Rome, Italy – Hon. Lia Quartapelle, Head of AWEPA’s Section in the Italian Parliament, has been working hard alongside Section members to promote development across Africa. Ranging from observation missions to Ethiopia to resolutions on large-scale land acquisitions, the parliamentarians’ work has proved instrumental in keeping Africa and issues of development high on the agenda in the Italian Parliament.
Hon. Quartapelle undertook an observation mission to Ethiopia in February 2016, which resulted in two resolutions. The first aims to promote educational, social and health interventions to encourage human development in Ethiopia and in the rest of the Horn of Africa.
As a result of the resolution, the Italian Government committed to actively take part in the fight against desertification, and to promote universal access to water by funding the building of wells in the areas most affected by El Niño.
The resolution also aimed to lend support to projects run by cooperations. This entails training, microcredit and capacity building activities within the engineering and highly specialised manufacturing sectors, through the involvement of Italian organisations and experts working on a voluntary basis.
On June 29, the Italian Parliament also voted in a resolution land grabbing, an issue particularly relevant for Africa in view of growing Chinese expansion. The resolution recognises the risks of human rights violation associated with large-scale investments in land and agriculture. With the resolution, the parliamentarians therefore urge the Government to adopt a series of measures aimed at mitigating such risks and guiding the investments towards the promotion of models of sustainable agriculture and respect for the legitimate rights of the local communities.
On 10 March 2016, Hon. Quartapella worked with members of the Italian Section to organise a parliamentary hearing on the importance of encouraging dialogue among regional actors as a gateway towards democratic change and stronger democracies. Participants heard from members of the Coordinamento Eritrea Democratica, an umbrella group which brings together different members of the Eritrean diaspora, who shared their experience and views.
A more recent resolution, presented by Hon. Quartapelle on 14 June 2016, pushes for increased funding to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in view of the Fund’s Replenishment Conference. This was passed by the government resulting in a 30% increase in resources.