Montag, 26.08.2019 12:03 Uhr

Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference in Rome

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 26.10.2018, 09:13 Uhr
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Rome [ENA] The President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella opened the 2nd Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference convened in Rome yesterday . The Conference represents the highest level, structured framework of cooperation between Italy and Africa. The 2018 Conference offered the occasion for an Exchange of views with African Ministers of Foreign Affairs and high level

representatives of major international organizations and Italian Business, academia and civil society. Three Conference panels provided insights towards joint responses to common challenges in order to identify better practices to take advantage of mutually beneficial opportunities. Africa has attracted more and more growing interest among both advanced and emerging economies and in particular all 54 African countries are important economic partners of the People's Republic of China. Due to history and geographical proximity, Italy is considered a special partner for the African Continent.

There are immense oppotunities that lie beyond the Mediterranean for Italy, including prospects for the economic expansion and political consolidation of Africa. Italy has been very sensitive to the transnational challenges underway in Africa such as pockets of terrorist insurgency, climate vulnerability, growing population, illicit trafficking and migration flows. Investment and trade flows are key to Africa's development but they need to be balanced with environmental and social sustainability. Africa's current demographic expansion and rapid urbanization are two potentially beneficial trends that may also result in mounting migratory pressure.

Italy has pursued an intense bilateral dialogue with the African Union, supporting the organization through the Italy Africa Peace Facility (IAPF), established in 2008 with an allocation of 40 million euro. In particular, Italy is strongly committed to capacity building in the field of security in the Sahel: a series of training courses have been provided throughout the last years by the Arma dei Carabinieri (Italian Gendarmerie) and the Guardia di Finanza (Italian Financial Police) to security officers coming from Sahelian and West African Countries. From the demographic point of view, Africa is endowed with the fastest growing Youth population in the world: 60% of its population is under 24 years of age.

Human development, interlinked to economic growth, peace and security, requires a comprehensive approach, including the eradication of poverty, the reaction to climate and health emergencies and a robust focus, among other things, on education, skills development, and the transfer of science and technologies. Improving education in Africa remains particularly challenging. Africa is till afflicted by large inequalities in several key dimensions of human development, such as healthcare and, as above said, education. Education is an intrinsic, valuable asset that contributes to expanding people's freedom of choice. Rising human development levels in Africa contributes to avoid the mass escaping from the continent towards the European Union.

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