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Eni, UNDP to promote sustainable energy, sustainable development goals in Africa


Eni SpA, Italian multinational oil and gas company, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), are joining forces to improve access to sustainable energy, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

Nigeria, and other African countries, including; Angola, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania are among the first slated for the initial roll out of the partnership.

In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Eni Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Descalzi, and UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, during an official ceremony hosted by the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations on the margins of the 73rd General Assembly on Monday.The partnership is the first of its kind between UNDP and the global energy company, according to a statement made available to The Guardian by Eni’s Nigerian unit yesterday.

Descalzi said: “Improving access to energy, especially in Africa, is core to our values, and it is now an intrinsic part of our business. We invest more than half of our budget in Africa, boosting the domestic potential and promoting local development. This MoU – a first for the energy sector – underscores the credibility of our efforts and the soundness of our business model.”

Sequel to the agreement, Eni will develop business ventures to increase access to clean energy in the region and UNDP will use its extensive development network in over 170 countries to foster an enabling environment to implement the partnership and assess its sustainable impact in local communities.

The MoU between Eni and UNDP follows the launch in September 2017, of the Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development in Rome, under the joint auspices of the Italian Ministry of Environment and UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), to facilitate sustainable development in Africa.

“In 2017, Eni delivered 56 billion cubic meters of gas to domestic markets in 14 countries in Africa. To date, it has invested a total of approximately $2 billion in sub-Saharan Africa in the construction and restoration of networks and power plants, supplying electricity to over 18 million people. We are now launching new investments in renewable energy across the continent,” Descalzi explained.On his part, Steiner identified the private sector as a strategic partner that can help realise the vision for inclusive development, as outlined in Agenda 2030, and the 17 SDGs. He noted that UNDP and Eni’s combined expertise, ability to innovate, and on-the-ground networks can enable better access to sustainable energy sources in Africa.

“This partnership demonstrates how we can work together to achieve the goals, specifically on SDG 17 on partnerships, 13 for climate, 12 for sustainable consumption and production, and above all SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy,” Steiner stated.He added that UNDP will work to ensure the success of the partnership in accelerating access to sustainable energy sources to meet the social and environmental objectives envisaged in Agenda 2030.

“Africa’s energy demands are poised to rise with rapid urbanization and economic growth. The 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically SDG 7, calls for universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services, including clean fuels and technologies.”

“Eni projects will include electricity production from photovoltaic (PV) plants (including floating systems), wind farms, off-grid hybrid solutions, reforestation and clean cooking solutions. “As part of this partnership, UNDP will also work to raise awareness for clean energy and sustainable business models, and provide training and capacity building in recipient communities” Steiner added.

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Claudio DescalziUNDP
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