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Meeting between Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, and Bill Gates

Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, today met at the Farnesina with Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and creator of Breakthrough Energy.

The main topics discussed during the meeting were development in Africa, food security, global health, energy transition and innovation.

“With the Italian G7 Presidency, the issue of development will become central to the agenda of the major liberal democracies. The development of Africa will play an essential role as we are convinced that the stabilisation of the region goes hand in hand with its prosperity”, said the Deputy Prime Minister, adding that “the economic growth of the African continent will also have positive effects on Italian exports, becoming an extraordinary driver of growth in Italy.”

The meeting also addressed the need for a pragmatic approach in the fight against climate change, the importance of new international investments in the field of health, and the positive effects on growth resulting from technological innovation, in particular artificial intelligence.

“We wish to increase our collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has already been in place for years, especially within the Sahel Alliance, an international platform for enhanced collaboration between donors active in the Sahel region”, Tajani added.

“Italy is at the forefront of international efforts to promote greater coordination on IA. As G7 President, Italy will maintain a person-centred ethical approach, paying particular attention to mitigating the impact that the use of artificial intelligence could have on the labour market”, the Deputy Prime Minister added.

Finally, Tajani shared Italy’s journey towards the energy transition (the Country has all the prerequisites to be a European hub for renewable energy), reiterating the goal of progressively reducing net CO2 emissions to zero while preserving employment and competitiveness through a flexible and technology-neutral approach.

To this end, next-generation nuclear power – a topic that is particularly important to Bill Gates, who is involved, through some of his companies, in the development of the sector – will play a key role. “The Italian government, in cooperation with its main partners, will continue to invest in scientific and technological research on nuclear power” concluded Tajani.