Our relationship with Africa is a key part of our corporate history. Vital for Eni’s past, present and future, Africa is the first continent to which we ventured outside of Italy in 1954. The world’s oldest continent and cradle of humanity, with 70 per cent of its population now under 30 years of age, Africa is assuming an increasingly strategic role on the international scene, geopolitically and economically. While North Africa is beginning to take up the challenge of energy transition, the Sub-Saharan part of the continent is still facing the challenge of energy access, with hundreds of millions of people off-grid. In particular, they lack access to clean forms of energy (such as “clean cooking”), a precondition for improving communities’ quality of life and fostering their development. These are complex challenges for a continent whose rapid economic and demographic growth calls for large – and increasing – quantities of energy. To ensure its energy transition, it will need to develop its abundant resources, in particular gas, to contribute to the decarbonization of the energy mix.
This is the continent where we took our first steps outside of Italy in 1954 and where the cornerstones of our business model were established.
The past, present and future of the company
The figures show how our commitment over the years has strengthened our presence in this area.
14 African countries
where we operate in 2020
3,143 Eni's people
who worked in Africa in 2020
44,2 mln €
spent in local development in Africa in 2020
16.3 mln €
invested in infrastructure development activities
7 upstream projects
on going in Africa
3 photovoltaic project
on going in Africa
The challenges we face
In Africa, there is plenty of scope for pursuing the key aspects of our business: the push for decarbonization, working together for progress and our operational model. As well as strengthening and diversifying our traditional portfolio, Eni is supporting development initiatives that involve players committed to sustainable ongoing growth, based on a new circular-economy, low-carbon model and using innovative technologies developed in-house. In this way, we are helping African countries to achieve their climate-related objectives and develop their own resources. A good example is Kenya, where we are promoting a series of circular-economy initiatives to recover, regenerate and reuse agricultural and food wastes, ideal raw materials for replacing fossil fuels in industrial processing and the production of biofuels. Our business activities go hand-in-hand with the UN’s Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which Eni is pursuing by promoting local development projects, with special emphasis on the sustainable growth of the agricultural sector – so essential to Sub-Saharan Africa. Consider, for example, our Africa Project, an important initiative undertaken in conjunction with farmers’ co-operatives and many Italian SMEs working in this sector. The aim is to train local personnel and establish integrated production facilities for the domestic market. Thanks to projects to conserve Africa’s great forest heritage, we are also helping to achieve one of our main objectives: decarbonization. These efforts will be boosted by the REDD+ forest conservation projects conceived by the United Nations, which will improve natural CO₂ storage capacity and at the same time assist in the development of local communities by promoting economic and social activities.
Investment in local development in Africa in 2020
Oil and natural gas net developed and not developed acreage in Africa
Programmes to improve energy access in Africa in 2020
Programmes to improve water access in Africa in 2020
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The main development projects on the African continent
Zohr: the giant offshore field in Egypt
The Zohr field is believed to be the largest-ever gas discovery in Egypt and the Mediterranean.
Production comes from the Zohr field which in 2019 achieved the production of 145 kboe a day net to Eni and accounted for 41% of Eni’s production in the Country.
The Hinda to the development of Congo
We help improve living conditions and socio-economic development in villages in the Hinda district in Congo.
Thanks to the professional training centre for farmers CATREP we support the development of agricultural activities in the area.
Rovuma: to process gas in Mozambico
This project involves the production and liquefaction of natural gas in the north of Mozambique.
The project will include the construction of onshore plants and facilities to process natural gas from Area 4.
The commitment to forest conservation
Africa has an immense forest heritage that we want to conserve. We are committed to reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, not only by diversifying our business activities, but also by focusing on forestry projects that have a positive impact on communities, in terms of economic and social development. Forests help to develop new businesses and increase employment. Our strategy involves project development for the "Reduction of emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation" (REDD +) through international initiatives and valuable partnerships. We have already made initial agreements by signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of forest projects in partnership with international developers.
Energy and geo-economic scenarios
To understand an increasingly complex present, we have to move past a single vision of reality. That’s why we offer an overview of countries that takes into account a variety of interwoven aspects: from historical events to energy policy, and from geo-economics to the push towards digitalisation.
Innovation and dynamism are the two driving features of the country's focus on a sustainable future, thanks to investments in renewables.
Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from the UK in 1957. Gold, cocoa and oil are the sectors that fuel its economic growth. Future goal: energy independence.