The Higher School of Economics (HSE), together with Intexpertise LLC - the Russian research centre for the provision of economic expertise - are creating a Centre for African Studies. It will be established within the framework of the existing National Research University HSE faculty of global economics and politics
, and will become one of the leading platforms aimed at facilitating Afro-Russian relations.
The opening of the Centre was announced by Andrey Maslov, member of Intexpertise Advisory Board at the "Russia - Africa Economic Forum"
which started on this Wednesday in Sochi. "The Centre will focus on getting not only HSE University staff, but also colleagues from institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, practicing professionals, and leading international experts involved in designing and teaching courses, in addition to participating in workshops, conferences, and roundtable discussions organized by the Centre. We hope that over the next few years, the HSE Centre for African Studies will become a key source of expertise for various Africa-related projects and research," Andrey Maslov noted.
HSE University has already formed a team of highly professional multidisciplinary experts, whose research interests include countries of Africa. The Centre will significantly expand the range of courses on African countries offered at HSE, increase research and publication activity in this field, and, of course, integrate our research resources into the global educational sphere.
One of the Centre's important areas of focus will be providing informational and analytical support to Russian organizations engaged in economic activity and projects in Africa, as well as providing consulting to Russian businesses that are expanding their exports to African countries.
"With the opening of the Centre, HSE University will become an integral part of the Russian-African relations agenda as one of the biggest expert analysis platforms," said Andrey Zhulin - Director of the HSE Institute for Public Administration and Governance, Vice Rector. He also emphasized that the Centre will be able to provide Africa-related analysis on a global level.
The founding of the Centre attests to the growing importance Russian leadership is placing on Russian-African relations. President Vladimir Putin sent a welcome letter to the Russia-Africa Economic Forum, where he underscored the fact that Russian-African relations, which traditionally have been friendly and partnership-based, have particularly become more active in recent years. For example, Russian companies are prepared to offer African partners scientific and technological solutions and strategies for infrastructural modernization in energy, transport, and communications.
"I expect that the forum will lay out new areas and forms of cooperation and lead to promising joint initiatives, which will help take Russian-African relations to a new level and promote the economic development and well-being of our nations," Mr. Putin said.