Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told her European Union partners Thursday that curbing migration flows from African countries has less to do with offers of charity than strong partnerships coupled with strategic investments in those nations.

Meloni told reporters at a year-end news conference that last month’s deal on the EU’s Migration and Asylum Pact partially improved the situation for Italy and other asylum countries, but does not represent a solution to increasing migrant arrivals.

“What needs to be done in Africa is not charity,” she said. “What needs to be done in Africa is to build cooperation and serious strategic relationships as equals, not predators.”

Meloni also stressed the need “to defend the right not to have to emigrate … and this is done with investments and a strategy.”