Qalaa Holdings’ Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer, Ghada Hammouda engages in panel on challenges facing the region such as labor mobility, the brain drain, skills gaps and ways in which to bridge the divide by setting up new frameworks and working to create a better match between the supply and demand of skills
Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Exchange), an African leader in energy and infrastructure, participated in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Business Regional Workshop in Tunisia addressing business and labor mobility issues .
The two-day event held on 2-3 July 2019 strives to create and strengthen a three-way dialogue between the public and private sectors and academia by bringing together North African business leaders and public figures from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia to share perspectives, best practices and lessons learned through their own experiences.
On day one of the conference Qalaa’s Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer Ghada Hammouda, presented Qalaa Holding’s experience and assessment of the region’s migration policy especially where it concerns skills mobility and educational reform.
“The private sector must work closely with policy makers to ensure that one of our greatest assets, an overwhelmingly young population, can be turned into a ‘youth dividend’ rather than a ‘youth liability.’ The only way to correct the current scenario which is characterized by high rates of youth unemployment as well as skills and gender gaps, is to address educational inequalities and create an enabling environment for young people to achieve their full potential,” said Hammouda.
She went on to note that, “Qalaa Holdings has always believed that the private sector has an important role to play in reversing the Global Talent Competitiveness Index through educational reform for both public and private education and providing access to quality education. As such we have been championing and integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals into both our investment thesis and our sustainability programs including SDG 4 Quality Education, SDG 5 Gender Equality and SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.”
Hammouda outlined some of Qalaa’s major initiatives in the education and human capital development sphere such as the Qalaa Holdings Financial Services Center (QHFSC) which offers students a chance to gain practical skills in securities trading and asset allocation, and the Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation (QHSF), the largest private sector scholarship foundation in Egypt, which has thus far awarded a total of 195 scholarships for students to pursue graduate studies abroad at some of the world’s most prestigious universities on the condition that they return and work in Egypt upon the completion of their degrees.
“Across our subsidiaries, we encourage our management teams to add value to their employees’ experience by offering training programs and on-the-job learning opportunities. At the the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), TAQA Arabia, ASEC Holding, and Tawazon, local employees learn from specialists and engineers onsite. For example, workers hired to build ERC, our US$ 4.4 bn pubic-private partnership, have gained skills and experience working alongside experts from 16 different nationalities including US, Korea, Japan.
“This cross border skills exchange helps to transfer knowledge and fill in knowledge gaps that will help thousands of Egyptian workers to access new opportunities and work on similar projects in the future,” said Hammouda. “Today the majority of senior management at our subsidiaries is Egyptian. Foreign experts generally come in on limited contracts and then handover to local teams.”
The panel also discussed the brain drain how it should not be looked at as only a negative as there needs to be more opportunity for youth to access global markets for training and exposure. “Remittances from Egyptian expats have been traditionally important to our economy so we do need to give young people more mobility and flexibility while also offering them right opportunities to return and put their newfound skills to good use in their countries of origin,” said Hammounda.
By investing time, resources and attention to multiple education and human capital development programs throughout the years (many of which are ongoing), Qalaa Holdings has been able to play a pioneering role in providing Egyptians with the tools needed to transform society. Thus far Qalaa has counted over 30,000 beneficiaries from various education and vocational training programs.
Over the past 14 years, Qalaa has created nearly 40,000 job opportunities and developed more than 50 companies across various industries that have positively impacted the lives of local communities. Its investments have ranged from natural gas distribution, electricity distribution, solar power, and waste management solutions to financing for small- and medium-sized businesses.
The regional workshop of GFMD was organized by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), which strives to improve the dialogue between businesses and governments on migration related issues.
Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is an African leader in energy and infrastructure. Formerly known as Citadel Capital, Qalaa Holdings controls subsidiaries in industries including Energy, Cement, Agrifoods, Transportation & Logistics, Mining, and Printing & Packaging. To learn more, please visit qalaaholdings.com.
Statements contained in this News Release that are not historical facts are based on current expectations, estimates, projections, opinions and beliefs of Qalaa Holdings. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, and undue reliance should not be placed thereon. Certain information contained herein constitutes “targets” or “forward-looking statements,” which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “seek,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “estimate,” “intend,” “continue” or “believe” or the negatives thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Actual events or results or the actual performance of Citadel Capital may differ materially from those reflected or contemplated in such targets or forward-looking statements. The performance of Qalaa Holdings is subject to risks and uncertainties.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Chief Marketing and Sustainability Officer
Citadel Capital (S.A.E.)
Tel: +20 2 2791-4439
Fax: +20 22 791-4448
Mobile: +20 106 662-0002