A Real or a Fake “Mattei Plan” for Africa?
The Italy-Africa Conference opened on Jan. 29 in Rome, to launch the Italian government’s much touted “Mattei Plan” (named after the late industrialist and anti-imperialist leader Enrico Mattei). However, the title should have been “EU-Italy-Africa”, as Prime Minister Meloni (and her Foreign minister Antonio Tajani) invited the entire EU leadership: Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel and European Parliament chairman 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 were present. “We would have preferred that you consult us” on the implementation of this plan, African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki commented drily, but politely.
Moreover, the so-called “Mattei Plan” looks more and more like a case of consumer fraud. Despite generic references to investments, development, infrastructure etc., the only concrete projects mentioned concern “sustainable” energy to be delivered from Africa to the EU via Italy, and “sustainable” agricultural schemes for African countries themselves. In other words, a cover for extending the EU Green Deal to Africa, via Italy. And a few negative comments on Chinese practices in Africa by members of the Italian government coalition strengthen the suspicion that the Mattei Plan has been hijacked by Brussels.
The good news is that EIR has learned that those responsible for the next step of the Mattei Plan, i.e., the committees that are supposed to jointly examine which projects should be financed, have received for consideration the Transaqua plan, a giant infrastructure project designed to bring water, electricity, means of transportation and food production to central Africa. The basis of the project, as our readers know, involves the transfer of plentiful (and otherwise wasted) water from the Congo basin to the Lake Chad basin (cf. SAS 36/23).
Timed with the opening of the Italy-Africa conference, the Quotidiano del Sud daily published Jan. 29 a major article by Ercole Incalza, a former government official who has been working with the firm Bonifica, owner of the Transaqua trademark. Incalza, who was at the 2018 conference in Abuja where countries of the Lake Chad Basin adopted the Transaqua project, wrote: “It would be useful for the Italian government to examine such a proposal, because it could finally refer not to a hypothesis but to a reality which is congenial with what we call the ‘Mattei Plan’.” Indeed, the adoption of the Transaqua project is the litmus test determining whether Meloni’s proposal for developing Africa in a “non predatory” spirit is sincere or not.