Today I was delighted to meet with 7 African heads of states during the ECAM roundtable conference that is taking place alongside the European Union - African Union summit today in Brussels. Our discussions have helped to identify ways of creating long-term partnerships between Italy, the EU and Africa, and particular focus was given to projects in the healthcare sector. It is time to push and target the needs of the population and shift the mentality we have of charity towards Africa towards a more serious commitment to investment and partnerships. Africa no longer needs donations; Africa needs a serious commitment to beneficial and profitable partnerships.
The importance of formal dialogue in strengthening relations cannot be underestimated. Forums and conferences such as the ECAM "African Leaders for Change" Conference - Laying the foundations for renewed and deeper AU-EU partnerships”identify needs, create frameworks of cooperation and result in joint strategies that make partnerships between the Africa and the EU real and operative rather than just an ideological pipedream.