Flipping Book | Africa's Giants | Salini Impregilo Library

It therefore makes me proud to see how many and which major projects Italian companies, amongst which Salini Impregilo stands out, have completed in Africa in an extraordinary variety of situations, ranging from the damming of great rivers to the collection of seasonal water in semi-desert areas. These are colossal projects that demonstrate technical and organisational skills. Yet they appear even more remarkable when we consider the greater difficulties that Italian companies have encountered and continue to encounter as a consequence of the weakness of our financial system and the need to compete with rivals that are able to count on political pressure that is infinitely greater than ours. Our tradition as great “dam builders” is confirmed even though it is increasingly difficult to find the incredible resources that are site workers, not just willing to travel all over the world but proud to accomplish extraordinary achievements that will remain for centuries to come. Perhaps I am too optimistic, but when I look at a dam in Africa, I always think that it may also be a tangible contribution to future peace. When we think of the many conflicts of the past decades, we are necessarily inclined to trace them back above all to a battle to possess energy sources, but then I realise that oil and gas are certainly easier to replace by other sources of energy. This is not true of water! For this reason, those who collect, store and rationally deliver water to houses and to fields are also helping to reduce future conflicts. Certainly it is not their prime concern and perhaps they do not even take it into consideration, but I like to think that, alongside a large dam, they may also be sowing the seeds of the hope that the dam will serve not only to take water to those who need it, but also to deter the conflicts that water shortages can cause. • Foreword