During her visit in Italy, she spent time promoting culture, valorising contacts and advocating continuity in goodwill
The Presidential Couple of Cameroon, Paul and Chantal Biya, have just rounded off a State visit to Italy. For many years, both countries have enjoyed close ties, with interactivity in many sectors of life. This visit provided the opportunity to strengthen bilateral ties and open avenues for new cooperation, particularly for First Lady, Mrs. Chantal Biya.
The First Lady’s stay at the Italian peninsula began with a one-hour visit to the Presidency of Italy, called the Palacio Quirinale, where she was warmly received by Ms. Laura Mattarella, daughter of the Italian Head of State and acting First Lady of Italy. This guided tour was an occasion for Mrs. Biya to get immersed in the abundance of Italy’s cultural diversity and the highlights of its rich history. It is worth noting that the Palacio Quirinale, which doubles as a historical and cultural public museum, is home to the Presidents of Italy, since 1947.
Next on the agenda was her visit to the Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, where her husband, President Paul Biya, was awarded a Gold Medal for his enormous work in the advancement of higher education in Cameroon, by the institution’s president, Pr. Giuseppe Novelli. Tor Vergata, like the Higher Institute of Health in Rome, and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases–Spallanzani, are partner institutions of the Chantal Biya International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB). It has consistently been the source of prominent fellows in the domain of scientific research for the CIRCB, such as Pr. Vittorio Colizzi and Dr. Giulia Cappelli. Thanks to this partnership with Roman institutions of higher learning, the Government of Italy is today a major financial and technical sponsor of the research programmes going on at the CIRCB.
As part of the State visit to the Republic of Italy, was the visit of the First Couple to the Vatican, where they met with His Holiness, Pope Francis. Universally acclaimed for his deep compassion and fervent work in the fight against poverty, the Sovereign Pontiff is certainly a big fan of Mrs Biya, for her dedication to philanthropy and her committed work in the improvement of the standard of living of the less privileged. As such, this visit has in a way offered an opportunity for both humanitarian crusaders to exchange vividly on issues they are both passionate about, in an atmosphere that is sure to attract the blessings of God upon their various ventures. It was also the occasion to meet with Cameroonian-born Sister Marie Okole, a dedicated servant of humanity, working with the Elemosineria Apostolica or the Office of Papal Charities, at the Holy See.