Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Benedetto Della Vedova visited Algeria to inaugurate the 25th Algiers International Book Fair and to discuss cooperation in the cultural, economic, and energy fields.
Last week, the Italian Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Benedetto Della Vedova visited Algeria and took part in the inauguration of the 25th Algiers International Book Fair (SILA). Italy was chosen as the guest of honor of this year’s edition.
The last edition of SILA was held back in 2019. Over 1 million visitors and 1,030 exhibitors from 36 countries attended the exhibition.
This year’s edition, which took place from 24 March to 1 April, was attended by 1,250 exhibitors, of which 266 Algerians, 324 Arabs, and 660 from other parts of the world, representing 36 countries in total.
The Italian Foreign Ministry with the Embassy of Italy, the Italian Cultural Institute of Algiers, the Italian Trade Agency, and the Italian Publishers Association (AIE) organized the first Italian business attendance at this event.
The Italian Stand was inaugurated in the presence of Algerian Prime Minister Aymen Ben Abderahmene, Undersecretary Della Vedova, and the Ambassador of Italy in Algiers, Giovanni Pugliese. The Stand hosted books from 16 different publishers. The Italian cultural program included presentations from numerous Italian authors and researchers on several genres and issues, ranging from historical novels to travel literature, from the role of Italy in the Algerian war of independence to the translation of Algerian and Italian publications.
These authors and researchers included Stefania Auci (author of the Florio saga, her book “L’inverno dei Leoni” was the best-selling book in Italy in 2021), Paola Caridi, Giuseppe Catozzella, Bruna Bagnato, Caterina Roggero, Andrea Brazzoduro and the director of the Feltrinelli Foundation Massimiliano Tarantino.
In addition, the Stand hosted the exhibition “Italian excellences. The new generation of illustrators for children”, organized by Bologna Children’s Book Fair / BolognaFiere, the Emilia-Romagna Region, and the Foreign Ministry, with the Drosselmeier Academy / Giannino Stoppani Cooperative.
“Being chosen as a guest of honor was an important sign of Algeria’s consideration of Italy also in the cultural dimension,” said Undersecretary Della Vedova. “Our relations are very good. President Mattarella’s recent State Mission to Algiers and President Tebboune’s mission to Italy (planned for next May, ed.) prove it. Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio was also here recently to discuss energy. It’s a very positive moment [for bilateral relations],” the Undersecretary added.
Mr. Della Vedova also stressed the importance of “growing cooperation between Italy and Algeria in the energy sector“, underlining at the same time how relations between the two countries go far beyond energy and concern the economy in a broad sense. “It is clear that the Algerian authorities see Italy and Italian companies as the ideal partners for the development of Algerian SMEs“.
During his visit, Undersecretary Della Vedova also met with the Minister of Culture and Arts, Soraya Mouloudji, and with the Secretary-General of the Algerian Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Chakib Rachid Kaid.