|Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni (Left) and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo|
This was disclosed on Tuesday, 28th November, 2017, when the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as part of a day’s working visit to Ghana.
Addressing a joint press conference at the Presidency, President Akufo-Addo noted that relations between Ghana and Italy date several years, recalling the involvement of Italian companies in the construction of the Akosombo dam, Kpone dam, and the Tema Oil Refinery.
President Akufo-Addo noted that subsequent visit to Italy by former Presidents J.A. Kufuor and John Mahama “really broke the barriers of allowing us to even establish even stronger links.”
The President noted that the arrival of Paolo Gentiloni “is within the context of this strong relationship that is between our two countries.”
Touching on the many areas of Ghana’s national life where Italian involvement has been important, President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the support given to the Kofi Anan Peace Keeping Training Centre by the Italian government.
“The training and investment between our countries is modest but is important and the biggest investment in our nation for over a decade is that which has been made by the Italian state owned petroleum company ENI,” the President said.
He continued, “The ENI investment is extremely important for the future of our country, not only in developing our oil deposits, but also, perhaps, even more significantly, in the gas resources that are going to be developed by them.”
The involvement of ENI, the President acknowledged “gives us the opportunity to become increasingly self-sufficient in our energy generation. We are looking forward for greater intercourse with ENI that would allow us to go into other areas of the energy portfolio.”
On the impending 5th AU-EU summit, which will take place in Cote d’Ivoire from Wednesday, 29th November, President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that the Summit would define more concretely the relationship between the two continents.
“Looking at issues of common concern, the development of our economy, the issue of migration, issues of terrorism that confront both our continents, it is my expectation and hope that both Ghana and Italy will play very constructive roles tomorrow in defining this new understanding, this new relationship between Europe and Africa,” the President added.