President Meloni underlined Italy’s strategic commitment to partnership with African nations during her UNGA speech
22 September 2023
Italy’s strategic commitment to partnership with African nations characterised President of the Council of Ministers Giorgia Meloni’s participation at the United Nations General Assembly. During her speech at the General Assembly, President Meloni underlined that Italy is paying particular attention to Africa, stating that this will also be the focus of the Italian G7 Presidency in 2024, with the aim of establishing equal partnerships and supporting the continent’s growth.
All the leaders President Meloni met with in New York expressed particular appreciation for the Italian Government’s dynamism regarding its actions in Africa, contributing to the international debate on global challenges. She spoke about this with UN Secretary General António Guterres, who praised Italy’s efforts in this area, also in relation to the issue of reforming international financial institutions.
During her meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Meloni agreed on greater coordination between Italy’s G7 Presidency and Canada’s the year after, with particular reference to Africa and the urgent challenges posed by artificial intelligence. She also had a long and comprehensive conversation with the President of the Republic of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with whom, among other things, she addressed the matter of strengthening cooperation with African nations on food security and the importance of tackling the issue of migration in the Mediterranean, by fighting human traffickers.
However, President of the Council of Ministers Giorgia Meloni’s participation at the UN General Assembly above all provided an opportunity for several bilateral meetings with African heads of state, including with the President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, with the President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, with the President of the Republic of Kenya, William Samoei Ruto, with the President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, with the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and with the President of the Republic of Malawi, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, confirming the Italian Government’s foreign policy commitment and priorities.
The conversations focused on the upcoming summit dedicated to Africa, scheduled for 5-6 November, and Italy’s Presidency of the G7 in 2024, with Africa playing a key role. During the meetings, the economic development of African nations through the joint planning and implementation of initiatives in strategic sectors was also discussed, starting with energy and infrastructure. In this context, it is essential to consider the conditions to access international financial assistance and credit fairly, in order to mitigate humanitarian crises, ensure development and the sustainable transformation of agri-food systems, increase domestic production and reduce dependency on imports.
A change of approach, with Italy intending to speak up for Africa’s needs and play a leading role in the European Union, and in all international fora, to strategically address the issue of migration and the fight against human trafficking. These are some of the various areas of commitment that Italy intends to propose in its ‘Mattei Plan’, a document that will be brought to the attention of African leaders at the Rome Conference at the beginning of November, and will then be further developed together with Africa.