Support for Africa through cooperation, not charity – Meloni

Africa must be supported through a non-paternalistic approach involving cooperation, not charity, Premier Giorgia Meloni said on Friday.

“I think it can be seen that this Italian government is particularly attentive to the role that African countries and the African continent play in the current context,” said Meloni during her meeting with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi.

“And I think it can been seen that our idea is for Europe to take a new approach to Africa that is not predatory and paternalistic, that is not based on the idea that Africa should be helped with charity but rather supported with its own riches,” she added.

Africa, said Meloni, can develop and enjoy wellbeing thanks to those riches, “with the help of nations that invest and build long-term relationships”.

“This is exactly what is happening here in Mozambique, particularly in energy-related projects, but it can also happen in many other areas such as agriculture and infrastructure,” continued the premier.

“There are still many areas that we can experiment with in our cooperation, also in consideration of the strategic project that we will present at the Italy-Africa Conference that we have had to postpone,” she said.

On Thursday the Italian foreign ministry announced it had decided to postpone a major Italy-Africa conference scheduled for next month to early next year in light of the worsening international security environment.

It said the postponement will also allow for better coordination with other events on the international agenda and in particular the meetings of the African Union and the Italian G7 Presidency, during which Africa will play a central role.

Italy is seeking to deepen ties with African countries as part of a new energy strategy and to tackle irregular migration by sea, which has increased by around 86% this year.