10 May 2017       Download

Qalaa Holdings Chairman and Founder, Ahmed Heikal, was presented with a social responsibility award at a forum held to discuss sustainable development and the role of the private sector in in creating a more inclusive and competitive economic environment that will lead to sustainable economic growth
Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange), an African leader in energy and infrastructure is honored to announce that its Chairman and Founder, Ahmed Heikal has been recognized for the leadership role that he and Qalaa have played in the field of sustainability and responsible investing. The Social Responsibility award was presented to Heikal at the culmination of a forum organized under the auspices of the Federation of Egyptian Banks.
The one-day forum brought together business leaders, social entrepreneurs, government ministers including Ghada Waly, Minister of Social Solidarity, and leading figures from the NGO community to discuss ideas, find practical solutions and share best practices on how to build more inclusive societies for a more sustainable future.
“Being recognized for the work that we have achieved in the area of social responsibility is something that gives me great pride. We have always been conscious that our ability to grow and prosper as a business is directly linked to having a stable and prosperous society,” said Heikal. “Since we first established our business over a decade ago we have been actively advocating for private sector involvement in addressing the many challenges that we face today in crucial areas from education and human capital development, to developing infrastructure and innovative technologies that will rationalize consumption and promote efficiency.”
“I think that the only way to guarantee healthy growth and stability is for all stakeholders including the public and private sectors as well as civil society to work together and collaborate so that we may build a relationship of trust, cooperation and optimism amongst all parties involved,” he added.
Today, Qalaa is playing a leading role in helping address the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) which include things like ensuring quality education, affordable and clean energy, industry innovation and infrastructure, as well as responsible consumption and production.
In the area of education, the company has established the Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation (QHSF) through an endowment which funds Egyptian students for graduate studies abroad at top international universities on the condition that they return to work in Egypt on completion of their programs. The Foundation has grown to become the largest private-sector scholarship program in Egypt. In 2016 QHSF celebrated its 10th anniversary bringing its total number of scholarships awarded up to 151. A new class of 2017-2018 scholarship recipients will be announced within the coming month.
Qalaa subsidiary ERC (the Egyptian Refining Company) launched a new undergraduate scholarship program (Mostakbaly) in October 2016 that has thus far given 6 students from ERC’s local community, the opportunity to study at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and the Arab Academy for Science and Technology (AAST). The program also awarded 30 kindergarten and and primary school teachers scholarships to partake in AUC’s “Teaching Early Learners” (CELE) program.
The company has also worked for more than a decade to put environmental principles at the heart of investments including Egyptian Refining Company (which will cut the nation's sulfur emissions by nearly a third) and Tawazon (a waste management company that recycles and turns waste into energy).
“I’m very proud of the role that the banking and financial sector and the private sector in general has played in the area of social responsibility. The best results are achieved through partnerships which is what we at Qalaa have been working towards for many years. This award is a testament to the efforts that we have put forth thus far. We look forward to growing our social responsibility programs particularly in the area of education and capacity building for Egyptian youth. We hope that our work can also help create greater awareness on the importance of sustainable business practices and community engagement,” said Ghada Hammouda, Chief Sustainability and Marketing Officer at Qalaa Holdings.