presentation of the Conference of African University Rectors

"Italy will always be by Africa’s side." Those are the words used by Emanuela Del Re, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in the Capitolare Hall of Palazzo Minerva of the Italian Senate, to highlight the presentation of the Conference of African University Rectors scheduled in Teramo next 21 June 2019.

The event will be part of the Second edition of the Gran Sasso International Forum, promoted by the Bishop of the Diocese of Teramo-Atri, Monsignor Lorenzo Leuzzi, who will moderate a vast multidisciplinary programme on the theme "Prevention: a new way for development" at the University of Abruzzo from 20 to 22 June.

At the event, thirty-five education professionals – amongst them Rectors, Vice Chancellors and Presidents of African Universities - will be called upon to address the concept of prevention.  The title of the round table will be "Protection of cultural and natural heritage and resources through prevention: present and future professions."

"We will restore enthusiasm and impetus towards cooperation as a new mode of social planning, not as aid," said Monsignor Lorenzo Leuzzi. "Without a culture of prevention,” continued the prelate, “there can be no such planning."

During the presentation, ICCROM’s Director-General, Webber Ndoro, announced the Youth Heritage Africa programme to be presented at the African Rectors' Conference. "With young people who now make up over half of the population in Africa, we, as places of learning, must be ready to provide students with the tools they need to take care of their cultural and natural environment and earn a living in more sustainable way.” The Director continued, “This is why we need to rethink the professions that surround prevention and conservation and look for new opportunities. Africa can be a forerunner."

The Rector of the University of Teramo, Dino Mastrocola, has indicated new perspectives for university cooperation. "It is necessary to work on common training paths, not one-sided, as in the past, but bilateral. Africa is also a formative opportunity for our students. The way forward is the double degree.”

Prevention was also at the centre of the speech by Giorgio Marrapodi, Director General of Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Preventing crises is one of the main goals for a diplomat, as well as a road to building peaceful societies," he said.