Italy is ready to "relaunch with energy and determination" its strategic role in Africa's development, going beyond the traditional donor-beneficiary model and forging new partnerships based on shared responsibilities and rewards, premier Giuseppe Conte said Thursday.
"Now more than ever is the moment for Italy to play a strategic role and in Africa and to confirm our priorities in our bilateral relations, in the European and the multilateral context, building stronger ties with the African Union," Conte told the Italy-Africa ministerial meeting in Rome.
"Italian overseas aid cooperation is crucial," he said.
Conte said that during his trip to Ethiopia and Eritrea earlier this month, he experienced at first hand "our entrepreneurial excellence and the synergies developed by Italian businesses with local communities in several sectors key to development".
Several innovative economic cooperation projects will get off the ground next year in the agro industry sector, paving the way for a concrete partnership between Italy and Africa in the sustainable agriculture and industrial processing sectors, Conte said.
"I believe this conference has shown Italy's strategic commitment in Africa, which didn't start now but decades ago," Conte stated.
"Many challenges remain but we are ready to re-launch this commitment with energy and determination," he said.