Ghana and Italy have renewed their commitment to deepening the ties of cooperation and bonds of friendship which exist between the two countries, as well as continue to explore areas of mutual interest for the benefit of their respective populations.
This was made known on Friday 21st July 2023, when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo held bilateral discussions with the Republic of Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella, at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy, as part of the president’s 4-day official visit to that country.
Welcoming President Akufo-Addo, his Italian counterpart lauded Ghana’s continued adherence to the tenets of democracy, good governance, the rule of law and to principles of democratic accountability; all of which, he said, have made Ghana a beacon of democracy and stability not only in West Africa, but also on the continent of Africa.
President Akufo-Addo, on his part, noted that Ghana and Italy have had strong relations spanning several decades which have resulted in many Italian companies being successful in their Ghana operations – citing the Italian engineering firm, Impregilo, which constructed the Akosombo Dam as an example.
Reiterated Ghana’s commitment to working with Italy, President Akufo-Addo thanked the Italian president for the support given to Ghana by Italy – a member of the Creditor Committee for Ghana under the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatments – in the restructuring of Ghana’s finances, which helped it secure a US$3billion Extended Credit Facility from the International Monetary Fund.
Collaboration with Italy in developing Ghana’s pharmaceutical and agro-based industries, President Akufo-Addo said, is high on the agenda of his visit; and indicated that it will be one of the matters he will bring up in his discussions with the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni – which are scheduled to take place on Monday 24th July 2023.
Both leaders agreed that the quest for development of their respective economies will not be possible in conditions of chaos and armed conflict. To this end, President Mattarella applauded the role being played by Ghana in helping to confront jihadist and terrorist threats in the Sahel.
Describing the Accra Initiative as “commendable”, the Italian president pledged the support of his country for its success, because, in his own words: “The stability of the Sahel is important”. In addition to this, President Mattarella also pledged the support of Italy in helping to confront the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
On the issue of redesigning the global financial and economic architecture, President Akufo-Addo indicated that this is imperative so as to ensure that systems of injustice and inequity in the global financial sector are corrected – a statement corroborated by the Italian President, who noted that the current set-up of the global financial architecture must be more responsive to needs of the whole world.
President Mattarella and President Akufo-Addo were unanimous in their call for reform of the United Nations Security Council – which, in the Ghanaian leader’s words, is long overdue.
“We are anxious that the matter of UN Reform be given priority on the global agenda. It is time to correct the longstanding injustice that the current structure and composition of the UN Security Council represents for the nations of Africa.
We are encouraged, though, by the attitudes and sentiments of two (2) leaders of the five (5) Permanent Members of the Security Council; that is, President Joe Biden of the United States of America and President Emmanuel Macron of the French Republic. Both of them are the first leaders of their respective countries to call publicly for reform. We look forward to leaders of the three (3) other Permanent Members also throwing their support behind the reform process,” the Ghanaian president said.
While in Italy, President Akufo-Addo is expected to deliver the keynote address at the 4th ECAM Summit in Rome, which has been organised as a sideline event to coincide with the Coordination Hub of the UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment in Rome Summit. The Summit will discuss challenges and opportunities in the fields of healthcare and food safety in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.