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New efforts for Africa

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) is once again taking action for Africa in a collaboration with the University of Genoa for the next SpeRA Conference (Solidarity, Projects and Resources for Africa). The Conference will be taking place at the Maritime Museum in Genoa from 14-16 June 2012. The initiative was presented at the Ministry, in the Directorate General for Development Cooperation.

The conference is intended for all operators of NGOs, non-profit organisations, foundations and volunteer associations engaged in charity projects focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa. The event will be organised by SPeRA (a consortium of 23 Ligurian non-profit organisations) and by “Medici in Africa” (another non-profit). The proceedings themselves will be coordinated by the University of Genoa.

The goals of the conference are to: lend a voice to all aid programmes for Africa; foster collaboration and synergies between operators and lay and religious associations; facilitate the recruitment of new human and economic resources; bring the world of the voluntary sector closer to the world of work; and create a single document that will act as a register of charity projects and companies and which will be easy to consult and disseminate.

The Conference will open with a session devoted to the current situation in Africa in all its various aspects: agriculture and natural resources; employment and training; education; women and children; health and nutrition; structures and infrastructure; Italian companies. Three special sessions are also planned. The first will examine Italian universities’ cooperation initiatives for Africa. The second will concern Italian companies operating in the Sub-Saharan region. And the third will be dedicated to amateur documentaries and films produced in Africa.

The various projects will be illustrated during the sessions taking place over the second and third day. The Conference will close with a round-up of the various sessions and a round table on “Volunteering Today”.

During the same period, the 14th edition of the “SUQ” Festival, sponsored by UNESCO, will take place in the adjacent Old Port district. This event, which attracts tens of thousands of people in the setting of an old Mediterranean market, includes entertainment, traditional cuisine, and inter-cultural dialogue. Again during this same period, an exhibition of Italian and African artists will be organised by Liguria’s Agency for the Promotion of Art.

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