At the end of October, the first in the history of Russian-African relations Russia-Africa Summit was held in Sochi. Representatives of most states and regional organizations of the African continent took part in it. Russia and Egypt co-chaired the event. The summit was opened by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. In his welcoming remarks, the Russian leader noted that Russia and Africa are bound by ties of traditionally friendly relations. An important area of Russian-African cooperation is training and education. Today, more than 17 thousand students from Africa are studying in Russia. And, according to the President, the Russian authorities are considering increasing the quota of state-funded places at Russian universities for students from the African continent.
The summit hosted the Russia-Africa Economic Forum and representatives of Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University attended one of the plenary sessions: Issa Togo, Associate Professor of the Higher School of Hydrotechnical and Power Engineering of SPbPU Institute of Engineering and Technology; Vladimir Dolgopolov, Associate Professor and leading expert of the Department of International Education, and Yelena Gracheva, Deputy Head of the Department of International Education. Also, specialists from the STI SPbPU Center for New Manufacturing Technologies Marina Bolsunovskaya, head of the SPbPU Industrial Data Streaming Systems Laboratory (IDSS), and Dmitri Serov, Leading Specialist at the IDSS Laboratory, an expert in the field of digital technology and water supply and sanitation, attended the Forum.
For decades, SPbPU has been actively developing cooperation with the African continent in the scientific, technical and educational fields. Moreover, Polytechnic University has always aimed at practical solutions and the development of new areas and international contacts. Graduates of SPbPU continue to work in African countries and do a lot to strengthen ties between our states. One of them is Issa Togo, who came to Russia from the Republic of Mali. More than 30 years ago, he graduated with honors from the Hydrotechnical Department of the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute, and continued his studies at the postgraduate school. The Government of the Republic has never lost sight of the highly qualified specialist: Issa Togo comes to his homeland on a regular basis to conduct research on the introduction of advanced technologies in the industry of the country and give lectures to students of Malian universities.
African countries appreciate Russia's contribution to higher education: this was noted at the summit by Vladimir Putin. “Indeed, people, their talent, backed up by education, protected by an effective health care system, is something that has been given to us by the Almighty, and we are obliged to support it, and protect and develop,” the President of the Russian Federation emphasized.
Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University supports this area of activities. Presently, about 250 students from the African states study at the university. Despite the differences in climate, they quickly adapt to living in Russia, easily learn the Russian language, and take an active part in various university events.
“We are extremely interested in developing relations with Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya and other states. We recommend the students from Africa to enroll at the university along the state-support line. This channel is well-established and highly effective: more than 70% of students from Africa study at St. Petersburg Polytechnic University under to the quota provided by the Ministry of Education,” pointed out at the International Office of Polytechnic University. It’s noteworthy that this year students from such faraway countries as Madagascar, Somalia and the Island of St. Helena enrolled at our University.