Home » Italy mobilises businesses for the Mattei plan to transform Africa

Italy mobilises businesses for the Mattei plan to transform Africa

Emphasising a unique approach, Rome aims to build long-lasting partnerships with nations. Key initiatives include pilot projects, innovative financial tools, and contributions to local vaccine production

Mattei Plan momentum. The Italian government is leveraging the power of the private sector to drive the success of the Mattei Plan for Africa, a bold initiative aimed at fostering sustainable development and cooperation across the continent.

  • Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni emphasised this strategy in a recent address to the national assembly of Confcommercio, the largest business association in Italy.
  • She also highlighted the plan’s practical focus: “What distinguishes the Mattei Plan from all other past initiatives is precisely its concreteness. We have not written a list of good intentions or declarations of principle. We have written a plan of achievable and realistic goals.”

Building lasting partnerships. The Italian government has clarified that the Mattei Plan is more than just a political strategy; it is a comprehensive effort to build lasting partnerships with African nations.

  • The Mattei plan distinguishes itself by focusing on six key areas: education and training, health, agriculture, water, energy, and infrastructure.
  • The trade exchange between Italy and Africa reached a value of 59.4 billion euros, down 14.6% compared to 2022, mainly due to greater diversification in energy resource procurement and a decline in prices.

Pilot projects launched. One of the plan’s first steps includes pilot projects in nine African countries, such as Algeria, Kenya, and Mozambique. These projects aim to lay the groundwork for long-term cooperation and development, creating a new model of engagement that prioritises practical outcomes over mere declarations.

  • At the G7 summit in Apulia, Italy established innovative financial tools to develop co-investment strategies in Africa with the African Development Bank and the World Bank.
  • Meloni highlighted a specific initiative: “We decided to contribute, with a financial commitment that can reach up to 320 million euros, to the ‘Lobito Corridor,’ an infrastructure system that will connect Angola to Zambia through the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Italy’s unique approach. On Wednesday, Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano highlighted Italy’s unique approach compared to other nations involved in Africa.

  • Unlike Russia’s military presence or China’s expansive infrastructure investments, Italy focuses on building trust and cooperation with African nations, ensuring that development projects are tailored to local populations’ specific needs and aspirations.
  • The stability of the Mediterranean ecosystem is “a precious asset” for Italy as “geography positions us as a natural antenna reflecting instability phenomena,” said Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, Italian Chief of Defence Staff. “Not being present means being condemned to irrelevance,” he added on Thursday at a conference organised today by the Italian Centre for Defence Higher Studies, the Defence General Staff, and the US think tank Atlantic Council.

Vaccine partnership initiative. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani added a crucial dimension to the Mattei Plan by linking it with global health initiatives.

  • At the “Protecting Our Future” forum for vaccine sovereignty in Paris, Tajani announced Italy’s $150 million contribution to the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator (AVMA). This initiative aims to bolster local vaccine production, ensuring Africa can produce 60% of its vaccine needs by 2040.
  • “With support for AVMA, in line with the spirit of the Mattei Plan, we want African nations to be not just recipients of aid but protagonists in a peer-to-peer collaboration for shared growth,” Tajani remarked.

Subscribe to our newsletter