African Union puts an end to Italian energy center project

by MMC
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Italy’s intention to become an energy hub that would serve as an intermediary between Africa and Europe has been met with skepticism by the African Union (AU).

During this week’s one-day forum in Rome between Italy and several African countries, Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni called for a new Italian partnership with Africa.

Meloni announced an initial pledge of $5.95 billion, including guarantees. She announced various initiatives aimed at strengthening economic ties and creating an energy hub for Europe.

Twenty-five African leaders and European Union officials attended the summit.

During his summit speech, AU President Moussa Faki Mahamat said the new Italian discourse on the imperative need for an innovative strategy and a Marshall Plan for Africa is “well heard in Africa”.

Mahamat said the formulation of “our priorities is designed by the African Union strategic framework, Agenda 2063 and facilitated by the strategies developed in the different focus areas of our strategic partnership.”

African heads of state and European Union officials at the Africa-Italy summit this week in Rome. Image source:

Words often do not correspond to public commitments made to Africa

“In this vision, agriculture, infrastructure, environment, energy, health, education and digitalization are the top of our priorities,” Mahamat said.

“I understand that the Mattei Plan (for Africa), proposed by Madam President of the Council, on which we would have liked to be consulted, is consistent with this.

“Africa is ready to discuss aspects and modalities of its implementation. I must emphasize here the need to combine actions with words.

“You will understand that we cannot be satisfied with promises which are often not kept.”

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The plan is named after Italian Enrico Mattei, founder of ENI.

Mahamat said Africa does not reach out to his partners like a beggar, “as asking and offering nothing.”

“Our ambition is higher. We plead for a paradigm shift, for a new model of partnership that charts the path towards a fairer world and therefore more relevant to building peace and prosperity through bridges of friendship and not security barriers, perceived as barriers of hostility.

Meloni said Italy has what it takes to become the hub of natural energy supply for all of Europe.

The energy hub could meet several different needs

Meloni said Italy’s goal is “to help interested African countries produce enough energy to meet their own needs and then export the surplus to Europe.”

She explained that this meant combining two needs: Africa’s need to develop this production and generate wealth, and Europe’s need to secure new energy supply routes.

“Among the initiatives in this area, I would like to mention that of Kenya dedicated to the development of the biofuel supply chain, which aims to involve up to around 400,000 farmers by 2027.

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“But this exchange can obviously only work if there is also a connecting infrastructure between the two continents, and we have also been working on this for some time, notably in collaboration with the European Union.

“I am thinking, for example, of ELMED electricity the interconnection between Italy and Tunisia, or the new H2 South corridor to transport hydrogen from North Africa to Central Europe, passing through Italy,” Meloni said.

Praise of Italy

African Development Bank Group President Akinwumi Adesina, who also attended the summit, commended the Italian government for the Rome Process Financing Facility, which will provide approximately $108 million (90% of which is concessional financing). ) to support infrastructure in Africa.

This is specially intended for renewable energyenergy efficiency projects, water and sanitation and agriculture initiatives, as well as vocational training and job creation.

He praised Italy’s “Mattei Plan for Africa”, which he acknowledged had prioritized energy security.

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Kenyan President William Ruto, who met Meloni, said: “Italy’s approval of a new win-win cooperation with Africa in the field of energy will also facilitate the decarbonization of the world and will guarantee a smooth and sustainable energy transition.

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