Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has set the stage for a fresh era of collaboration with Africa during a pivotal one-day summit. In an unveiling of long-awaited plans, Meloni outlined a vision aimed at fortifying economic ties, establishing an energy hub for Europe, and mitigating migration pressures.
In a bid to kickstart this ambitious agenda, Meloni committed an initial investment of $5.95 billion, which includes state-backed guarantees. Meloni said, “We are only at the beginning; there is a very long road ahead of us. This day is a restart.” She outlined the need for swift action to start working on projects that would have a practical impact.
However, amidst the optimism, dissenting voices emerged among the attendees. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairman of the African Union Commission, highlighted the importance of honouring commitments and expressed disappointment over Africa’s exclusion from priority-setting discussions.
Critics who point to Italy’s staggering debt levels cast doubt on the nation’s ability to compete with global powers like China, Russia, and the Gulf states in Africa. Italy is likely to face great challenges as other nations seek to expand their power due to the continent’s abundant natural resources.