“Africa has acquired a position of absolute relevance in Italy’s foreign policy. I met all the African ambassadors on 25 May when I joined them in celebrating their Africa Day and I am very happy to find them broadly represented here today, together with the top executives of the Italian Geographical Society (SGI),” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano when he greeted the president of SGI, Filippo Bencardino at the Ministry. Mr Bencardino was accompanied by the director of the SGI’s Centre for Relations with Africa in representation of the African ambassadors, and the diplomatic representatives of Angola, Cap Verde, Republic of Congo and Guinea.
The delegation illustrated to Minister Alfano the cooperation prospects deriving from the recently signed agreement between the Geographical Society and the Group of African Ambassadors in Italy. “The signing of your agreement shows the extent to which the civil society’s commitment is in line with the strategic priority attributed to Africa by the Foreign Ministry,” commented Mr Alfano. He continued: “Cooperating in the area of security and migrations, promoting inclusive and sustainable development and stimulating investments are the three principal pillars of our policy in Africa, a policy that aims at drawing the two Continents ever-closer and that rests on Italy as a natural bridge.”
Mr Alfano later discussed with President Bencardino the cooperation opportunities between the Italian Geographical Society and the Foreign Ministry, possibly adding specific actions to the “Italy-Africa Initiative” launched by the Ministry in 2013 to develop and promote multi-sectorial Italian-African cooperation projects.