It has been successfully concluded the Forum “Agriculture and Opportunities for Investments in Sub-Saharan African Countries” organized by UNIDO ITPO Italy. It was an “Institution to Business” meeting with the participation of the Ministers of Agriculture of: Angola, Uganda, Mozambique, Gabon, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Senegal.
“Partnership with Africa is a strategic element of the Italian politics, and agriculture is one of the pillars of this strategy. In order to reach the 2050 targets, in fact, it is necessary to restart on the sectors territory and agriculture”. It is by these words that Mr Giandomenico Magliano, General Director for the Foreign Affairs Ministry Modernization, opened the forum pointing out that the western countries engagement, and the Italy’s one particularly, is aiming to transfer technologies as well to give value to the territory and the human resources.
Mr Felice Crosta, Advisor of the Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry Politics, stated that agro-energies represent a real opportunity for development. For this reason agro-food chains have to be enhanced. Since there is the need of promoting agricultural development, it is necessary to co-operate for a scientific innovation and look for the possibility to undersign agreements regarding research and formation in Italian Institutes of Research. All this will be possible through bilateral meetings and delegations from the Council for Research & Experimentation in Agriculture and the Unit of Research & Experimentation in Agricultural Engineering. Thus, the Italian government gives its complete disposal
UNIDO ITPO Italy Director, Ms Diana Battaggia - with 43 representatives of industrial organizations in attendance including Confagricoltura, Confindustria, Associazione Italiana Allevatori, Federbio, Distretto della Pesca COSVAP, Agricoma, Ipack-Ima, Macfrut, TUV Italia srl, CNH International SA and Gruppo Trevi - encouraged the “Italy System" Institutions to promote a more consistent involvement of the Italian business in supporting the economical growth and development of African small and medium-sized enterprises through investments in the agro-industry sector. “Their presence witnesses the effort of many African governments in fighting hunger, and also their determination to support concretely a development of the whole agro-industry local chain”.
Director then gave the floor to the African Ministries who set out the investments opportunities in their countries. All of them pointed out the still huge prospects of exploiting land and water resources. And most of all they also described which are the sectors in which they are concentrating now and where a bigger involvement from private investments is required. Then, among the most relevant aspects, several incentives were revealed for those interested in investing such as customs exemption, amortization exemption, VAT exemption, exports incentives, duty exemption for raw material imports. During the interesting “question time” at the end of the event, they also reassured, giving some examples, that investors are protected by International Monetary Fund.
“Occasions such as these – said Ms Diana Battaggia in conclusion – are fundamental to give the Italian business much more awareness of the opportunities some African countries offer. Africa, thanks to its huge economical and human potential richness, is the continent where to concentrate future growth perspectives. It represents one of the most interesting investments market. Future perspective for this continent, in fact, prefigure increasing investments, abandoning the unidirectional approach of a cooperation only based on a finance support.Photo gallery