The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi has called for joint effort between Ghana and Italy to combat the threat of terrorism in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. He made the call when he addressed parliament on Tuesday as part of a two-day visit to Ghana.
The Prime Minister, who happens to be the first Italian to address Ghana’s parliament said that terrorism is not only a threat to life but a major setback to any country’s democracy. “Terrorists disintegrate society. They try to kill and when they fail they force us to live in fear”, he stated. He however noted that democracy based on rich culture is the only form of resistance to violence across the world.
H. E. Matteo Renzi pledged Italy’s commitment to promote peace and security in Africa, adding that “Italy is committed to open a new strategy and push European institutions to understand the strategic value of the friendship between Europe and Africa. He further stated that a new vision, focused on the ability and capacity to invest in the capacity of a new generation, should be the agenda for development. With a collaborative effort, history can be changed, he noted.
Addressing the issue of economic development, Matteo Renzi stated that Italy was interested in agriculture and energy sectors of the Ghanaian economy. He said ENI’s investment in the Oil Sector, in spite of the volatility of oil prices will prove to be a game changer in the energy sector till the year 2036. He further stated that growth responds to investment, he said “we must invest in small and medium enterprises, infrastructure, and innovation.” He stressed that Italy is leading the way in changing the perception of Europe of Africa, where Africa should no longer be regarded as a problem but a place of opportunities.
While stating that vibrant economies and open democracies are the ingredients that attract European investment, there are obvious challenges such as climate change, global economic decline. He stressed that the number of migrants to Italy has increased and that can be curbed by the creation of opportunities, empowering young people, and working together. By doing so, it will afford people the opportunity to grow in their homeland if they wanted to.
The Italian Prime Minister, concluded with a Ghanaian Akan proverb “boa me, na me mboa wo” (help me, and let me help you) which forms the theoretical basis for his country’s partnership with Ghana. His advocacy for partnership which brings mutual benefits to both countries is captured in this statement, “your wealth, is our wealth”.