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Italy's Meloni opens Africa summit to unveil plan to boost development and curb migration

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni is opening a summit of African leaders aimed at unveiling Italy’s big development plan for Africa

Via AP news wire
Monday 29 January 2024 09:39 GMT
Italy Politics
Italy Politics (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni opened a summit of African leaders on Monday aimed at promoting Italy's big development plan for the continent that her government hopes will stem migration flows and forge a new relationship between Europe and Africa.

Two dozen African leaders, top European Union and United Nations officials and representatives from international lending institutions were in Rome for the summit, the first major event of Italy’s Group of Seven presidency.

Italy, which for decades has been ground zero in Europe’s migration debate, has been promoting its development plan as a way to create security and economic conditions that will create jobs in Africa and discourage its young people from making dangerous migrations across the Mediterranean Sea.

Meloni, Italy’s first hard-right leader since the end of World War II, has made curbing migration a priority of her government. But her first year in power saw a big jump in the numbers of people who arrived on Italy’s shores, with some 160,000 last year.

The government’s plan, named after Enrico Mattei, founder of state-controlled oil and gas giant Eni, seeks to expand cooperation with Africa beyond energy but in a non-predatory way. Italian officials say the plan involves pilot projects in areas such as education, health care, water, sanitation, agriculture and infrastructure.


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