ITALAFRICA Strategic Symposium
The following report collects and summarizes the interventions, reflections, ideas and policy recommendations that emerged during the “ItalAfrica Strategic Symposium” international conference, held at the “Pio IX” Official Club in Rome between 25 and 27 October 2022. The conference was the last act of an annual project supported, also financially, by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, by ENI and by the Intesa San Paolo group.
The ItalAfrica Strategic Symposium conference was organized by the CeSI, one of the leading Italian think tanks in the field of international relations, Africa e Affari, the leading Italian review on African affairs, and E4Impact, one of the most important Italian foundations specialized in training young African entrepreneurs. The aim of the conference was fostering the Italian African debate on main common issues and priorities. Within the framework of “People, Planet Prosperity” promoted by the Italian Presidency of the G20, ItalAfrica gathers different Italian and African stakeholders from public institutions, the private sector, academia and civil society to reflect on the main challenges and opportunities for cooperation between Italy and the African continent. In particular, the discussion was focused on around four main areas: African identities and cultural diplomacy, which aims to improve and renovate the Italian perception of Africa, exploring the multifaceted African identities and, above all, paying attention to how Africans see their own future and how they conceive the relation with Italy. This is indeed a key step to deepen the mutual understanding and lay the foundations for a sound and effective cultural cooperation. Capacity building and technology empowerment, which aims to jointly identify the most effective ways to support African countries in their effort to enhance border control and pursue the fight against illegal trafficking, organized crime, and terrorism. Considering that some areas of the African continent are still affected by fragility and conflicts, it is crucial -in addition to addressing the root causes of violence – to understand and promote common strategy and common tools development to prevent and counter such threats. Energy transition and renewable resources driven economic growth, which aims to explore the role that renewable energies can play in the African growth trajectory and discuss how climate policies can be mainstreamed into Africa’s development agenda, capitalizing on the co-benefits and eradicating poverty and food insecurity. In particular, this section will focus on how the EU, Italy and other international partners can uphold the transformative process of African economies by providing the required financial support. Business synergies in emerging sectors of the African economy, which explores the perspectives of growth for the African continent and the huge opportunity to develop mutual beneficial partnerships in key sectors, such as digitalization, urban development, circular economy, and health. Against this backdrop, the section is focused on the synergies that can be built between Europe/Italy and Africa, exploring those sectors in which public-private partnerships can be developed effectively. The ItalAfrica project was organized and managed by Marco Di Liddo, Head of Analysis Unit of CeSI, Carlo Palleschi, Head of Geoeconomy Desk of CeSI, and Alessia Paolillo, former Head of Communication Department of CeSI.
This report has been drafted by Marco Di Liddo and Carlo Palleschi, with the contribution of the CeSI team of junior analysts, specifically Martina Angelini, Bianca Ferrazza, Simone Frusciante, Daniel Blardone, Davide Fortin, Fortuna Finocchito, Giulio Valenti, Andrea Mistretta and Eleonora Simonelli.