“There are 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in Africa. I am convinced that investments must target them, because they are the future”, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni during a United Nations conference held on 8 and 9 June at the Milan EXPO dedicated to the least developed African countries.
Concrete actions on behalf of least developed African countries
The purpose of the meeting, as the minister himself explained, is to “identify what concrete actions can contribute to the development of the last advanced African countries in order that they can shed that status within 2020”. The Milan Universal Exposition “is an ideal opportunity to launch concrete programmes to promote growth and fight poverty”, he said, “and Italy is ready to lend its experience to efforts at outlining a new international cooperation framework in the next few months”. According to the minister, “a global approach is needed, not only to economic concerns but also to human rights”.
Italy finances over 100 missions for an overall 560 million EUR
Italy spends an overall 560 million EUR on over 100 missions in Africa on behalf of programmes regarding agriculture, assistance to women and private sector funding. There to open the sessions of the two-day meeting were Minister for Foreign Affairs of Benin H.E. Nassirou Bako Arifari and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations Gyan Chandra Acharya.