The first day of the summit was devoted to numerous problems on the African continent, the least developed region both economically and socially. The African countries’ leaders, including Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Ghana’s President John Kufuor, Nigeria’s President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Ethiopia’s President Meles Zenawi and South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki were invited to take part in the discussion. The African Union’s leaders, the World Bank’s president Robert Zoellick, and UN Secretary-General Pan Ki-Moon also participated in the meeting.
The meeting’s extended participation was necessary to discuss the prospects for increasing relief programmes in Africa.
The intent of this meeting was not to write off African countries’ debts but to allocate specific amounts of money for concrete programmes. Russia channels its funds into programmes facilitating access to basic education, programmes for combating infectious diseases and for food aid programmes. In 2007, Russia spent over $200 million for this purpose.