14 December / 2020


December 14, 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples", the adoption of which is associated with the struggle of the countries of the world against the centuries-old system of colonialism.
The process of forming and establishing the statehood of independent countries, especially on the African continent, was long and difficult. Together with their appearance, the establishment and development of relations with Russia (USSR) took place.
Historically, Russia has never taken part in the colonial division of the African continent. Moreover, it showed sympathy for the lot of the oppressed peoples of colonies. In October 1864, the Russian Foreign Ministry declared its readiness to recognize the Republic of Liberia. In 1898, diplomatic relations were established between the Russian Empire and Ethiopia. After the adoption of the General Act against the Slave Trade in July 1890, the Russian Navy took part in sea convoys designed to prevent the transportation of African slaves across the Atlantic.
On the initiative of the USSR, on December 14, 1960, the UN General Assembly adopted the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples". It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this document. Its approval at the UN level created an international legal basis for providing assistance to national liberation movements and accelerated the process of gaining independence by African countries. Many of its provisions are reflected in the Charter of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), established in 1963, which became the basis of the African Union. And 1960 was declared the Year of Africa.
As a follow-up to the Declaration, in 1963, and again on the initiative of the USSR, supported by developing countries, the UN adopted the “Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination”, and in 1973 – the "Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crimes of Apartheid", put forward by the USSR together with the Republic of Guinea.
Already in the 60s and 70s, the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with almost all the newly independent states of Africa. In total, with the assistance of the USSR and its successor Russia, about 300 industrial enterprises, 155 objects in the agricultural sector, about 100 educational institutions, including 10 higher and secondary schools, and 80 vocational schools were built in Africa. 480 thousand Africans received professional training, including in training centers established in African countries themselves – 250 thousand people, 150 thousand people. Workers and specialists received training during the construction and operation of cooperation facilities. More than 80 thousand Africans received diplomas from Soviet and Russian universities and technical schools. In most countries, this has contributed to the creation of modern national-oriented economies.
Due to the efforts of the Soviet and Russian people, the scientific, technical, industrial and cultural potential of most developing countries of the world was laid, which still has a significant impact in world politics and economy, contributes to the formation of a fair and equitable system of international relations.
Nowadays, the Russian Federation continues to develop traditionally friendly and mutually beneficial relations with African states. At the present stage, the most important milestone in the development of Russian-African relations was the Russia – Africa summit, held in Sochi in 2019. The dialogue between our countries has reached a brand new level. The established Russia-Africa Partnership Forum contributes to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, coordination of efforts in countering the threats and challenges of our time.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Guinea and the Republic of Sierra Leone congratulates friendly peoples of Africa on the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the "Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples".