Article written

African leaders in Rome for first ever Italy-Africa Conference 0

The leadership of Africa will be in Rome for the first time ever this week for the First Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference. Goal of the event, organized on May 18th by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in conjunction with the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI), is to broaden and deepen the possible areas of cooperation with the Continent, thus reaffirming Italy’s renewed attention and engagement towards Africa, and to identify ways to support the African continent in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Africa is currently facing severe challenges, while showing many bright sides and offering growing opportunities. On the one hand, crisis’ scenarios continue to threaten the stability of entire regions, such as the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, thereby fueling a wide range of migratory flows’ push-factors which rely on the porosity of the Libyan borders. On the other hand, Africa is now a thriving continent, both in terms of demographic growth and economic development and, increasingly, for its demand and offer of culture and arts.

Despite the deeply-rooted lack of infrastructure, today’s Africa can boost a huge potential with regard to renewable energy and raw materials. Similarly, also the agricultural production could be enhanced with a view to promoting a sustainable management of resources. In such an environment, the real challenge would be about laying out stable conditions for a sustainable development in order to foster job opportunities for the African youth.

The Rome-based conference is due to unite, on an equal footing, scores of ministers from African Countries, their Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York and the top representatives of around 15 International and Regional Organisations of the UN System. The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, will open the plenary session and will be followed by speeches by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni and Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chad (rotating presidency of the rotating Council of the African Union). The conference will be closed by the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi.

Closing remarks will also be made by the President of the African Union Commission, Dlamini Zuma, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui, AU Commissioner for Energy, Elaham Ibrahim, and Director General of FAO, Jose Graziano da Silva.

The Conference aims at defining a strategic partnership in specific sectors, such as: Economic Development (infrastructure development, agriculture, Small & Medium Enterprise model in Africa); Social and Environmental Sustainability (balancing development needs with environmental sustainability), Sustainability of Migration (demographic trends and employment policies), and, last but not least, Peace and Security (peace-keeping and peace-building in Africa) as an essential requirement for a truly sustainable development of the continent.

The organization of a Conference, where Italy’s African partners will be involved, is a chance to size up what has thus far been achieved within the framework of the so-called “Italy–Africa Initiative” and to lay the foundations for a sustainable and equal partnership with the African continent. The Conference, which is expected to take place every two years, will set the frame for a High-Level Dialogue with the African partners, similarly to the existing model Italy has developed with the Latin American countries. The Conference will also be closely related to and in a spirit of continuity with the reflections sparked by the recent ”Mediterranean Dialogues” (Rome, 10-12 December 2015), which were focused on cooperation with the Mediterranean Countries.

Source: Onu Italia

subscribe to comments RSS

There are no comments for this post

Please, feel free to post your own comment

* these are required fields

P.IVA 11273390150
Direttore Responsabile Giuseppe Frangi