(AGI) Rho (Milan), Oct 13 - Italian energy giant Eni called forlong-term investment in development cooperation during an eventorganised by the company at the Milan Expo 2015. Speaking onTuesday at the Casa Corriere during the NAOC/Green RiverProject Farmers Day, Lapo Pistelli, senior vice president ofEni's Stakeholder Relations for Business Development Support,called on policy-makers not to cut development cooperationfunds. He said: "As long as Italian citizens perceivedevelopment cooperation as a contribution to cuts in lean timeswe won't get anywhere; instead, we must understand thatdevelopment cooperation is a long-term investment." Turning tothe subject of Africa, Mr Pistelli said: "Getting a continentto change requires consistency: I am happy that the governmentjumps on any opportunity to turn the spotlight on Africa,insisting that Italians must be their partners." Mr Pistelliwent on to explain that the Green River Project (GRP) "hasaffected more than half a million people and has contributed tothe setting up of cooperatives and their mechanisation, inaddition to benefiting specific civil infrastructureinterlinking agricultural activities that we installed." Headded that the GRP is not "a static undertaking but evolves inparallel with the communities". He went on to recall Eni'scommitment in other nations, especially in Ghana where Eni isoperating in four or five remote regions that have no basicmedical facilities and where it is building them. He said: "Ifyou take a look at what other major oil companies are doing inAfrica, you won't see any of this. The new cooperation is thefollowing: we are no longer implementing projects of the typethat if you disconnect the life-line the project dies; theproject must stand on its own feet and be able to go on withits own resources." (AGI).