The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held its annual Africa Day, this year in celebration of the 41st anniversary of the creation of the Organisation of African Unity, and the opening speech was delivered by Minister for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini. “Italy wants to be part of the virtuous dynamism of the continent by making the most of an historic presence that has already contributed to the social growth and infrastructure of Africa”, the minister explained. Mogherini also announced her intention to organise the first edition of the biennial Italy-Africa ministerial conference in the first half of 2015 in Turin.
President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano sent a message of greeting to the event’s participants.
Present was the entire African diplomatic corps, in addition to Italian parliament members, scholars, scientists, African studies experts, and business and trade representatives active on the continent. The meeting was dedicated to the theme of science cooperation for sustainable development. Africa Day falls within the framework of the Italy-Africa Initiative through which Italy intends to strengthen its interface with the African continent.
During the event, Professor Romain Murenzi, executive director of UNESCO’s The World Science Academy (TWAS), awarded a prize to African scientist Jean-Pierre Ezin, commissioner for Education, Science and Culture of the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS).