Africa has long been a top priority of Italy’s foreign policy. The relations with African countries and organisations is today based on an equal partnership, targeted to achieve shared development and face the many global challenges together, thus overcoming the traditional donor/beneficiary approach. Italy’s attention to Africa is designed to ensure both Africa’s balanced growth and Italy’s national interest, also within a European and international framework.
The close interconnections between sustainability, peace, the fight against terrorism, crime and trafficking, development, progress, migrant and refugee flows, and climate change are evident in Africa. There is also the highly topical issue of the health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on Africa’s economies, particularly with regard to debt sustainability.
Italy’s geopolitical position at the centre of the Mediterranean and its traditional propensity for dialogue with Africa, also in light of the growing centrality that Africa is taking on, faced with increasingly complex global phenomena, makes a coherent foreign policy action advisable. This action must be based on peace and security; governance and human rights; migration and mobility; cooperation and investment; sustainable economic development; the fight against climate change; cultural and scientific collaboration.
This action follows up Italy’s long-standing and intense presence in Africa (which distinguishes it from other players on the continent), based not only on balanced political choices, but also on the many initiatives undertaken by the Italian Development Cooperation; on the deeply-rooted experience of its NGOs and volunteers; on the role played by religious and archaeological missions, and on the several communities of compatriots, many of whom are entrepreneurs.
Africa’s dynamics also have important repercussions on European and Italian ones. For this reason, along with the bilateral partnership with African countries, it is also essential to work within the various international fora, first and foremost the United Nations and the African Union, alongside the EU and its individual Member States. In the European sphere, and in all multilateral fora, Italy has always played a valued and recognised role in favour of Africa, providing a decisive contribution to mobilising greater resources towards Africa, with a series of initiatives and proposals.
Download the document “Il Partenariato con l’Africa”