We say "yes" to a Plan for and with Africa. Development is serious business.
29-01-2024 | di COOPI

We say "yes" to a Plan for and with Africa. Development is serious business.

As members of Link2007 and together with the other participants of Campaign 070, - the initiative that calls on the Italian government to fulfill, by 2030, the commitment made at the UN, more than fifty years ago, to allocate 0.7 percent of Italy's gross national income to Official Development Assistance - we look with keen interest at the Italy-Africa International Conference, organized by the Italian government yesterday and today, January 28 and 29, in Rome, to discuss cooperation together with heads of state and government of countries on the African continent. Since we consider the event an opportunity not to be missed, together with the other members of Campaign 070 we signed a letter addressed to the government.

In particular, we are waiting to learn more about the contents of the Mattei Plan for Africa's development, which draws our attention precisely because of the government's choice to commit itself directly to such an important and complex issue and on which, as development workers, we feel personally called upon. This is why we feel the need to offer our contribution, within an open and in-depth discussion with the intention claimed by our institutions to create a partnership model that is beneficial to all parties.

As it is easy to imagine in the face of such an ambitious commitment we have also concerns, such as the risk that the Plan could result in an override of Law 125/2014 and that funding would be unbalanced in favor of private business interests. Indeed, we are pressed to emphasize the necessary permanence of a distinction between the promotion of economic development and sustainable development cooperation in the specific sense, that recognized by Law 125/2014 as "an integral and qualifying part of Italy's foreign policy". In the implementation of the Mattei Plan, consistent with the provisions of Law 125/2014, Italy will therefore not be able to escape from providing adequate resources for development aid, starting with the rapid maintenance of the commitment made by Italy at the UN, a good 50 years ago, to devote 0.70 percent of its national wealth to it, a value that would currently correspond to about $13 billion per year, compared to about $6 billion for 2022.

Ivana Borsotto, spokesperson Campaign 070 emphasized:

Development cannot be based only on economic capital: it needs human capital, relational and social capital, as well as institutional capital. Development is the enhancement of territorial specificities. It is joint projects, in partnership. It is working in the peripheries, it is supporting the growth of local communities, it is saving biodiversity, it is promoting associationism and active citizenship, it is supporting social and indigenous peoples' movements. Italy must not settle for words without actions, actions without policies, and policies without profound changes. Our country has this potential.">?

Download here the letter (italian version).