Meloni Plots Power Plan to Curb Illegal Immigration

During the Italy-Africa Leaders Summit 2024 (#IALF2024), Italian PM Giorgia Meloni proposed to invest more in Africa, in particular in the field of green energy. In so doing, she hopes that the development created by the investment will incite Africans to stay in Africa, rather than to seek the Eldorado in Europe.

Some 25 leaders from Africa and Europe attended this edition of the Summit. The Comorian President and #AU Chair Azali Assoumani, the AU Commission Chair Faki Mahamat, #EU Council President Charles Michel and the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were present.

Meloni pledged an initial investment of EUR 5.5 billion in Africa across five key sectors, namely:

  • Education and training
  • Agriculture
  • Health
  • Water
  • Energy
Italy-Africa Leaders Summit 2024
Italy-Africa Leaders Summit 2024

The plan was hatched by Enrico Mattei, who created the Italian #SOE Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI), which operates mainly in the energy sector. Italy ambitions to become the energy hub for African natural gases, which Italy will then redistribute across the EU. Due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, EU countries have been scrambling to diversify away from Russian gas as the EU imposed economic sanctions against Russia.

Outlining the plan, PM Meloni mentioned a number of projects across Africa, including the setting up a Training Centre for Renewable Energy in Morocco, upgrading Primary Health Care for mothers and children in Cote d’Ivoire, generating Biofuels in Kenya and improving Water Distribution in the Republic of Congo, to name a few.

“Europe’s and Africa’s destinies are interconnected and I am determined to pursue cooperation ‘as equals’, far from any predatory temptation and the charitable approach that are ill-suited to the extraordinary potential for development of Africa.”

Italian PM Giorgia Meloni

In a bid to bump up the level of investment, Meloni is working with state-lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) on a new set of financial instruments to get private investors on board the Mattei plan.

As a quid pro quo, Italy will be more inclined to invest in countries which manage to control illegal migration to Europe. Illegal immigrants from Africa to Italy have increased from 105,000 in 2022 to 158,000 in 2023. Since the start of 2024, nearly 100 people have already died while attempting the crossing.

On her part, Ursula von der Leyen commented that the Mattei Plan is a welcome complementary to EU’s #GlobalGateway which has already earmarked EUR 150 billion for Africa.

Family Photo at Italy-Africa Leaders Summit 2024
Family Photo at Italy-Africa Leaders Summit 2024