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Speech of the Ambassador of Italy to Zambia, H.E. Mr. Antonino Maggiore presenting his credentials



Speech of the Ambassador of Italy to Zambia, H.E. Mr. Antonino Maggiore presenting his credentials

His Excellency, Honorable President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu
His Excellency, Honorable, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Zambian Government, Mr. Joseph Malanji
Your Excellences Distinguished Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’m honored to present my credentials to His Excellency President Lungu on the occasion of this friendly and welcoming ceremony at the prestigious State House of Zambia.
Africa is a key priority for Italy, and the relations with Zambia are strategic in the Italian vision of Africa. This is the reason why I’ve been appointed Ambassador to this marvelous Nation.
Our mandate is to re-launch the historic relationship that has been existing between Italy and Zambia since the beginning of Zambian Independence.
Mr. President, You might recall the fundamental role that Italy has played since the beginning in standing side by side with the Zambian people and the Zambian Nation in fostering development and wealth in this Country. Italian companies built the Kariba dam. Alitalia Airways was the key partner of Zambian Airlines. The numerous Italian community worked intensively and shared knowledge with Zambian people to enhance industries and economic welfare.
On this historic basis and looking ahead to the future, we want to strengthen the strategic partnership between Italy and Zambia in the political, economic and cultural domains. Equal partnership is our roadmap to enhance our bilateral relations in a mutually beneficial way.
Strengthening our bilateral dialogue at political level is the natural continuation of the empathy between Italian and Zambian people. It is an extremely fruitful dialogue to promote peace, security and development. Let me recall the excellent cooperation between Italy and Zambia in the United Nations Organization in 2019 when our two countries succeeded, working together, in facilitating the adoption of the Final Declaration of the Financing for Development Forum in New York. Let me underline that Italy stands side by side with Zambia in promoting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, also thanks to the significant work of the Italian Civil Society Organizations active in Zambia. In this framework, Italy has decided to increase to 161 million euro its contribution for the years 2020-2022 to the Global Fund to fight against HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In this regard, I would like to praise the recent opening in Lusaka of the Sustainable Goals Regional Office in Africa.
Mr. President, on the economic sector, let me say that enhancing the economic ties between Italy and Zambia is not an option, it is a must! Our bilateral trade is significant: around 70 million euro, but we can definitely improve this figure. Energy, Agriculture, and Infrastructure are in our opinion the most promising sectors in which we will concentrate our efforts to promote our economic cooperation. The investment of the Italian Company Enel Green Power that built a Solar Renewable Energy Plan in Ngonye shows how Italian companies can highly contribute to the efforts of the Zambian Government in tackling the impact of Climate Change. In this view we will organize in Lusaka an Italian-Zambian workshop on renewable energies. And also in Agriculture, we will organize in Lusaka a seminar on the occasion of the next Agritech Fair in April. We will promote the possible opportunities that are here in Zambia. We want Zambia to be better known in Italy. This is why I will propose to host a presentation of Zambia by the Zambian Government next year in Italy.
His Excellency, allow me one final word on our willingness to promote the Italian culture in Zambia. By the end of this year, the Newly Built Zambian-Italian Cultural Centre will open its door to host cultural and economical events. It is the culmination of the ambitious Zambian Italian Cultural Centre Trust’s project, which was possible thanks to the determination and the financing of the Italian School of Lusaka.
As Italian Ambassador, I’m particularly proud of this achievement realized by the Italian community. It will be a new pumping heart in Lusaka to promote culture, knowledge and beauty. We strongly believe that in order to boost economic development we need to promote also culture and knowledge. We would be honored if You, Mr. President, could attend the opening of the Zambian-Italian Cultural Center.
His Excellency, it is my first mission as Ambassador of Italy abroad. It is my first mission in Africa. Let me assure that I will do my utmost to strengthen our bilateral relations working closely and in a fruitful partnership with the Zambian Government.