focusing on infrastructure, agriculture and industrialization.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin has told African leaders he would gift them tens of thousands of tonnes of grain despite Western sanctions, which he said made it harder for Moscow to export its grain and fertilisers.
Putin said Russia was ready to replace Ukrainian grain exports to Africa on both a commercial and aid basis to fulfil what he said was Moscow’s critical role in global food security.
“We will be ready to provide Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Central African Republic and Eritrea with 25-50,000 tonnes of free grain each in the next three to four months,” Putin told the summit.
Last year, Russia exported 60 million tonnes of grain, of which 48 million was wheat, Putin said. UN chief Antonio Guterres called the promised grain “a handful of donations”.