Italian leaders are preparing to present and execute the Mattei Plan to African leaders during the Italy-Africa conference scheduled for October 2023 in Rome, Italy. The plan aims to further integrate the economies of Italy and African states.
During a two-day visit to Addis Ababa in April, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni hinted at the reintroduction of the plan by her government.
The Mattei Plan, named after Enrico Mattei, an Italian politician who played a role in the public administration of the fuel sector six decades ago, seeks to revive Mattei’s goal of integrating Italy and Africa through the petroleum business.
As one of the largest economies in Europe, Italy will introduce the Mattei Plan as the main topic of discussion among African leaders during the conference. According to Agostino Palese, Italy’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, the Mattei Plan will be the main topic of discussion at the conference, reflecting Italy’s priority to revive the plan.
“We will present the plan at the October conference in Rome and see the result,” the Ambassador said. He believes that economic relations between Italy and African countries should involve the private sector, which will be addressed through the newly proposed plan.
“We have to follow two parallel tracks that could help all African countries to develop. We have already started with different private factories in Ethiopia,” he added.
Speaking to The Reporter at a EUR 7.6 million agreement signing program between the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the Ambassador emphasized that economic integration is key to solving problems.
“If you improve the economy, you may have fewer problems, even from a political point of view,” he explained.
The Agency and UNOPS signed an agreement for a three-year project that will provide support in the health and education sectors in two regional states. The Ambassador stressed the importance of starting with the economy and even going deep in political relations. “We need to not patronize Africa but see it from a different perspective and from a different angle for collaboration,” he said.
While the plan is centered on the petroleum sector, which ties Italy and the continent together through energy, the Ambassador affirms that it will extend beyond energy.
“There are many sectors to develop, such as agriculture and infrastructure like roads; it’s not just about energy,” he said. “The Mattei Plan will expand it, but we have already started investing here. The October conference will present a larger plan, but we have already begun in Ethiopia.”