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Interview with Mr. Adolfo Urso, Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy

Welcome to Eritrea, Your Excellency. Could you share your comments on your extensive meeting with H.E. President Isaias Afwerki?

Certainly! We had a significant meeting with His Excellency President Afwerki and various Ministers from the Government. This marks a new, important, historical stage in the collaboration between Italy and Eritrea.

In January, we hosted President Afwerki during the Italia-Africa Summit, where he met with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni as well as several Ministers of the Italian Government, including myself. During this summit, we planned a bilateral action aimed at creating a strategic partnership benefiting our countries, the Horn of Africa, and Africa at large.

Through this partnership, today, we see the presence of significant Italian companies here in Asmara interested in sectors such as:

  • Infrastructure,
  • Ports and airports,
  • Roads,
  • Renewable energy,
  • Agriculture,
  • Animal husbandry,
  • Medicine,
  • Pharmaceuticals.

These efforts are aimed at building solid economic and productive cooperation. This is the right time for such initiatives, and our Government, our Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, is committed to this cause.

Could you also discuss the issues raised during the meeting between President Isaias and the representatives of different Italian companies that accompanied you to Asmara?

President Afwerki, along with Eritrean Ministers, met with the Italian companies present, who outlined the projects they plan to implement in the coming months here in Eritrea. These projects include direct air connections, development of the tourism sector, and infrastructure projects involving ports, roads, and railways; there are also plans for developing renewable energy projects in the photovoltaic, wind, and geothermal sectors. Additionally, significant agricultural, agro-industrial, and livestock initiatives were discussed.

The cooperation extends to the medical and hospital sector, including telemedicine connections for remote care, which the main hospital in Rome, Gemelli Hospital, can provide to hospitals in Asmara and Massawa. This also includes the potential for producing medicines in Eritrea under the license of Italian pharmaceutical companies.

We also discussed about professional training conducted in Italian language in Asmara, Massawa, and other Eritrean cities. We believe in training young Eritreans in new technologies to enable them to create jobs and businesses here. Our Government is committed to creating a plan with mutual commitments to forge a strategic partnership that can benefit all of Africa in the coming months.

President Isaias has alluded to wider linkages and interdependence on the critical issues of regional peace and tranquility. What role does Italy, and the cooperation between the two countries, play in developing cooperation among the countries of the region as a whole?

We believe there is a strong desire for collaboration with Italy here in Eritrea, stemming from historical and cultural ties. Likewise, in Italy, there is a special inclination to work with Eritrea, given the relationship consolidated over decades between our countries and peoples. We see this relationship as a means to stabilize the entire Horn area and serve as a model of cooperation and stabilization that could involve other surrounding nations. We are convinced that it is the right time to pursue this endeavor.

Thank you, Your Excellency!

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