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Italy Is on Side of Ghana, Rest of Africa — Prime Minister Gentiloni

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The Italian Prime Minister, Mr Paolo Gentiloni, has assured Ghana and the rest of Africa that Italy is on their side in addressing the various challenges confronting them.

He stated that “the African continent is one with extraordinary opportunities and resources which must be utilised efficiently to achieve growth, development and peace.”

He, however, said Africa faced a large number of challenges which required regional and inter-regional cooperation to address them.

Mr Gentiloni gave an assurance when he delivered a lecture at the Kofi Annan International Peace-Keeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC) at Teshie, as part of his state visit to the country during the week.He said Italy had the objective of maintaining and strengthening its role as a bridge between the two continents, where they would ensure the exchange of experience, technical know-how, skills and investment.

 Youth

Mr Gentiloni, however, observed that the population of the youth would double in the next 30 years.

He said there was the need to ensure that the youth had peace, security, democracy, human rights and of course, jobs.

He pointed out that the persistent challenges, such as threats and social inequalities, posed obstacles and undermined the efforts to maintain the peace and development so much needed.

The Prime Minister said: “So an increased level of security could be a powerful tool for social and economic development and there is a strong connection between stability, security and potential social and economic development.”

On the basis of this connection, he said Italy firmly believed in the fundamental roles of peacekeeping missions, in bringing peace and security and in protecting persons affected by conflict situations.

He said Italy deemed it proper to train people to protect civilians, adding that a facility such as the KAIPTC, for instance, was, therefore, vital.

He announced that Italy placed peacekeeping operations among the main priorities of its mandate as a member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

He announced that currently, Italy was participating in UN Peace-Keeping activities in countries, including Lebanon, Cyprus and Mali.

He also disclosed that Italy had been a major financial contributor to UN Peace-Keeping operations and to the Blue Helmets.

Over the years, he said, the country had participated in over 20 UN Peace-Keeping operations.

AU-EU Summit

The Prime Minister touched on the African Union-European Union (AU-EU) Summit, which had taken place in Abidjan, La Cote d’Ivoire and said it was expected to provide the platform for them to confirm their engagement with the African continent.

He said the summit also sought to present a chance for them to partner Africa, through a new approach to overcome the usual donor dynamics.

The  youth was the focus of the Summit which was held on the theme: “Investing in youth for a sustainable future.”

He emphasised that Italy wished to work with Africa in establishing a new partnership for lasting peace and security, governance, long-term investment and better mobility.

‘In one word, in partnership for the youth,” he stated.

Tree planting

The Prime Minister, who later planted a tree named after him, said he was very grateful to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the people of Ghana.

Mr Gentiloni who had earlier met Ghana’s President, told participants at the lecture that he commended Ghana for her stability and democracy.

Present at the lecture was the Commandant of the KAIPTC, Air Vice-Marshal Griffiths Evans, as well as other officers, men and local and foreign students of the centre.

Source: Graphic

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