Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, participated in a webinar on Italy’s African policy and its transatlantic relations opportunities. The webinar was organised by the US Think Tank, The German Marshall Fund (GMF) in collaboration with Italy’s Embassy in Washington.
Responding to questions from GMF Executive Director Ian Lesser and the related audience, the Vice Minister Del Re first referred to the document presented by Minister Di Maio two days ago on the Italian Partnership with Africa.
“The Italian approach sees Africans as equal partners in a two-way relationship, bearing in mind that investing in Africa and supporting Africa’s socio-economic well-being means business opportunities, jobs and security for our citizens,” the Vice Minister said. “As the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, no one is safe until everyone is safe. The equal partnership with Africa must be applied in all areas, including discussing global issues of common interest.”
Concerning security challenges on the continent, Del Re insisted on the need to consider them from a broader perspective. “To counter violent extremism in a long-lasting way,” she said, “other tools must be put in place, in addition to the typical anti-terrorism resources, strengthening governance, acting in the training of security forces, in the development of aid programmes, in the strengthening of education.”
According to the Vice Minister, another priority for Italy and the United States should be to “accompany the socio-economic transformation of Africa. The continent needs a greater and constant private investment flow, starting with agro-industry, clean energy, and digital infrastructure to accelerate this process. Our most vital and dynamic companies can take advantage of partnership opportunities in Africa. At the same time, our governments can work together bilaterally or within relevant multilateral institutions to create more appropriate conditions for private sector expansion on the continent.”