Africa has long been a top priority in Italian foreign policy. Nowadays, the relationship with the countries of the Continent and its organizations is based on an equal partnership, oriented towards sustainable development to face together the multiple global challenges, thus surpassing the traditional vision of donor and beneficiary. Italy’s attention to Africa aims to ensure both the balanced growth of the Continent and its own national interest, also within the European and international context.
On the African continent, the close interconnections between sustainability, peace, the fight against terrorism, crime and illicit trafficking, development, progress, migrant and refugee flows, and climate change are all evident. These issues are in addition to the highly topical one of the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on African economies, in particular when it comes to debt sustainability.
Italy’s geopolitical position at the centre of the Mediterranean and traditional inclination to dialogue with Africa, also in light of the growing centrality that the Continent is assuming in the face of increasingly complex global phenomena, make coherent foreign policy action essential. Said action needs to be oriented to: peace and security; governance and human rights; migration and mobility; collaboration and investment; sustainable economic development; fight against climate change; cultural and scientific cooperation.
This action is in addition to the ancient and intense presence of Italy in Africa (which distinguishes us from other players on the Continent). It is oriented not only to calibrated political choices, but also to the many initiatives of the Italian Development Cooperation, the deep-rooted experience of our NGOs and volunteers, the role of religious and archaeological missions, and the numerous communities of compatriots, many of whom are entrepreneurs.
The dynamics of Africa have important repercussions on those of Europe and Italy. For this reason, together with a bilateral partnership with African countries, it is equally essential to operate within the various international fora, first and foremost the United Nations and the African Union, alongside the EU and its individual Member States. In Europe, and in all multilateral fora, Italy has always played an appreciated and recognized role in favour of Africa, making a decisive contribution to mobilizing greater resources towards the Continent through a series of initiatives and proposals.
Read “The partnership with Africa”, the policy document of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation outlining Italy’s foreign policy priorities on the African continent