Italy Presents Itself To Africa!


Next November 9th will open the “doors” of the fourth edition of Italia Africa Business Week IABW. Starting at 10:00 a.m., online, hundreds of entrepreneurs, professionals, opinion leaders but also ministers and diplomats will gather for IABW 2020, the first and most important Italian-African business forum now at its fourth edition.

Milan was the venue for the third edition of the Italia Africa Business Week Forum – IABW, promoted by the Association Le Réseau. The Forum, which took place in November 26th, 27th 2019, confirmed the common interest of companies and institutions in improving, stimulating and strengthening exchanges between Italy and the African continent.

This renewed interest is testified by the figures, of absolute importance, of the first Milan edition of the IABW Forum: over 650 participants from 40 countries around the world, 3 African and Italian ministers, 5 African delegations, over 50 “formal” meetings (planned by the organisation with the various project partners) B2B and B3B, 31 exhibition stands, 5 of which managed by African diplomatic representations.

Figures that demonstrate not only how IABW is the most important and principal economic and commercial Forum between Italy and Africa, but also how it has acquired an international dimension, embracing the cosmopolitan spirit of Milan, Italy’s economic capital.

On the virtual stage of the opening conference that will take place in November 9, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and that will be opened by President of the Association Le Réseau that organizes the Italia Africa Business Week, Cleophas Adrien Dioma the institutional greetings will be alternated with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emanuela del Re, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Madagascar Tehindrazanarivelo Djacoba A. S. Oliva and the Ambassador of Mali in Italy His Excellency Ali Coulibaly, godfather of the 4th edition of Italia Africa Business Week.

Speakers at the opening conference and participants at the three-day IABW Forum will be Deputy Director of the Loukil Group, Walid Loukil, Director-General for Development Cooperation, Giorgio Marrapodi , Central Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Giuseppe Mistretta, Partner Bonelli Erede, Gianpiero Succi, General Manager Agenzia Italia per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo (AICS) , Luca Maestripieri, Chief International Development Finance Officer Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) Antonella Baldino, Vice-President Institutional Relations at CNH Industrial Michele Ziosi and Surgeon and Professor, Associate of Cattolica University of Rome, Yamume Tshomba. They will discuss in the institutional panel “Rebranding Italy in Africa: Relaunching the Business and International Cooperation model of Italy in Africa”.

Hundreds of companies, professionals and experts from various Italian and African business sectors will be present online, as well as a large representation of the African diplomatic corps (over 25 African embassies in Italy represented at IABW by ambassadors, consuls and diplomatic advisors) to participate in the 4th edition of IABW: green economy, circular economy, infrastructure, renewable energy, agriculture, agribusiness, start-ups and new technologies, biomedical, waste management, these are the sectors on which the 2020 edition of IABW will focus.

Several leading personalities have already confirmed their presence:

  • Undersecretary with responsibility for Internationalisation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Manlio Di Stefano
  • Counsel BonelliErede, Angelino Alfano
  • Secretary General of Res4Africa, Roberto Vigotti
  • Senior Strategic Investment Advisor, Roberto Ridolfi
  • Vice-President of the National Confederation of Craftsmen, Roberta Datteri
  • Former Minister of Finance of Burkina Faso, Jean Gustave Sanon
  • CESVI Advocacy Coordinator, Valeria Emmi
  • Director of the AICS Dakar headquarter, Alessandra Piermattei
  • Head of Development Financing (CDP), Giulio Dal Magro
  • Head of Migration Project (AFD), Olivier Kaba
  • Head of International Cooperation (PD) Caterina Avanza

and then Head of the Anti-Racism Office of Lega Serie A, who will present the project Africa together Daffe Saidou Oumar with Michele Ciccarese and Niccolò Tomio, both from Lega Serie A marketing office.

The high-level conferences will be organised with the aim of analysing strategic investment sectors through the professional eyes of the leading players and the most experienced analysts.

IABW will not only be an opportunity for in-depth analysis and networking to explore new business opportunities for Italian companies in Africa, but it will also be an opportunity for high-level bilateral institutional meetings, B2B and B3B meetings between Italian and African companies, professionals and institutions, country presentations and high-level conferences such as the Country Presentation “Doing Business in Ethiopia – New Opportunities for Italian Entrepreneurs” and the workshop “Bonellierede: a preferred partner of African governments for capacity building and development” organised with our strategic partner and sponsor BonelliErede.

Finally, since access to finance is one of the essential factors of African growth, but also one of the current obstacles to the continent’s economic development, especially in this period of global crisis due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to propose a conference with the theme: “Financial instruments for the relaunch of African economies in the post-covid era19”.

In Africa there is a great desire for Italy, quality and the know-how typical of SMEs: IABW is therefore a platform for comparison and networking as well as a real economic and knowledge bridge between two realities that are increasingly close and curious about each other.

The aim is to overcome barriers and scepticism through win-win business partnerships, sharing know-how and good business practices, building personal relationships even before business relations.

The main objective of the Forum is to photograph the state of the art of relations between Africa and Italy but above all to analyse possible developments in the key sectors of the project, to encourage the development of synergies and partnerships between all the actors of the ecosystem, to generate new ideas through the crosspollination of the sectors.

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