Niger is a "beacon of democracy and stability" for Africa's Sahel region, according to Italy's former interior minister and president of the Med-Or Leonardo Foundation, Marco Minniti.
Speaking at a ceremony in Rome on Friday to mark the donation of 50 Coronavirus-fighting oxygen concentrators to Niger, Minniti said: "It's a small gesture, the start of more structured cooperation."
"Niger is a country that is a beacon of democracy and stability in a region wracked by tensions and instability," Minniti continued.
Yet the Sahel is crucial to security in the Mediterranean region and Europe, Minniti argued.
"The deciding game is being played for the overall security of the Mediterranean and of Europe...the fight against terrorism and the major issue of migration," he said.