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Akufo-Addo, Mattarella, Deepen Afro-Italian Relations

Besides trade, the two leaders and their Ministerial teams centered their discussions on the expansion of relations in the sectors of pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, ICT, financial services, water management and environmental protection in furtherance of Africa’s longstanding collaboration with Italy.

President Akufo-Addo has called on Italy to lend its support to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), whose Secretariat is located in Accra.

He made the call when Sr. Sergio Mattarella, Italian President, paid a state visit to Ghana on Friday, April 5, 2024.

“The AfCFTA intends to link fifty-four (54) markets, covering 1.3 billion people, with a combined GDP of three-point-five trillion United States dollars ($3.5 trillion). By 2050, it will cover an estimated 2.5 billion people, and have over a quarter of the world’s working age population. The investment and business opportunities offered to the Italian and European private sectors, by the infrastructure required to link these markets more effectively, are enormous,” President Akufo-Addo said.

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Besides trade, the two leaders and their Ministerial teams centered their discussions on the expansion of relations in the sectors of pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, ICT, financial services, water management and environmental protection in furtherance of Africa’s longstanding collaboration with Italy to find solutions to contemporary challenges such as the eradication of widespread poverty, elimination of irregular migration, insecurity and human rights violations, terrorism and violent extremism, human and drug trafficking, piracy, as well as climate change and its attendant, negative impact on the environment and livelihoods.

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President Akufo-Addo told the media that, “the relations, between Ghana and Italy, have spanned several decades dating from colonial times, where small communities of Italians, came to settle in the then Gold Coast”.

He explained that subsequent exchange of high-level visits between high-ranking officials of State from both sides have ensured and re-reinforced the continued commitment to engage with each other further to this end.

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President Akufo-Addo revealed that “President Matarella and I first had the opportunity of meeting in Rome in July 2023, when I paid an official visit to Italy, in which I had the privilege of meeting not only Italy’s dynamic Prime Minister, Signora Giorgia Meloni, but also His Holiness Pope Francis.”

Recalling history he said “Ghana and Italy have both turned our backs on our authoritarian pasts, and have embraced democratic governance with its respect for human rights and the rule of law. We are member states of the United Nations.

“We have collaborated effectively on several matters over the years, and a major outcome of this afternoon’s meeting was the reaffirmation of our commitment to work together, and provide mutual support at both bilateral and multilateral levels.”

President Akufo-Addo expressed Ghana’s appreciation for Italy’s assistance in the fight against piracy, and their decision to promote democracy in West Africa, and mutually reject unconstitutional changes of government.

He called for Italian and the European Union support to correct the injustice with regards to the composition of the UN Security Council and prioritise the reform process as set out in Africa’s Common Position on UN Reform, based on the Ezulwini Consensus, as well as, continue to work together with Italy on climate action by taking steps needed to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, thereby pushing for an end to the ravages of the phenomenon.

President Akufo-Addo was hopeful of Italian investment towards Ghana’s burgeoning automobile industry, “One-District, One-Factory” policy, “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme, and the One-Village-One-Dam projects.

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