Rome - "Congratulations for organizing such an extraordinary event, the first of its kind in your country. It is fully in line with the new economic relations and cooperation dynamics established between Italy and Africa during this legislature." These were the words of the Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea, Mohamed Cherif Diallo, at the first Italy Africa Business Week (IABW) that opened in Rome, in his capacity as representative of the current President of the African Union, Alpha Condé, Head of State of Guinea. Ambassador Diallo highlighted Italy's growing diplomatic interest in Africa and the strong dynamism of political and economic relations between these two partners, "which are close due to their longstanding history and geography, but also thanks to their strong points and shared challenges". From an economic point of view, this interest results in a significant increase in the number of Italian investors south of the Sahara, where Italy has become the seventh partner, and in growing trade flows from Africa to Italy, worth a total of 26 billion euros in 2014. With regard to political and diplomatic aspects, the representative of the African Union made reference to the First Italy-Africa Ministerial Conference held in May 2016 at the Palazzo della Farnesina in Rome, and the specific session dedicated to Africa during the last G7 in Taormina, under the Italian Presidency. As for Italian Development Aid, the latest program of the new system (2014-2016) established that Africa is a priority area of intervention. In his speech, the Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea pointed out the many points in common between Italy and 54 African states, as well as the complementary points. While Italy has a wealth of know-how and capital thanks to its leading economic players, Africa is experiencing dynamic economic growth, with rapidly expanding and constantly evolving markets, a more and more skilled workforce, an increasingly established industry and a growing middle class. Ambassador Diallo alluded to the challenges that Africa must face, also in cooperation with its Italian partner: improving governance, enacting structural reforms, addressing the immigration issue, fighting terrorism and violent ideologies in order to ensure more stable, secure and facilitated investment areas.