“Africa Day – which we celebrate today through different sources but with the same intensity – allows me the opportunity to offer my most cordial wishes to those who participate at this initiative, to the members of the African Diplomatic Corps in Rome and to all those who are committed daily to making the work of the African Union more incisive and effective,” said the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, in honour of Africa day.
“The farsighted decision, made 57 years ago, that led to the founding of the Organization of African Unity,” he added, “has always found a reliable and solid partner in Italy. Our country wholly supports the project that sees greater integration of the African continent – both on a country-level and a sub-regional level – and watches relationships within Africa as a whole and each individual country within it: only in this manner can the Mediterranean be faithful to its historic and geographic vocation as bridge between the two continents.”
The President goes on to say that is, “a necessity felt today with greater force due to the spread of the COVID-19 on a global scale that has led to the loss of countless human lives and profoundly shook families, communities and productive systems. Africa, Europe and Italy are now called to deal with the fallout from the pandemic not only in terms of health, but also in the reactivation of the economic fabric that, in order to be successful, requires further study into the integration processes both in Africa and Europe.
In this regard, launching the Common African Free Trade Area was significant. “A common effort,” says Mattarella “that cannot ignore a careful, open and thoughtful reflection on the values and principles that we base our models of society on in order to make our communities more cohesive and stronger. Adopting a perspective capable of looking beyond the contingencies of the current serious crisis, will allow us – with a renewed spirit of collaboration within the framework of relations between the African Union and the European Union – to face paths of international cooperation promoting peace, human dignity and sustainable development. Today’s celebration, for which I renew my most cordial wishes, therefore offers us the opportunity to draft a budget and plan the future and overcoming the difficulties of this juncture of our common history thanks to closer cooperation between Africa, Europe and Italy, ” he concludes.