Italian oil giant, Eni and the Luiss University, today, kicked off in Rome the International Network on African Energy Transition (INAET), gathering major institutions, universities, think-tanks and scholars from Africa, Europe and worldwide to set up a common hub on the continent’s transition.
With Africa being home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, the energy transition offers huge opportunities for the continent; INAET’s ambition is to untap its potential, exploring new paths for collaboration among the key actors at stake, according to an Eni statement.
The 2-day inaugural conference in Rome, Italy, sees the participation of high-level universities, research centers and institutions from Algeria, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa.
According to the statement, “They will create synergies with European and international universities and institutions, such as the European University Institute, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Atlantic Council, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, and other relevant stakeholders.
Also, matching the leading academic experience of Luiss University with Eni’s know-how on the energy sector and its wide and deeply rooted presence in Africa, the event plans to address five top priorities.
These include mitigation and adaptation measures for climate change; Africa’s development paths and the resources needed; younger generation’s outlook on the energy transition; African priorities in the energy transition; international players and private sector role in the African energy transition.
The event plans to address five top priorities: mitigation and adaptation measures for climate change; Africa’s development paths and the resources needed; younger generation’s outlook on the energy transition; African priorities in the energy transition; and international players and private sector role in the African energy transition.
Eni, which has been operating in Africa since the 1950s, and currently operates in 14 countries in the continent, reiterated its commitment “to improving energy access in Africa through a wide portfolio of projects, ranging from traditional to renewable energy production and innovative initiatives.”
Such initiatives include supplying energy efficient cookstoves (Mozambique, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya); integrating the African countries into the biofuel value chain (Kenya, Mozambique, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda); investing on the creation of research centers focused on new energies (Oyo in Congo, Solar Lab in Algeria).
Others are powering water wells through photovoltaics in partnership with international agencies (Nigeria); investing in educational programs focused on the energy sector and upskilling (Egypt, Mozambique, Côte d’Ivoire).
On its part, Luiss University, currently ranked 14th for Political and International studies in the prestigious 2023 QS Ranking by Subject, actively contributes to the training of the future African ruling class.
Thanks to the Sub-Saharan African Project (“Progetto Africa Subsahariana”), financed by Eni itself, Luiss is offering scholarships to students from Angola, Mozambique, Nigeria, Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Rwanda and Burundi.
The students are expected to become the new global leaders and manage the geopolitical, economic and environmental challenges of the coming years in their continent.