Relations with Africa are high on this week’s institutional and economic agenda in Italy. In the coming days, the third Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference and the fifth Italy-Africa Business Week will kick off in Rome. These two important events, that will be held both in presence and online, come only a few days after the end of the series of conferences on sustainable development in Africa that we talked about here.
“Encounters with Africa“, the third edition of the Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference, will kick off on Friday 8 October in Rome, at the Sheraton Parco de ‘Medici Hotel. The conference will open with an inaugural speech by Italian President Sergio Mattarella and will bring together delegations from 54 African countries, representatives of the African Union and other main African regional organizations, as well as Italian institutions and representatives of the business and academic sectors.
As Fabrizio Lobasso, Deputy Director of the Italian Foreign Ministry’s Sub-Saharan Africa Office, explained, “this year’s event is linked to the Italian Presidency of the G20 and will focus on its three pillars: People, Planet, Prosperity. Unlike in the past, the meeting will no longer be a dialogue between unequal partners. Instead, it will be the occasion for a debate on an egalitarian basis between equally valid ideas and visions. Now more than ever we need a balanced intercultural dialogue, aimed at finding a common synthesis and focused on the values that unite us”.
“Italian SMEs are the best partners for African SMEs”Cleophas Adrien Dioma, Executive President of Italy-Africa Business Week
The fifth Italy-Africa Business Week (IABW) will be held on 9 and 10 October, also in Rome, at the Villa Aureli Congress Center. The timing is not coincidental: Italy-Africa Business Week was first created in 2016, at the same time as the first edition of the Ministerial Conference, precisely with the aim of “giving continuity” to the effort put forth by the Italian Foreign Ministry in the attempt to “create a stronger bond between the two shores of the Mediterranean”.
“Building back better together!” is the slogan chosen for this year’s edition of IABW, which will be attended by various Italian and African institutional guests. Among these are Deputy Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Sereni; Madagascar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Rajoelina; the Minister of International Cooperation of the Republic of Congo, Denis-Christel Sassou; Kenya’s Minister of Energy Charles Keter; and EU special representative for the Sahel, Emanuela Claudia Del Re.
The guests, who also include representatives from the private sector and academia, will discuss innovation, digitization, sustainability, communication, ecological transition.
As stated in a press release, ample space will be dedicated to networking and meetings between companies and professionals. Also, alongside business and investments, broader themes will be addressed, such as science and scientific research in the African continent, opportunities for growth and development offered by academia, the value of culture and knowledge, new perspectives and opportunities for Italian SMEs in Africa, the enhancement of young people, women and the African diaspora and migrant entrepreneurship as main actors in co-development and post-pandemic recovery.
The program of the event is available here.