Human capital assets development cooperation between Africa and Russia aimed to achieve mutual prosperity in the field of education
Africa is a promising continent that is taking leaps and bounds into the future. Africa is a continent of opportunity, rich in natural resources and cultural heritage.
Now Africa has to make an important choice — who do it wants to move on with. Despite the fact that international experts believe Africa to be the "continent of the future", its potential has not been fully discovered yet. There are more than 1.4 billion people living in 55 countries that have common interests with Russia.
The development of education is an integral factor influencing the economic and social progress of any country. Current trends indicate that both in Russia and in Africa there has been a significant increase in efforts aimed at the development and improvement of the education system in recent years.
Africa, as one of the most dynamically changing regions, faces many problems in the field of education. Among them are: limited access to high-quality education, lack of professors, and common illiteracy. In recent years, many african countries have significantly increased their budget allocations for education, expanded educational opportunities and increased the literacy of the population.
Russia has a large academic base built on solid educational principles. Russian universities and scientific centers deserve recognition and respect from the international community and are one of the most influential scientific institutions in the world. Continuous improvement of exchange programs and expanding of collaboration with foreign institutions contributes to the further development of Russian education.
Cooperation between Russia and Africa in the field of education is a significant component of their interaction. Currently, there is a diversification of cooperation in this area. Providing educational opportunities for foreign students is important for the development of international influence of these countries. This contributes to economic benefits and is a valuable tool for bolstering influence through "Soft power". Soft power is a way to influence other countries without resorting to the use of force and threat. Education plays an important role in this process, as it is a tool for propagating ideas and values, creating a positive image of the country and forming long-term relations and cooperation.
There are about 35 thousand African students in Russian universities now. It is 4 thousand more than in the previous academic year. Over the past 13 years, the number of African students has tripled.
African students get higher education in various fields, such as medicine, engineering, economics, humanities, etc. Russian universities offer internship in local companies.

"In accordance with the admission plan, we allocated 2.1 thousand state-funded university places for 2021; 2.3 thousand places — for 2022, and 4.7 thousand places — for 2023," said Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Science K. Mogilyovsky at the international parliamentary conference "Russia — Africa", according to TASS.

Training of specialists with intermediate vocational education level under programs offered to foreign students is an important direction in this cooperation. Such cooperation plays an important role for Africa, since they get highly qualified professionals for enterprises of different sectors and greatly contributes to economic and social development.
One of the key aspects of forming staff for African branches of Russian enterprises is re-training of existing staff, both Russian and local. Such programs also allow employees to develop their professional skills and get accustomed to peculiarities of local market.
Russian contribution to education in Africa includes active assistance in development and modernization of educational programs, academic materials and methods of teaching, as well as advisory work.
Now we realized that we need to actively develop educational tourism between our countries. This requires developing special short-term educational programs that would allow students to exchange experience and knowledge during holidays. Such an exchange will help expand horizons and increase mutual understanding of cultures between our countries. Students will study history, culture and traditions of each other's peoples, as well as improve their learning and communication skills. This will be of use for both universities ans students who will get invaluable experience and an opportunity to broaden their horizons. Educational tourism development will bring mutual benefits and contribute to the strengthening of friendly relations between out countries.
Russian higher education institutions offer special programs for students to prepare for work in Africa. As part of these programs, Russian universities offer training courses that will help students master skills necessary for work in African enterprises and would be adapted to local conditions. These program include learning languages, studying cultures and laws of African countries, undergoing special courses in management, marketing, finance and other disciplines that are important for successful work in the local market.
Despite the fact that there are different programs and initiatives aimed at helping African students, they still face a number of problems that can hinder successful integration into the educational environment and society. For African students, social adaptation and interaction, language barriers and cultural differences, economic problems caused by sanctions and restrictions on the use of foreign bank cards represent complex and multifaceted processes that can negatively affect students' academic achievements and social life.
To achieve sustainable development, it is necessary to continue polishing the quality of education, developing new technologies and expanding international cooperation. These measures will allow us to make more use of human potential, increase competitiveness, and ensure the stability of economic development of our countries. Only through joint efforts will we be able to face new challenges in a new reality.
        Irina Kiseleva
        RUSS project manager, member of the Board of the Strategic Agency for the Development of Relations with African Countries, chairlady of the Committee for the Development of professional education of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Moscow Region.