Italy-Africa Summit: Rome Aims to Forge a “New Chapter” in Relations with the Continent

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read

The Italy-Africa Summit is underway on January 29th, 2024, in Rome, where about twenty African heads of state and government have gathered alongside representatives from the European Union (EU). This morning, the Italian Prime Minister outlined the key objectives of her “Plan Mattei” for Africa, expressing the intent to write a “new chapter” in relations with the continent, emphasizing a “non-predatory” and compassionate approach.

Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni presented the overarching goals of her “Plan Mattei” for Africa, aiming for a transformative and cooperative engagement. The program, as outlined by Meloni, is ambitious, focusing on a “non-predatory” and compassionate approach to foster a new era in relations with Africa. These were the sentiments she conveyed at the podium this morning.

Meloni underscored the vast potential of the continent, highlighting its human, agricultural, and energy resources. Italy intends to leverage these resources, connecting the country’s future with that of the African continent. The Italian leader envisions Italy as a “bridge” between Europe and Africa, evolving into an energy hub facilitating the future transit of African resources.

While emphasizing development, Meloni outlined specific investment projects in Africa, including initiatives to improve access to clean water in Congo-Brazzaville and Ethiopia, as well as projects focused on education and training in Morocco and Tunisia. Addressing the issue of human trafficking, she stressed the importance of enabling partner countries to better manage irregular migration to Europe.

However, the challenge lies in securing the necessary funding to implement the ambitious “Plan Mattei.” Meloni acknowledged that the current budget is “insufficient” and called upon international financial institutions and the EU for support.

The presence of key figures such as Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, at the summit signals a collaborative effort to address these funding needs. As Italy aims to redefine its relationship with Africa, the success of this ambitious plan will hinge on international cooperation and financial support.

Soukaina Sghir

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