Eni gives and not only takes from Africa, says CEO

(AGI) Rho (Milan), Oct 3 - Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi, explainedhis group's historical engagement in Africa during the "ExpoCalls Africa" forum at the Milano Expo 2015 on Saturday. Hesaid: "Africa is not at all an ailing continent, it is a youngand healthy continent, it is growing exponentially but it needsto confide in those who go to work there." He added: "Everytime we work with Africans we must be in the position ofgiving, in an effort to build confidence." He went on:"Eni was the last to enter Africa 60 years ago and, in

(AGI) Rho (Milan), Oct 3 - Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi, explainedhis group's historical engagement in Africa during the "ExpoCalls Africa" forum at the Milano Expo 2015 on Saturday. Hesaid: "Africa is not at all an ailing continent, it is a youngand healthy continent, it is growing exponentially but it needsto confide in those who go to work there." He added: "Everytime we work with Africans we must be in the position ofgiving, in an effort to build confidence." He went on:"Eni was the last to enter Africa 60 years ago and, in only acouple of years, especially the last ten, it has become themajor company present in Africa, both in terms of productionand reserves and in terms of our positioning." The key of Eni'ssuccess, he said, "is our strength and our weakness: we camethere last but we did something different from the rest,recognising the efforts of African countries, and becoming anAfrican company exclusively through our great know-how andcompetences." "In addition to finding oil and exportingit, we undertook risks by also investing in activities that donot form part of our core business, aiming to create value forthe future of those countries," he said. More specifically, headded, "We invested in agriculture, training, health care,giving our hosts access to things they didn't have." MrDescalzi said: "Italy is a wonderful bridge between Europe andAfrica and we can help this young giant to grow: it is a veryimportant opportunity for Europe, because it hasinfrastructures but it must import approximately 70 percent ofits energy. Instead Africa has a great wealth of energy butlacks infrastructures. It has 15 percent of the world'spopulation and consumes 3 percent of the world's energysources, whereas Europe has 7 percent of the world's populationand consumes 14 percent of the energy sources, which it lacksaltogether. "This situtation offers the "opportunity to createthis bond, but we must be generous and develop energy producingfacilities capable of making Africa grow." The topexecutive then turned to the situation in Libya, where Eni"earmarks 40 percent of the gas produced there to its domesticmarket in order to power local power plants." He added that inLibya, if Eni had not absorbed the (negative) impact on its ownfacilities, Libyan energy would have already been depleted. Heconcluded: "We must overcome the rhetoric over the greatpotential of Africa, which has always been there, but we mustdo things in a way that makes industrial and political sense,making them converge on protecting our presence in thosecountries but mainly on making them grow." . .