With a selection of shots – both historical and contemporary – from its photographic archive, Eni is a partner of the Africa, Italia exhibition, at the Palazzo Braschi Museum, in Rome from 27 February to 24 March 2015, organised by the Festival of Travel Literature.

Browsing through the archival images, it is clear that Africa is in the past, but also in the present and future of Eni. The continent provides more than half of the company’s total production of crude oil and natural gas, and recent exploration campaigns have further strengthened growth prospects. It is therefore a strategic presence, as can be seen by the commitment of the more than 12,400 people working in the continent and integrating oil and gas activities with environmental and social sustainability. Today Eni continues to be the leading operator in Africa, a sign of the company’s ability to establish deep relationship with the social fabric and its culture, along with the pursuit of cooperation and integration.

In the early fifties, the idea of involving the oil-producing countries in extraction was extraordinarily visionary and modern. The legacy of colonialism had left a desperate economic dependence on western capital. The result was that Africa found itself independent but impoverished. Enrico Mattei, who knew the meaning of poverty, knew also that to bring electricity to Italy - rich in natural gas, but not oil – Africa would be the ideal partner Africa. Italy shared with many African countries the same desire for development, the same aspirations, the same need to share. Egypt was the first African country to apply the famous Mattei formula, which was very disruptive for the time, and which included, in addition to the distribution a percentage of profits of considerable advantage to the producer country, also the sharing of know-how and resources.

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