The Mattei Plan: Italy’s $6 Billion Scheme for Africa

On 30 January, Italian policymakers unveiled an ambitious plan to reshape Italy’s energy strategy in Africa. Called the Mattei Plan after the founder of the oil company Eni, the initiative aims to bolster Italy’s influence across European, Mediterranean, and African spheres through strategic energy partnerships. The project focuses on fostering development in African countries to counter immigration to Europe. Italy plans to invest broadly in issues like education and health, but the largest share of funding will go towards turning the nation into an “energy hub” for fossil fuels coming from Africa. The plan’s reception is mixed, due to environmental concerns, potential friction with France’s established interests in the region, and accusations of neocolonialism. These developments signal a pivotal moment for Italy’s foreign policy and regional dynamics.

Key Judgement 1. African leaders will likely accept Italian support despite criticism from NGOs and civil society organisations. 

Key Judgement 2. It is highly likely the Mattei Plan will create tensions between Italy and France due to competing energy sectors. 

Key Judgement 3. It is likely that the Mattei plan will enhance Italy’s energy and immigration role in the Mediterranean. 

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