Since 2014, the Italian government no longer cooperates with Eritrea, its former favorite colony. At the time, Lapo Pistelli , former Deputy Foreign Minister of Italy, with the new wave of Eritrean immigrants on Italian coasts, had been visiting Asmara to engage in cooperation with Eritrea of mutual interest. Unfortunately, with the change of the Italian tops and with the Pistelli scene exit, everything has been blocked, forgotten.
At present, Asmara's government, according to Ottoman Saleh Mohammed , Foreign Minister of Eritreo last October , said: "He is working with the European Union, with Germany and other European countries, but not with Italy ... Italy does not Wants to work with Eritrea and we do not know why . "
Today, Eritrean President Yemane Gebreab's advisor on a visit to Rome stressed that Eritrea is not looking for "Italy's money, does not want assistance, aid," but instead wants "Italian investments" because "we are always Have been the entry way for Italy in the Horn of Africa and we believe there are plenty of opportunities for Italian companies not only to work in the Eritrean market, but also to settle in Eritrea and then expand into the Horn of Africa and in the Gulf Countries " .
The European investments required by Eritrea serve to stem the exodus of their young people by creating employment.
In January 2016, the European Union had announced aid for 200 million euros in favor of the country to cope with poverty and to stimulate socio-economic development through the EDF 11th European Development Fund for the period 2014-2020.
In September of that year, the Eritrean government signed a protocol of cooperation with Germany to create employment opportunities for young people through training courses. In December, through the Africa Fund created in Malta in 2015, the European Union has allocated € 13 million, of which Germany has added another 3 for a small and medium-sized development project.
In 2015 there were more than 36,000 Eritreans joining Italian coasts, from the beginning of 2017 to today there were only 2,690 .
"Eritrean arrival numbers are dropping drastically due to changes in the country," said Yemane Gebreab, " but for us, that we are a small country, any number of Eritreans want to leave the country is too big, though These are small numbers . "
The exodus to Italy has slowed down because "we are offering young training courses, working conditions are improving, the economy is growing and young people are also aware of the situation in Europe. They first thought that life in Europe was easy, that they would be successful, but now they know that life in Europe is difficult, spending months and months in reception centers. "
Infatti prosegue: “noi vogliamo promuovere investimenti italiani in Eritrea, vogliamo che imprenditori italiani vengano a lavorare in Eritrea, vogliamo che gli italiani vengano a visitare l’Eritrea in numeri più consistenti, vogliamo che professionisti italiani vengano in Eritrea. Noi non siamo interessati ai soldi dell’Italia, non vogliamo assistenza, ne aiuti. Quello che vogliamo è sviluppare una partnership che faccia tornare l’Italia nel Corno d’Africa e nel Golfo in modo massiccio e il punto di ingresso naturale per l’Italia è l’Eritrea. Questo è quello che stiamo cercando di promuovere in termini di idea, di modo di pensare. Non vogliamo parlare solo con il governo, ma anche con la società italiana, con il mondo imprenditoriale, con il mondo accademico”.
Yemane concluded by recalling "very close relations between Italy and Eritrea, historical, cultural, technological relations" , pointing out that the former colony of Eritrea would again like to "build relationships between the two peoples, within their respective worlds of Form of cooperation with Italy " but stressed that " in Italy there is still no awareness of how much Eritrea can be important to Italy and until such awareness becomes apparent I do not think it will change anything . "