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General News of Monday, 11 February 2019

Source: Harriet Nartey

Increase intra-Africa Trade to speed up development – Italian Amb. urges African government

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The Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Giovanni Favilli has advocated governments in Africa scale-up trading among themselves to accelerate the continent’s economic growth.

According to him, even though the status quo where African governments trade more with western countries is laudable, greater intra-African trade will truly integrate all 54 diverse countries economically.

Speaking on Diplomatic Affairs, a current affairs programme over the weekend,, the Italian envoy lauded President Akuffo Addo’sinitiative for ‘Ghana beyond Aid’, saying the policy “sits with the thinking of Europe of not giving to each other but collaborating for common goals”.

“What guarantees true integration is sustained growth, peace and trading among each other”, he said.

Ambassador Favilli said Italy has maintained a worthwhile friendship with Ghana lasting decades with some monumental mutual benefits including ENI Gas Exploration, support for the Tema Oil Refinery and the continuous upkeep of the Akosombo Dam.

He hinted that to support Ghana’s quest to reform technical and vocational education, an Italian company has been contracted to build a model Vocational school in the Ashanti Region to pilot a phase of vocational education which will be goal oriented with skills to meet the working world.

The Italian diplomat said his country was helping Ghana to access capital goods needed for job creation including equipment for hospitals, schools and the energy sectors.

Additionally, the Italian government is improving its offer of scholarships to Ghanaian youth to study in Italy and return home to impact on the aggressive developmental agenda the Ghanaian government has embarked on.

Italy is the 8th largest economy in the world and is home to some 100,000 Ghanaians living, studying or working in that European nation.

Dozens of Ghanaian footballers also ply their trade in one of the greatest football nations in the world. Amsaddor Favilli said Italy is opened to new ways of legal migration but imanagement of rregular movements is undermining efforts.

Illegal migration of Africans to Europe through the dessert is currently major issue between governments of Europe and their counterparts in Africa.

In November 2017, the Prime Minister of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni paid a working visit to Ghana in one of the highest points of diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

Diplomatic Affairs now airs on Tuesdays at 8:30 pm.

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