‘I saw churches and mosques standing nearby. This example should be adopted by all countries’
The president of Senegal highlighted the peculiarities of Tatarstan, became interested in the Games of the Future and cooperation with KAMAZ
On Tuesday evening, President of Senegal Macky Sall arrived in the capital of Tatarstan. The head of the African state has visited in Russia as part of a working visit to participate in the second Russia-Africa summit, which is held in St. Petersburg from July 27 to 28. At the airport, the delegation of Sall was met by the rais of the republic, Rustam Minnikhanov. Over the next few hours, the parties held talks and attended a number of events. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
“They showed me the uniqueness of Tatarstan's development”
Macky Sall visited sports infrastructure facilities in the capital of Tatarstan, accompanied by Rustam Minnikhanov. The president of Senegal got acquainted with the work of the Kazan International Equestrian Complex, inspected the racetrack and the adjacent infrastructure. He also visited the Ak Bars Arena stadium, where he was told about the history of this facility, as well as a brief presentation of its capacities.
His meeting with the KAMAZ Master team took place at the same stadium. Macky Sall appreciated the coverage of the football arena by entering the field and hitting the ball. The famous football player and now coach of the Rubin 2 team, Gökdeniz Karadeniz, presented him with a symbolic gift — a football club jersey. Another object visited by the president of Senegal is the Palace of Water Sports (DVVS), where the presentation of the object was also held. The guest was told about international and All-Russian competitions held in the pools of the palace, about water sports, and the school where young swimmers train. Currently, the Palace of Water Sports is hosting the final of the Russian Swimming Cup.
“A great reception has been given to me and my delegation," he told Rustam Minnikhanov. “I am happy to have the opportunity to carry out this visit, which I have been planning for a long time, since 2019. You were in Senegal in March 2022, and this is our return visit.
In addition to sports facilities, Sall also became interested in the industrial potential of the region. The president of Senegal noted the huge potential of cooperation between his country and the republic in various areas — agriculture, animal husbandry, energy, petrochemical, as well as education, sports, and tourism. Senegal also has a huge demand for cooperation with KAMAZ PJSC.
“I am delighted with the sports facilities that we have visited today. They showed me the uniqueness of Tatarstan's development. We would like to take advantage of your experience in organising and holding major events. We will prepare our country to take part in the Games of the Future in 2024," the president said.
At the same time , Macky Sall noted the experience of interaction between religions:
“I lead the country in which 93-95% are Muslims, our secret of stability is also tolerance and peaceful coexistence with other religions. I saw churches and mosques standing nearby. This example is worthy of admiration, it should be adopted by all countries," he said, stressing that Tatarstan has managed to preserve its identity and, at the same time, open the doors to everything new — nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, digital technologies.
Rustam Minnikhanov, in his turn, thanked the delegation of Senegal and noted that “the visit is of great value and importance”. He pointed out that Macky Sall is making efforts to resolve the Ukrainian conflict: last June, a delegation of leaders of a number of African countries, including the Senegalese head, held talks in Kyiv and Moscow and proposed an “African plan” for resolving the conflict in Ukraine.
Besides, Minnikhanov said that the volume of trade and economic cooperation between the parties is still small. However, Tatarstan, as an export-oriented region with a powerful industrial potential, is ready to supply the widest range of products to Senegal. Over the years, KAMAZ vehicles and helicopters manufactured by Kazan Helicopters plant have been exported to this African country. The rais of Tatarstan also reminded about the annual Russia — Islamic World: KazanForum International Economic Forum. The Senegalese delegation took part in it, the Senegalese exposition was launched at the Russia Halal Expo, the country's stand was also presented in the Agro-Industrial Park of Kazan.
Rustam Minnikhanov has already met with representatives of Senegal in 2017 and 2022
Rustam Minnikhanov and President of Senegal Macky Sall have met not for the first time — in March last year, the rais of Tatarstan with its delegation already visited the African country. It should be recalled that at that time the head of the republic took part in the Tatarstan-Senegal business forum and held a number of meetings, for example, with representatives of the Central Bank of the Gambia. The president was also personally met at Dakar International Airport by the president of Tatarstan, along with State Secretary in charge of Senegalese Abroad Moise Moïse Diégane Sarr, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to Senegal and the Gambia Dmitry Kurakov and others.
At the same time, it became known that the trade turnover between the parties had been at the level of $ 2million for the last two years, the parties agreed that this indicator is extremely low and there is a growth potential. In particular, during that visit, cooperation was discussed in the field of shipbuilding with Ak Bars Holding Company JSC, as well as on possible projects with Tatneft PJSC.
“It is very important for us to find good, reliable partners, industry and agriculture are developed in our region, we are ready to work in these areas. In turn, favourable conditions have been created in Senegal for investors, and this is a good hub to move on to other countries in West Africa," Rustam Minnikhanov said at the time.
Also, the delegation of Senegal headed by the President of the Association of Mayors of the country Aliou Sall visited Tatarstan and in 2017 — the meeting was held at the Government House of the republic. Even then, the parties discussed the prospects of cooperation of the African state with KAMAZ PJSC and the Russian Export Centre.
“Your visit is a landmark," Rustam Minnikhanov said then, addressing Aliou Sall. “We will make every effort to ensure that the visit is successful. I can assure you for my part that KAMAZ is a reliable partner. There is an opportunity to promote other projects on the example of successful cooperation with KAMAZ PJSC," Minnikhanov said. In turn, Aliou Sall stated that Senegal could use Tatarstan's experience in petrochemistry, agriculture, education, and cultural sphere.
Both at the first meeting and this time, Rustam Minnikhanov recalled that he had previously visited Senegal in 2004.
The state with phosphorites, copper, and gold
The Republic of Senegal is a state in West Africa, south of the Senegal River, after which the country got its name.
The Atlantic Ocean — to the West, the country is bordered by Mauritania to the north, Mali — to the east, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau — to the south. Inside the territory, there is the state of the Gambia, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean deep into Senegal for about 300 kilometres. The population, as of January 2022, is just over 18 million people. At the same time, 94% of citizens are Muslims, and 5% are Christians. Another 1% are representatives of local beliefs.
Senegal's economy is poorly developed: the main natural resources are phosphorites, copper, and gold. GDP per capita in 2008 — $1,6 thousand, unemployment (in 2007) — 48%. Agriculture employs more than 75% of workers (14% of GDP). Products — peanuts, millet, corn, sorghum, rice, cotton. Cattle and poultry are bred, fishing is conducted. In the industrial sector (23% of GDP) — processing of agricultural products and fish, extraction of phosphates, as well as iron ore, zirconium, and gold. The service sector accounts for 63% of GDP.
The country's exports reach $3,59 billion (in 2017) — fish and seafood (15%), petroleum products (13%), phosphates and chemicals based on them (11%), gold (10%), as well as other agricultural products (including peanuts — 2,8%). The main buyers are Mali ($780 million), India ($414 million), Switzerland ($295 million), China ($158 million), and Spain ($154 million). In turn, imports amount to $7,89 billion — mainly machinery and equipment (16,6%), petroleum products (11%) and crude oil (6%), food (mainly rice and wheat), medicines, metals.