Tunisia: Italy Launches Modernized “Mattei Plan” to Address Migration

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Diplomacy, Economic, Political, Security, Tunisia


On 28 and 29 January 2024, Italy hosted the Italy-Africa Summit in Rome during which 5.5 billion in development projects and investment were announced.  

Part of the plan announced at the summit included investment in educational programs in Tunisia as well as green energy production. 

The summit sought to put forth Italy’s modernized “Mattei Plan” – named after the founder of state oil giant Eni – which would see Italy serve as a bridge between Africa and Europe through economic investment and trade. The new “Mattei Plan” is hailed as taking a less predatory or colonial approach to investment in Africa. 

Over 20 African heads of state and representatives from the African Union were present, including Tunisian President Kais Saied. Representatives from the World Bank, United Nations and the European Union were also present. 


As a primary recipient of irregular migrants via Mediterranean Sea crossings, Italy remains highly motivated to work toward economic and social stability in Africa.  

While the initial steps in using Tunisia as a “blueprint” case for investment came with several missteps and disruptions, the plan appears to be moving forward with aid and assistance arriving in Tunisia and, for the time being, driving down the number of sea crossings. 

However, the resilience of the Mattei Plan will be tested as the Mediterranean weather warms again and sea crossing becomes less treacherous in the spring and summer. Summer 2024 will be a critical test of the plans laid by EU leaders to address migration and the patience of EU citizens should migrant arrivals surge again. 


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