On February the 7th, 2024, Letizia Moratti, President of E4Impact Foundation, and Gunther Beger, Managing Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO),  signed a joint declaration at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, in the presence of the Rector, Franco Anelli. The collaboration will contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

In particular, it is the SDG number 9 that E4Impact and UNIDO are looking at: “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The partnership will be related to the development of cooperation projects, as well as the promotion of public-private partnerships, to give rise to sustainable and innovative enterprises capable of creating new jobs in Africa.

The signing of this joint declaration will strengthen a collaboration that has already been underway for years and aims to involve further partners, including government institutions, cooperation bodies, universities, private companies and non-governmental organisations. Tangible examples of public-private partnership initiatives with Italian stakeholders include the Coffee Training Centre, the Creative Hub Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, the Center for Circular Economy in Coffee and the Oyo Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the Republic of Congo, as well as the E4Impact Entrepreneurship Center of Nairobi (Kenya), launched as E4Impact Accelerator by Università Cattolica and E4Impact in 2018, thanks to the contribution of the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development.

“There is a clear alignment and strong complementarity in the vision of UNIDO and E4Impact in supporting the sustainable growth of African countries. For us it’s fundamental to foster public-private partnerships (PPP) and in this sense our Foundation has three strengths. First of all, a strong rooting in Africa, where we operate in 20 countries with a great variety of projects for the development of new sustainable African businesses. Secondly, the fact of having our “head” in Milan, which is the ideal environment for developing the logic of strategic PPPs. Thirdly, the connection with the Università Cattolica and with the academic world, which ensures the quality of our interventions and the ability to contribute to the development of Africa’s human capital.” Stated Letizia Moratti, President of E4Impact.

Gunther Beger, Managing Director of the Directorate for SDG Innovation and Economic Transformation at UNIDO, underlined the importance of strategic alliances to better solve global problems, following the path indicated by the United Nations: “In 2023, amid global challenges, only 15% of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are on track for 2030. We can do better together. Recognizing the important catalytic role that the private sector plays in bringing about transformative change and finding innovative solutions to development challenges, UNIDO strongly supports the establishment of strategic public-private alliances. In this context, the alliance with E4Impact contributes to promoting entrepreneurship and skills development as a powerful tool for boosting job creation, especially in the African continent”.

Finally, the Rector of the Università Cattolica, Franco Anelli, who opened the event with his institutional greetings pointed our that: “The great obstacle to Africa’s development is the lack of a local entrepreneurial fabric. The originality of E4Impact Foundation consists in training entrepreneurs, with an approach inspired by social responsibility. A training that takes place by forging partnerships with African universities and carrying out educational activities that are also carried out thanks to the support and know-how made available by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.”

Thanks to the reinforcement of UNIDO-E4Impact partnership, joint and innovative projects in Africa will be soon developed with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.