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Thursday, February 22, 2024

World cannot ignore Africa – Italian PM Giorgia Meloni

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has joined fellow African heads of state for the Italy-Africa Summit in the Italian capital, Rome, this Monday.

More than 20 African nations attended the summit.

13 countries, including Zimbabwe, were represented at head of state level, while others were represented at Prime Minister and ministerial levels.

The summit saw Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni present her country’s plan for Africa, dubbed the Mattei Plan.

The plan was named after Italian public administrator, Enrico Mattei who advocated for the European country to support development on the African continent.

As she outlined the plan, Prime Minister Meloni made it clear the destinies of Africa and Europe are intertwined, hence the need for cooperation in pursuing development.

She said the biased stories of Africa being poor need to be dismantled, with the continent rich in resources and human capital.

The Italian Prime Minister is convinced the world cannot plan for development without Africa.

“This summit is the first Italy is hosting after assuming the chairmanship of the G7. This is part of our foreign policy. We’re aware of how the destiny of the two continents are intertwined and we believe there is room to write a new chapter in Africa. Italy, Africa are a bridge for economic growth, that’s what we want to build. That’s what we want to foster.

“We want to see possibilities where they were not seen before. We want to write a new page. We need to dismantle some biased story telling where people say Africa is a poor continent. Africa has land, minerals and a young population. It’s the youngest continent in the world so it has huge human potential. The whole world cannot think of the future without Africa. We want to play our role in this to help our continent to prosper. The Mattei plan is what we’re working on.”

African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said while the African continent has vast natural resources the continent faces challenges in funding.

He emphasised the need for the discourse of partnering Africa to move from being a talk show to practical action.

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