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Italy looks to ‘strategic’ Horn of Africa for continental stability


By Federica Pascale
Monday July 24, 2023


“We must work immediately, all together, Italy and Europe: Africa and the Horn of Africa are a priority for Italy”, said Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia/EPP). [Shutterstock/miqu77]

The Italian government led by Giorgia Meloni (Fratelli d’Italia/ECR) continues to work for a greater presence on the African continent, with a particular focus on the Horn of Africa region, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia/EPP) announced at a UN conference in Rome.

On Wednesday, Rome held the UN Humanitarian Conference for the Horn of Africa, during which the Italian government discussed how it could help the region face challenges such as the increasingly worrying drought.

“We must work immediately, all together, Italy and Europe: Africa and the Horn of Africa are a priority for Italy”, said Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia/EPP).

The conference organised by Italy aims to give visibility to the region’s issues and mobilise donor support, Tajani explained.

“Tens of millions of people need urgent humanitarian aid. It is essential that resources can support the humanitarian response in the Horn. In this regard, I believe we must look at Africa through an African perspective”, the minister clarified.

Italy will donate €40 million to the UN Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and allocate a further €30 million for humanitarian interventions and development initiatives.

However, it is necessary to invest in initiatives that have lasting effects, both in the field of education and in terms of job opportunities, said Tajani.

Italy will thus support “African aspirations for peace” and industrial joint ventures beneficial to the region.

“Italian companies are ready. We want to do this based on an equal partnership with African countries through shared objectives and mutual benefits”, Tajani explained.

Since taking office, the Meloni government has been discussing the Mattei Plan for Africa – a “non-predatory” cooperation model that aims for Italy and African countries to “grow and improve”, with one of Italy’s main areas of interest being energy.

According to Tajani, the Mattei Plan is part of a broader European Marshall Plan to support key sectors such as agro-industry, energy transition, job opportunities, cultural heritage, and investment in the goals of good governance and the rule of law of the United Nations.

“The strategic future of Italy and Europe itself unfolds across this continent”, Tajani clarified.

“We must reflect on the nature of the crisis, its root causes and work together on a long-term solution. Today more than ever, our action cannot be limited to responding to urgent needs”, he added.