The thematic section was conducted by Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma Olga Timofeeva
Olga Victorovna . Interaction in the field of education, health care, demography, culture was somehow discussed at other platforms of the parliamentary forum, as well as during bilateral meetings.
The parliamentarian noted that delegations of African countries often include people speaking Russian, who studied in Russia.
“In Soviet times, a large number of African students received education in the USSR, they brought our culture to the continent. Even now parliamentarians from different countries have been grateful for the fact that our country taught a large number of highly qualified specialists, including doctors and teachers. Today, about 20,000 African students are studying here but there can and should be much more. These ties need to be renewed. Both Africa and Russia are interested in this,” said Olga Timofeeva.
In Africa, there are currently seven Russian centers of science and culture: in Egypt, Zambia, Morocco, Congo, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Ethiopia. Russia is ready to expand the network of its centers and humanitarian ties in general.
Interaction in the field of medicine is promising. Due to the lack of medical infrastructure and specialists, the African continent has become a major source of outbound medical tourism. Africans are interested in developing their own health care system.
What are the “development reserves”, what should be paid special attention to? What are the obstacles and how to overcome them? Possibilities of parliamentary diplomacy to build humanitarian ties. All these issues were discussed by parliamentarians.
Olga Timofeeva noted that today's parliamentary dialogue is taking place on the eve of the big Russia-Africa summit, which is scheduled for October this year. “This is actually the beginning of the discussion of important issues of a joint agenda at the highest level. 38 African delegations, including 25 at the level of speakers and 10 at the level of deputy speakers, about 300 parliamentarians in total, and another 50 experts attended the parliamentary conference. This is perhaps an unprecedented scale. It proves that ties between Russia and Africa are entering a new phase,” said the Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma.