The international summit in Rome was attended by the leaders of 25 African countries and the leaders of the EU, the African Union, the IMF and the various UN agencies. Meloni: “The objective is to present our vision of development, a new, non-predatory approach, as equals, to grow together. We have established priority subjects and pilot countries in which to launch the first projects”. Mattarella: “We are challenged by common causes that see the value of peace and, therefore, the destiny of humanity at risk”
The international summit “Italy – Africa. A bridge for common growth” has officially begun in Rome. The leaders of 25 African countries, the Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, the leaders of the European Union, the African Union, the IMF and the various UN agencies arrived at the Quirinale for a dinner with the president of the Republic Sergio Mattarella. “We are challenged by common causes that see the value of peace and, therefore, the destiny of humanity at risk – said the head of Statp – Exploring the extraordinary potential for development of relations between Africa and Europe on the political terrain, to extinguish the outbreaks of tension and conflict, on the economic terrain, to achieve sustainable production and a fair distribution of resources, to increase the heritage of our respective cultures, is the task that lies before us”. Tomorrow there will be an appointment in the Senate, where various panels will be held throughout the day and the Mattei Plan, which has now been announced several times, will also be announced: one of the pillars – the Prime Minister said at COP28 in December – is energy development, “to build partnerships mutually beneficial and support the energy security of African and Mediterranean countries”.
Meloni: “Piano Mattei will start with pilot countries”
“The objective is to present to African countries our vision of development for Africa, which is the basis of the Mattei Plan, a new approach, not predatory, not paternalistic but not even charitable: as equals, to grow together. We have established priority subjects and pilot countries in which to launch the first projects”, Meloni told Tg1 while presenting the summit. “We want to dialogue with all the other” African countries, specified the Prime Minister, underlining that “the advantages for Italy are countless: everything that happens in Africa involves us, from migration to security through supply chains. For us, adequate development of the African continent is essential.” To build the first bilateral partnerships, Rome looks above all to the largest and most populous countries on the continent, which are inevitably also the most influential. There is already talk of Algeria, Egypt (with which the EU is also trying to create a memorandum) and Morocco. “What we did in Tunisia must be replicated with other nations and we are working on it”, explained Meloni, ready to see President Kais Saied again. Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dbeibeh, prime minister of the Government of National Unity, is expected from Libya, and it is not excluded that Meloni will discuss agreements to slow down migratory flows, a topic on which the prime minister received valuable support from Recep Tayyip a week ago Erdogan, the president of Turkey, who has a particularly active role in the North African country.
Mattarella: “Stronger relationship between Italy and Africa”
“The intention and hope are to be able to create, after the intense dialogue started in recent years with the Italy-Africa ministerial conferences, an even stronger and more structured relationship between the African continent and our country – stated Mattarella during the toast in front of the Heads of State and Government and the other guests of the summit – During the years of my mandate I have had the opportunity to constantly appreciate the reality of a dynamic and enterprising continent, with multiple and profound cultural characteristics, inhabited by young women and men who look to the future with confidence”. “Your presence here this evening, numerous and qualified, gives concrete expression to the firm and sincere friendship that unites our peoples – added the Head of State -: the Italian Republic is grateful to you. These are bonds that are also fostered by the presence in Italy of numerous communities of African origin, who are an active and vital part of our society and who, with their precious work, contribute to the economic and cultural growth of our country. It is one of the manifestations of that globalization that unites destinies of our two continents, strongly interconnected with each other”.
Mattarella: “Balanced partnerships from the Mattei model”
“The European Union is the bearer of a vision based on the value of effective multilateralism, founded on universal principles. Principles that Italy has been able to translate into the construction of balanced partnerships that respect the rights of each people, according to a model that it knew well interpret a leader like Enrico Mattei, one of the protagonists of the fight for the freedom of the Italian people and, precisely for this reason, an attentive supporter of the path of independence and liberation of the African peoples”, said Mattarella. “We can and must work on a vision developed together – he added – The price of our inability in this regard would be paid by future generations, to whom we cannot hand over impoverished societies, degraded environments, migrations as a painful response to unresolved problems”.
Mattarella: “More space for Africa on the international scene”
“It is necessary that the voice of African countries finds more and more space in international forums: an objective to which Italy and the European Union are firmly committed and which marked a first, important milestone with the full entry of the African Union into the G20 “, continued Mattarella. “The range of possible collaborations” between Italy, Europe and Africa “is wide – he added – The prospects for economic integration linked to the launch of an African continental free trade area; the industrialization and creation of production with greater added value, so as to valorise the enormous natural riches on site; technological modernisation; energy and infrastructure; a renewed and strong commitment to the issues of education and training; health; a common effort to eradicate the roots of terrorism and counteract the resurgence of outdated imperialist ideologies. Necessary responses, also in the face of the impetuous demographic growth of the African continent”. “It is an agenda which sees the Italian Republic ready to do its part, also within the framework of the Presidency of the G7, and to offer its own active and significant contribution, starting with maintaining the financial commitment in favor of the African continent. It is cooperation to move progress”, concluded the head of state.
Mattarella and the African proverb
Sergio Mattarella’s greeting to the guests of the Italy-Africa summit ended with an African proverb “of great wisdom”. “If you want to go fast, run alone. If you want to go far, go with someone – said the President of the Republic – So that ours is a common path, towards the objectives of well-being and peace in Africa, in Europe and in the world , we need to jointly put our respective wills into play. With these wishes, I renew my warmest and most heartfelt welcome to Italy, wishing health and prosperity to all of you and to our friends African peoples”.
Leaders and leaders of the institutions at the Quirinale
Around 70 guests are present at the table set up for dinner in the Quirinale Festive Hall. Among them, the presidents of Comoros, Congo, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Senegal, Somalia, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, the vice presidents of Benin, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Equatorial Guinea , the prime ministers of Cabo Verde, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Libya, Morocco, Sao Tomé and Principe, Uganda, the foreign ministers of Algeria, Angola, Congo, Chad, Egypt, Malawi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, South Africa, the ambassadors of Botswana, Cameroon, Mauritius, Lesotho, Namibia, Seychelles. Among the multilateral organizations there are: the African Development Bank, the African Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the EIB, the leaders of the EU, FAO, IFAD, IMF, IOM, IRENA, OECD, the deputy secretary general of the UN, the leaders of UNESCO, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNDP, UNODC, World Bank. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, was invited as an observer.
The event will open tomorrow morning with a plenary session, with speeches by Meloni, Tajani and the heads of international institutions, and another five thematic work sessions in which the relevant ministers will participate: on economic and infrastructural cooperation, food and energy security , professional training and culture, migration and security. The Chamber of Palazzo Madama will thus be the showcase of the strategy launched by the executive when it took office, that Mattei Plan which for a few weeks has also had governance, with a control room that will meet for the first time in February to work on the first projects.
EU: “The Mattei Plan is good, it fits our vision”
Today a spokeswoman for the EU executive announced that the European Commission “welcomes” the Mattei Plan, believing that it “fits well with the joint vision for 2030 to which the leaders of the EU and the African Union have committed themselves ” and “the Global Gateway investment plan in Africa”. “President von der Leyen will participate” in the conference, “and we expect positive discussions on how to advance economic cooperation with African partners, which represents a priority for both the EU and Africa”, underlined the spokeswoman.