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General News of Wednesday, 26 February 2014


30th Italian Naval Group to visit Ghana

The 30th Naval Group of the Italian Navy, composed by aircraft carrier Cavour, supply ship Etna and frigate Bergamini, is expected to arrive in Ghana on Wednesday March 5, the Italian Embassy in Ghana has announced.

Addressing a press conference in Accra, the Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Laura Caripini, explained that the five-day visit by the Naval Group would further widen bilateral relations among the two countries, with exceptional focus in the defense sector.

The 30th Naval Group, which set sail on 13th November, 2013 and crossed the Suez Canal before visiting seven countries in the Arabic Gulf region, is commanded by Rear Admiral Paolo Treu.

The Naval Group campaign is dubbed “A country on the Move”.

Laura Caripini said the vessels would arrive in the country with approximately one thousand professionals onboard and would render humanitarian assistance, maritime security operations, confidence building and promotion of the Italian entrepreneurial excellence.

These professionals, Laura Caripini disclosed, include specialized medical practitioners working for two NGOs in Italy, Operation Smile and Fondazione Francesca Rava, volunteers from the Italian Red Cross and some entrepreneurs.

Operation Smile Surgeons, specialized in facial deformity surgery for kids, would work in the surgery rooms of Aircraft Carrier Cavour while Fondazione Francesca Rava Doctors, who fight blindness in infants, would be working in a laboratory on board Supply Ship Etna.

In all, nearly 60 children would be operated, Laura Caripini divulged. The medical screening would be conducted with the help of Ghana’s health ministry. Aside from this, there would be close interaction with the Ghana Navy through training exercises, a workshop on anti-piracy operations and naval activities at sea.

Ghanaian entrepreneurs would also be offered the opportunity to hold meetings with their counterparts from Italy, in an attempt to enhance trade relations among the two countries.

Additionally, the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) would participate in a conference on the Italian experience in peace keeping operations.

Following the visit to Tema, the Naval Group would continue the circumnavigation of the African continent, visiting Senegal, Morocco, and Algeria, to accomplish all assigned tasks but with specific focus on humanitarian assistance.

African countries visited by the Naval Group so far include South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Congo and Nigeria.

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