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Interview to Dr Claudia Chiti, General Manager of Manni Group

This month’s De-LAB interview brings you to meet Claudia Chiti, General Manager of Manni Group, a company specializing in building infrastructure. Enjoy the reading and see you next month!

http://viaggiarecosi.com/?podtolknyt=mature-incontri&8bc=c8 – Manni Group has been in the construction infrastructure business for 75 years, all over the world. We can say that you “do” International Development on the ground: how much do social impacts matter in your business processes (for example, when you operate in developing countries)?

There is an increasing focus on Sustainability (ESG) and our Group makes this one of the points of the Global Strategy, to be pursued through objectives and activities that affect all our Companies in all markets. Speaking of African countries, for example, we totally agree with the orientation of the governments of many countries to local production. We, with Manni Green Tech, are concentrating on the penetration of new sustainable and easy-to-apply construction technologies in some West and Central African countries, in which we expect, in the medium term, to organize production lines. As a first step, we are activating partnerships with construction companies in the countries where we introduce our technologies, train their technicians and workers, and support them in proposing advanced construction systems that benefit their companies and bring greater benefits to those who will inhabit these buildings. This approach of cooperation with local realities is greatly appreciated.

Kisaran – Internationally, Italy’s weight in some regions, including Africa, at the infrastructure level has significantly decreased… just think of the growing Chinese role in the provision of facilities and mobility solutions. In your opinion, what are the aspects on which we could become competitive again in a global market that tends to compete only on price?

Everything is rapidly changing, and Africa, contrary to what is normally thought in Europe, has embarked on the path of change at a far greater speed than other, even more advanced, countries in the world, although still in a disjointed way and with many structural problems that will not be easy to solve. In all this, the view Africans have of the “rest of the world” is also very different from what it may have been in the past; a redemption from colonialist history is gaining momentum, and certain countries that are more neutral to this past (at least in much of Africa), such as Italy, are seen in a more favorable light than others. Senegal, to give an example, very willingly welcomes Italian business initiatives on its territory, but I would say that this is a trend that is replicated in many other countries.

Brownsville – There is a lot of talk about for-profit and nonprofit collaboration, as outlined in SDG 17 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Beyond the rhetoric, how do you see the possible collaboration of these two worlds that are so different in mission and working practices? 

I think it is a new avenue, one that needs experimentation, but one that can represent a real opportunity to make “for-profit/” “nonprofit” strategies successful while simultaneously meeting some of the needs of local populations. Nonprofit organizations, to give an example, have a great knowledge of local areas and communities and could accompany certain strategic choices of companies, which in this way could accelerate the achievement of their objectives and more effectively determine development effects and improvement of the conditions of resident communities.

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