Accra - Is on the main Ghanaian newspaper Paolo Gentiloni, today in Ghana, with a press note where he highlights the strong political and economic tie existing between Italy and Ghana, ties which dates back to the pre-independence era.
“Over the years Italian entrepreneurs have extensively contributed to the country’s development, by building roads, hospitals and majors infrastructure - he said. - Italy’s role in supporting Ghana’s development has been particularly relevant in the energy field. Indeed, in the early 1960s, Italy’s Impregilo built the Asokombo hydroelectric dam, one of the country’s main sources of electricity even today. In the same way AGIP set up Ghana’s first refinery in Tema. Today - he carried on saying - Eni is becoming a major player in the Ghanaian energy industry. In fact, last May ( that is three months ahead of schedule) oil production began at Offshore Cape Three Points. The project is already benefiting Ghana in terms of enhanced GDP growth, employment, tax revenue, royalties, and returns deriving from the 30 per cent share the government owns in the venture. Combined with investment in renewable energy in the three northern regions of Ghana, such a project will be a game changer for Ghana,s energy industry and make dumsor a fading memory”.
Paolo Gentiloni also reminded as Italy’s contribution to Ghana’s development extend far beyond the energy sector when he said “we have helped the country ove from aid to trade thanks to our private sector development facility (GPSDF), which has enhanced the productive capacity of Ghana’s small and medium enterprises through affordable and quality machinery”.
Then the Italian Prime Minister highlighted the people-to-people relationship. "Italy hosts the largest Ghanaian community in continental Europe (60,000 permanent residents), likewise, Italy and Ghana share a deep passion for soccer, in Italy - he carried on saying - we have the highest number of soccer players outside Ghana”.
Many Ghanaian students also benefits from Italian scholarships and thus have the opportunity to study in Italian prestigious universities. “We also take pride in the Italian Ethnological Mission to Ghana, which has been studying the Nzema culture since 1954” the Italian Prime Minister said.
“To us Ghana - carried on Paolo Gentiloni - is an example of democracy, stability, respect for human rights and peaceful alternation of governments for the entire African continent. On the 60th anniversary of both Ghana’s independence and the foundation of the European Community, we look favorably at the integration process within ECOWAS, at the efforts towards creating a single currency, and at the coming into being of a Continental Free Trade Area. We are both committed to fighting against terrorism, intolerance, and human trafficking. Likewise, we both have been supporting the United States Mission in Lebanon since 2006”.
The Italian Prime Minister visit includes a visit on the 28th of November to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre which provides globally-recognized capacity for International actors on African peace and security. He has been invited to plant a tree there “as a powerful symbol of hope in the future”. “The future holds many promises - he said in the statement - for Africa as well as for Ghana. While there are still many challenges ahead, we can see a positive momentum through reduced geopolitical risks, prolonged stability, economic growth, expanding trade, enhance welfare, human development, and better living conditions across the continent.”
After his stay in Ghana Paolo Gentiloni will move to Abidjan in Ivory Coast to join the 5th EU-African Union Summit, which will be entirely dedicated to the role of the youth. “This is an extremely relevant theme - he said - not only because of demographics (60% of the African population is under 25), but also because of the new approach to the EU-Africa relationship adopted over the recent past, which has brought our countries closer. Italy has been actively promoting such a renewed European approach towards Africa. In fact, we firmly believe that our relationship cannot be solely related to migration management, but has instead to be based on enhancing education, job creation, investments, sustainable energy policies, and other active productive actions. Italy is one of the top investors in Africa - Gentiloni highlighted - this proves our determination to contribute to developing African economies, to encouraging skills learning, and to providing the young generations with new opportunities. These can only be achieved via a global and holistic approach for sustainable development, namely in the spirit of the Compact approach that we have successfully promoted at the EU level. Italy has always acted as a bridge between Europe and its southern neighbors, the Middle East and Africa, between the Old Continent and the Young Continet. We stand ready to work with Africa to write a new page in the continent’s history. One that tells of equal partners fighting against global challenges; one of hope, opportunities, resilience, and innovation” he concluded.