BY DANIELA POLIZZI | CORRIERE DELLA SERA
From renewable energy operators, to construction companies, plant engineering, and marble, tourism, breeding, agriculture, and leather processing industries. In all, there are 80 entrepreneurs of small and medium Italian companies who, on the occasion of the visit to Eritrea of Deputy Foreign Minister Emanuela Del Re, met President Isayas Afewerki and Head of Political Affairs Yemane Ghebreab in Asmara.
A five-day cycle of meetings that also included the respective ministers of each economic sectors. The initiative is a new phase in the relaunching of Eritrea, which signed the peace agreements with Ethiopia in July. Three months later the UN unanimous decision to withdraw sanctions on the Horn of Africa country also came, and Eritrea also became part of the UN Human Rights Council.
Now Italian investors are trying to rediscover the former Italian colony. It is the first step, still an exploratory one, which should be followed, in March, by the visit to Asmara of the Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero, supported by a delegation from SACE, a key partner to guarantee future flows of investments directed by Italian companies.
The decision to open a channel was also taken by entrepreneurs in the wake of the October meeting in the Eritrean capital between Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the Eritrean President Afewerki, which was the first meeting with a European premier.
And shortly before that, the intervention of Romano Prodi in support of the reconciliation process between Eritrea and Ethiopia and the role that Europe and Italy can play.
The belief is that Italy can contribute to the reconstruction of the local economy, a phase of revitalization that goes through investments and growth, essential for creating jobs and hopes for the future for young people.
In fact, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the International Training Center of La Sapienza University in Rome and the University of Asmara for the birth of an engineering center in the Horn of Africa.
The delegation comprised the mechanical enterprise Guido Rota, specialized in plants for animal husbandry, biogas and biomethane, the Tuscany firm Italprogetti (plant for tanneries), the firm Henraux of Lucca, active in the extraction and processing of marble, one of the resources of Eritrea, then the horse breeding company for competitions, Sistemaeventi.
There were also companies from the food sector: Grifo Latte, who laid the foundations for a joint venture in the production of fresh food and the Goretti winery.
At their side were also representatives of Intesa Sanpaolo, that could evaluate the support of investments by Italian companies.