2024 G7 Summit in Italy Places Africa High on Agenda

At the G7 Summit in Italy, Africa appeared high on the agenda and the G7 issued joint statement regarding their common view on the emerging continent. Through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (#PG2I), the G7 will promote a ‘sustainable, resilient and economically viable’ infrastructure development in Africa.

It is worth noting that PM Meloni invited leaders from the #GlobalSouth to the G7 Summit, including several from Africa. As expected, most were from North Africa. It is said that newly re-elected South African President Ramaphosa declined the invitation due to his ‘busy schedule’. Similarly, Saudi Arabia sent its apologies, but its participation in the #BRICS meeting which was taking place around the same time frame in Russia did not go unnoticed.

On the other hand, Indian PM Modi scheduled the G7 Summit as his first overseas mission following his re-election for a third mandate. Meloni also invited Pope Francis and watered down the final statement on abortion rights, much to the chagrin of Macron.

2024 G7 Summit Full Family Photo
2024 G7 Summit Full Family Photo

Italian PM called for better synergies between its own #MatteiPlan for Africa and other initiatives involving Africa such as the G7 #PG2I, the EU Global Gateway Initiative (#GGI), the Paris Pact for People and Planet (#P4) and the Nairobi-Washington Vision (#NWV). In addition, the G7 recognized the importance of the G20 Compact with Africa (#G20CA) as an important mechanism to mobilize private sector investment in Africa.

In essence, Italy hopes to kill two birds with one stone in Africa. Stripped down to its simplest apparel, the #MatteiPlan ambitions to develop the huge energy resources in Africa, create jobs locally and foster socio-economic development. By developing the local economy in Africa, Italy hopes that less Africans will take the risk to cross the Mediterranean and enter Europe illegally.

As a matter of fact, Italy recently reached an agreement with Albania to house African migrants in Albania while awaiting the ‘regularization’ of their refugee status. On the same note, Italy signed agreements with Tunisia and Libya to curb illegal migration. UK and Rwanda also struck the Rwanda Asylum Agreement to relocate African refugees to Rwanda against payment by the UK.

The G7 has taken note of the AU’s calls for reforming the international financial architecture and multilateral institutions in order that Africa’s voice is better heard and African interests are given due consideration.

To that effect, the G20 has approved integration of the AU as a permanent member in 2023 during the Presidency of India. Moreover, the IMF has created a third chair for sub-Saharan Africa on the IMF Executive Board in November 2023.

The G7 also underlined that it appreciates the importance of AU #Agenda2063 which fosters industrialization in order to achieve higher Local Value Addition (#LVA) as a key step to climb up the Global Value Chain (#GVC). In the same line, the G7 and AU are on the same page regarding the importance of operationalizing the #AFCFTA to boost trade both inside and outside Africa.