The President of the Republic
ROME, 25TH May, 2017
Hon. Angelino Alfano
Minister of Foreign Affairs
and International Cooperation
I’m glad to extend my warmest regard to the Minister of Foreign Affair and International Cooperation, to members of Diplomatic Corp and to all participants to the Africa Freedom Day, together with my best wishes for this important recurrence, which is this year again being solemnly celebrated, thanks to the collaboration between Farnesina and the Embassies of African countries in Italy.
The Anniversary of the founding of the Africa Union call upon us the values of a growing, determined and fruitful integration – regionally and sub-regionally – within the African Continent, of which Italy has been always been a firm supporter.
The renewed institutional impulse bestowed on the relations with Africa and the need to address together common challenges, constitute the guidelines of Italian foreign policy. These same themes will be found tomorrow at the centre of international reflection and debate during the G-7 summit in Taormina.
The Italian presidency has in fact dedicated to Africa the outreach section of the meeting.
Personally, I wanted underline the pressing need of more frequent and concrete contacts, in order to identity common answers to problems and uncertainties , and also in order to discover possible opportunities ahead of us.
I tried to be give testimony of this strategic and consistent attentiveness, through numerous meeting with some Heads of State of the Continent and with my first visit to Africa – and to the Africa Union – to which I hope other visits will follow.
Security, growth, sustainable utilization of resources are not new challenges, but today they have become more complex and more inter-dependant than in the past.
The hurdles of extremism of ethnics or/and religious nature have become so grave that they now require a global answers, making it crucial to the progress with the integration among African States and an even more structural integration – bilaterally and multilaterally – between Africa and Europe. This commitment is essential, first and foremost, in order to put an end to the migration crisis, which question our consciousness and put to test the ruling classes of both continents.
Africa is very rich of natural resources, but in particular, human resources.
The youth constitutes the main capital on which we should count, so it is essential to ensure we avail them of valuable opportunities for integration and exchange of knowledge between cultures.
Challenges and opportunities of Africa are our own challenges and opportunities; we live a reality which cannot, in any way, be considered exclusively “yours” or “ours”, but common to both. Today’s celebrations, for which I renew my best wishes, remind us to work together, bringing the continents more and more closer.
Signed : Sergio Mattarella