The following item will appear in the EIR Strategic Alert Service No. 5/2024:
The Italy-Africa Conference opened on Jan. 29 in Rome, to launch the much-touted “Mattei Plan” (named after the late industrialist and anti-imperialist leader Enrico Mattei) of the Italian government. However, the conference should be re-named “EU-Italy-Africa,” as Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni (and her Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani) invited the entire EU leadership, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU Council President Michel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola. All three of them spoke at the plenary session, together with two members of the Italian government and only two African leaders, although 25 African heads of state and government are participating. “We would have preferred that you consulted us,” African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat remarked, and politely added that “Africa is ready to discuss the outlines and the modalities of implementation of the Mattei Plan.”
Moreover, the so-called “Mattei Plan” looks more and more like a consumer fraud. In fact, despite generic talking of investments, development, infrastructure, etc., the only concrete projects being mentioned are plans for “sustainable” energy sources to be delivered to the EU via Italy, and “sustainable” agricultural schemes for African countries. In other words, it looks like the “Mattei Plan” is the cover for smearing the EU Green Deal through Italy, to Africa. And some negative references to practices by China in Africa by members of the Italian government coalition strengthen the suspicion that the Mattei Plan has been hijacked by Brussels.
Meloni’s Mattei Plan has been criticized by La Stampa veteran Africa envoy Domenico Quirico. “It occurs to me that the originators [of the plan], with naive innocence, never went beyond the fence of five-star African hotels and cozy embassies. Because they would have discovered that tens of millions of Africans to be contracted do not know what to do with digital modernization, they have the paleolithic problem of lacking drinking water and electricity that colonizers and heirs did not even think about,” Quirico wrote on Jan. 23.