Mozambique: Giorgia Meloni’s ‘Mattei Plan for Africa’ takes shape in Maputo

May 8, 2023

Minister Urso: ‘MIMIT at the side of the Chambers of Commerce and their initiatives in support of Italian products Simone Santi, president of the Italian Chamber of Commerce: “this is a virtuous model of collaboration and growth between the European Union and African nations”.

by Ennio Bassi

The definition of the new ‘Mattei Plan for Africa’ is one of the international development activities at the heart of the Italian government’s action. A priority reiterated several times by the Prime Minister himself, Giorgia Meloni, which Rome intends to pursue by also involving Italian organisations that have been working abroad for many years. To achieve this goal, an international forum entitled ‘Piano Mattei per L’Africa – Il contributo delle Camere di Commercio Italiane all’Estero’ was organised in Maputo, Mozambique, promoted by the Mozambique-Italy Chamber of Commerce together with the Italian-South African Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China. The venue was no coincidence given the strategic value that Mozambique has for Italy, thanks to the presence of companies such as Eni and Saipem, here engaged in the development of one of the world’s largest projects for the exploitation of new gas fields.

The event was organised in collaboration with Assocamerestero and with the support of the Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad in Asia, South Africa and Oceania, and aimed to bring the point of view of companies that have already been operating in foreign markets for many years. In particular, the Forum focused on the energy transition and industrialisation of the African continent. The event represented an important moment of confrontation between Italian operators who have gained significant experience abroad, able to offer a valuable contribution to the definition of new strategies for the economic development of the African continent.

The initiative – which was also attended remotely by the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso – received broad consensus from both the Italian and Mozambican business and institutional worlds, demonstrating the importance of a constructive dialogue between the realities that operate in foreign markets and the government, in order to promote greater synergy and support the economic development of our country and the African continent.


Accompanied by Ambassador Gianni Bardini, the Italian companies present at the forum held in Maputo were well represented: Eni and Saipem, with their respective directors Giorgio Vicini and Michele Poggi, then Joanna Magalhaes of Baker Hughes, Donatella Scarpa Ceo and President of Ecolibrì, and Luca Donelli Ceo Donelli. Also present were representatives from CMC, Renco, Bonatti, Leonardo Group and Prysmian. For the Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad, in addition to its Secretary General Domenico Mauriello, Virgilio Da Molo and Paolo Bazzoni, Presidents of the South African and Chinese Chambers of Commerce respectively, were present, as well as the Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce in the Arab Emirates Matteo Colombo. For Mozambique, on the other hand, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Carlos Zacarias, and the Minister of Industry and Trade, Silvino Moreno, among others, attended.



“The Mattei Plan for Africa, as presented by the government led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni,” said Simone Santi, president of the Mozambique-Italy Chamber of Commerce and organiser of the meeting, “is a virtuous model of collaboration and growth between the European Union and African nations, also to counter forms of Islamist radicalism, especially in the sub-Saharan area.

From Rome, Adolfo Urso, the Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy, connected: “My presence at today’s event,” said Urso, “demonstrates MIMIT’s desire to be at the side of the Chambers of Commerce and their initiatives in support of Made in Italy, also with a view to attracting foreign direct investment in Italy, and I hope to be able to discuss these issues again with all the presidents and secretaries-general of the Chambers at the annual assembly in Ascoli in mid-June.


The role of the Chambers of Commerce was instead well summarised by the Secretary General. ‘We are a network of 64 international chambers that move around the world and bring together 18,000 members,’ said Domenico Mauriello, ‘in recent years we have been changing our skin. Sustainability is at the centre of our action, just as the definition of the Mattei Plan is part of our future, especially for activity on a continent like Africa. The chambers of commerce, thanks to their members, know how to interpret country by country the needs of sustainable growth and favour the growth of important countries like Mozambique’.



After Mauriello was the voice of business. ‘The gas discoveries made here in Cape Delgado are among the largest in the world,’ said Eni’s general manager Giorgio Vicini. ‘Gas is one of the most important elements towards the energy transition and Mozambique certainly represents one of the most important players in the world. The spirit that animates us is the same as that of our Enrico Mattei, working side by side with the communities we work with. Coral sud is a small project compared to all the resources already available. We are also working to find other deposits and other opportunities for Mozambique and the community. As Eni, we are working for the future and we are also doing this through renewable and biofuel energies’.


Finally, Michele Poggi spoke, bringing the perspective of the big builders. ‘Saipem is a leader in innovative engineering, drilling and also develops large sustainable infrastructures all over the world,’ said the Saipem director. ‘We care about sustainability, we have been making clear commitments on this front for years. We operate all over the world, but here in Africa we have a very strong presence, especially in Nigeria, Angola and also here in Mozambique where we have been since 2012 and where we expect to employ many people when fully operational.’.

The relationship with the local authorities? ‘It is important,’ Luca Donelli said, ‘it takes patience to get to know and discover each other. Fundamental is the role of the universities, with whom we have collaborated and with whom we hope to resume relations. The will to invest in the medium and long term is the way to create important opportunities’.



The second panel of the Maputo Forum, which was then concluded by Ambassador Bardini and the Minister for Industry and Trade, Silvino Moreno, was coordinated by Paolo Bazzoni, President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in China.  And still on the private sector front, this panel featured the important testimony of the CEO of Profile Middle East, Matteo Colombo, who, as mentioned, is also Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce of the United Arab Emirates.


“We are here to bring our experience, to tell what we do in the Emirates in the energy and sustainability sector,” said Colombo, “but also to discuss the Mattei Plan for Africa, which is very important because it will be useful to work together with other chambers of commerce. In the Emirates they have set a target of 2050 to bring clean energy to at least 50% through renewables and nuclear power. This programme envisages major investments that will generate thousands of opportunities for companies, including Italian ones’.


The CEO of Ecolibrì focused instead on the innovation that has made her presence in Mozambique particularly effective. “Pioneeringly,” said Donatella Scarpa, “we created vertical axis wind mini-turbines eight years ago that are very suitable for local rural areas lacking electricity. We started in Mozambique, which is our base, and from there we also grew in the surrounding areas, namely South Africa and Swaziland. The development of technology involves developing in partnership with suppliers. We are committed to creating a chain of innovation and this is important for us, for Italy and for Mozambique’.

(Associated Medias) – All rights reserved