The government of Italy unveiled a near US$6 billion plan to support African development at a one-day Italy-Africa summit in Rome on Monday.
- Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni announced various initiatives designed to bolster economic links and create an energy hub for Europe while curbing African emigration to Europe.
- They included an initial pledge of €5.5 billion (US$5.95 billion) including guarantees.
- African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki welcomed the pledged support, while noting that prior consultation with the African continent would have been desirable, particularly when the Mattei Plan was being drafted.
The summit—which took place as Italy assumes the Presidency of the G7 this month, and a few weeks ahead of the 37th Ordinary Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa—was one at which Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni called for a new Italian partnership with Africa.
“We believe it is possible to envision and write a new chapter in the history of our relationship, a cooperation among equals, far from any predatory imposition or charitable stance towards Africa. There is a natural inclination for Italy to be a bridge between Africa and Europe. The whole world cannot think about the future without Africa,” Meloni said.
Speaking earlier during the Africa-Italy summit, President William Ruto underscored need for more funds to address energy shortfall in the continent. Africa targets to increase renewable capacity from 56 GW to at least 300 GW by 2030, this is aimed at addressing energy security which still remains a distant reality for approximately 600 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lacking access to electricity.
“Africa’s ambitious goal to transform into a green industrial powerhouse hinge on securing the right type and amount of capital, particularly in the realms of renewable energy and infrastructure,” said Ruto.
“But African countries pay five times as much for our debt, driven by both real and perceived risk factors. We must accelerate reform measures to the Global Financial Architecture, including adjustments to debt treatment.”