The Center for the Development of Business and Cooperation with Russia (CBDCR) opened on 14 June 2019 in Cotonou, more precisely in an enchanting setting in the Haie-Vive district. The ceremony was held in front of a crowd of personalities, including the Russian ambassador to Benin, Igor Evdokimov, the Mayor of Abomey-Calavi commune, Georges Bada, the Representative of the Minister of Higher Education in the person of Professor Bienvenu Koudjo and many other no less important figures in the political and economic life of Benin.
This center, which aims to make Benin, Russia's gateway to Africa and vice versa economically, tourism and cultural, is an initiative of Mr. Serge Phocas ODUNLAMI who is also the President.
The objective that Mr. Serge Phocas ODUNLAMI aims at creating this space of exchanges and cooperation between Africa and Russia, is to « make Benin the nerve center of any economic, cultural initiative, tourism, social and sports links between Russia and Africa. »
In his official speech, the President of the CBDCR, Mr. Serge Phocas ODUNLAMI clearly expressed the primary vocation as well as the fundamental mission of the center. Indeed, for him, it is a safe and credible channel to access opportunities business and investment that both Russia and Africa offer in economic, tourism and cultural terms. The CBDCR aims to bring together African and Russian businessmen in synergy for a fruitful and beneficial cooperation for both parties. This space is the epicenter from which development projects linking Africa (in this case Benin) and Russia will spring. As Russia is a country that is becoming increasingly geopolitical and economic in the world, it is good that Africa develops strategies of rapprochement and cooperation with this prosperous country. It is therefore important to begin by undermining the misconceptions that Africans have about the country of Vladimir Putin and the prejudices that the Russians have about the Black Continent. The CBDCR is also a center for learning the Russian language; language being the first vector of integration and cooperation.
In their various speeches, the Russian ambassador to Benin and other dignitaries present at the ceremony, welcomed the initiative of Mr. Serge Phocas ODUNLAMI before reiterating their unwavering support for valorization and outreach of this center whose creation is a real boon for Africa and Russia.