“Incontri con l’Africa”, the third edition of the Italy – Africa Ministerial Conference, which brings together delegations from about 50 African countries in Rome, opened today. The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, who spoke about the importance of committing to an equitable distribution of vaccines around the world, opened the meeting. «Africa has had only 2 per cent of the vaccines: there is a problem of equitable distribution that must be solved immediately. The real answer is to stimulate the African pharmaceutical industry. In this sense, Europe has decided to invest a billion euros, and Italy supports it, to stimulate the African vaccine because no one will be out of it if we are not all out of it. This is especially true for Africa and Europe, which constitute a single united region, not separate from the Mediterranean ». And in the fight against Covid he reiterated that “Although we are leaving behind us, as we hope, the darkest period, much remains to be done”.
«It is no longer time for ambiguity and distinction, it is time to act now. Maximum effort must be made to reach and exceed the objectives of the planned reductions. The next COP26 will be a watershed and we need to be aware of that. It is not allowed to get distracted »said President Mattarella. «The African continent must make its voice heard aloud. The production of clean energy and its distribution are fundamental for Africa. There is no doubt that there is no greater and more demanding challenge for humanity than climate change ”. “Although the entire continent is responsible for just 3% of global emissions – added the President of the Republic -, it is the victim of a much larger percentage of the adverse consequences of climate change: from desertification to apocalyptic floods, to alarming reduction in arable land, with serious consequences on food ».
Also on the sidelines of the Conference, Mattarella declared that “there is a need for a relentless fight against terrorism and all fundamentalisms, which continue to represent a threat to our continents, to our values, to our peoples. Violent forces, albeit minorities, are holding entire populations hostage. Africans are at the forefront of this front. From the Sahel to the Great Lakes region, from Somalia to Mozambique, millions of women and men are oppressed by terrorist groups. Thousands of soldiers and civilians in the numerous missions of the African Union and the various regional organizations try to oppose. Europe and Italy will continue to stand alongside the countries most exposed to the fundamentalist threat ».
From the EU serious mistakes in Africa, now loyal cooperation
President Sergio Mattarella then made an analysis of the behavior of the European Union in Africa. “If Europe has made great and serious mistakes in considering Africa as a mere source of resources, today is finally the season of loyal cooperation, in which the main problems affect everyone, and the solutions need everyone’s contribution – he said -. The key to success, which in order to be lasting can only be common, lies in strengthening awareness of the complementarity between Africa and Europe, complementarity that such a complex historical situation makes even more evident. The African continent represents the natural partner for the European Union: the other side of the same coin. We need each other. Not understanding it now would lead us to realize, in a few years, that we have been silently but inexorably relegated to the periphery of the planet.On the contrary, Africans and Europeans, together, can make the two continents a vast and integrated region, politically stable, dynamic. economically and culturally vibrant. A region where in total more than one and a half billion people live, producing a Gross Domestic Product equal to fifteen thousand billion euros ».
«The migratory phenomenon must be governed for the benefit of all. Otherwise the reasons of humanity and the state systems will be overwhelmed together ”.