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St. Petersburg Mining University develops cooperation with higher education institutions of African countries

Мали
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Марина Виноградова

Burema Kansai, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Republic of Mali, paid a working visit to Empress Catherine II Saint Petersburg Mining University. During his meeting with Rector Vladimir Litvinenko, he discussed the prospects of bilateral cooperation, as well as partnership within the framework of the African Subsoil Consortium.

One of the most acute problems facing Mali today, Mr. Minister called the lack of its own system of training engineers and, especially, geologists. This leads to the fact that the country, whose subsoil is rich in gold, diamonds, lithium, copper, uranium and many other minerals, cannot monetize them independently. And Western transnational companies, which are mainly engaged in the exploitation of deposits, send the main profits to their shareholders, leaving the local population only "crumbs from the pie".

In order to change the situation, the authorities of the Republic, like air, need technologies and personnel capable of ensuring uninterrupted and effective functioning of the infrastructure of the existing deposits, as well as the search for new ones. To this end, promising young people are sent to study abroad, but not every graduate of a foreign technical university is eager to return to the homeland.

Мали
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Марина Виноградова

"We, of course, need our own Mining University, and a decision in principle to build it has already been made. But since we have no such experience, we would like to involve competent specialists from abroad in the project. I have familiarized myself with your material base today, and it is undoubtedly very impressive. The development of partnership in this direction is extremely interesting for us. And after the new university starts its work, it will be very important for us to attract competent teachers. Both through training of Malian youth in postgraduate studies of such status higher educational institutions as St. Petersburg Mining University, and through academic exchange programs", - said Burema Kansai.

He noted that he fully shares Vladimir Litvinenko's opinion about the harmful influence of the Western neo-colonial system on the sustainability of development of African states, and said that more and more of his compatriots are beginning to learn Russian. The guest also expressed the hope that Mali, which expelled the French military contingent from its territory the year before last, would become a good example of how the quality of life of the population can change for the better in case of refusal to cooperate with Europe and the USA.

The Rector emphasized to the guest another important fact - the need for clear state control over the activities of extractive companies. After all, it is no less important for the sovereign management of its own subsoil than the availability of innovations, engineers and geologists. It is the government's responsibility to determine how much mineral resources should be extracted from a particular field or how many jobs should be created there for the local population. It is equally important to determine the share of raw materials that should be involved in deep processing within the country in order to obtain added value, as well as the coefficient of replenishment of the resource base through exploration.

At the end of the meeting, the parties agreed to develop a roadmap with a specific list of measures aimed at accelerating the integration of higher schools of the two countries. They also called the development of cooperation within the framework of the consortium "Subsoil of Africa", which was established in December last year, equally important.

Мали
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Марина Виноградова