Tag Archives: renewable energy



INTERVIEW WITH KARIM SAMRA, CEO and Founder of Changelabs in Egypt on Energy Transition.

In line with the objective to share relevant experiences and promote best practices in the EU-Med innovative sectors, FEMISE conducted a series of interviews with key players from the region, including policy makers, private sector, civil society, academia and entrepreneurs, in the context of the NEXT SOCIETY project with the support of ANIMA and the financial support of the European Union. The main objective of this series of interviews is to bring forward the experience of key players in the region on how to promote innovation within key sectors and to highlight issues related to the challenges these sectors are facing, the types of policy support that are needed and some of the national initiatives that have been taking place.

This series will tackle the health tech, energy, green tech, education and e-commerce sectors and will bring you experts from across the region including: Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon.

This interview in “THE NEXT SOCIETY: NOW AND LIVE!” series is with Mr. Karim Samra, CEO and Founder of Changelabs in Egypt. Mr Samra shares his knowledge and experiences of best practices in the Energy sector, providing examples from Egypt.


As the driving force of economic and industrial growth, the energy sector plays a key role to foster prosperity and social development. However, the persistent increase in energy demands, due to economic progress, urbanization and population growth in the South med region, together with shortages and increasing energy prices are calling for an urgent transition towards renewable energy sources.

In Egypt, in response to severe energy shortage, a number of national initiatives and new investments have been taking place to meet this increasing demand for renewable “toaenergy while mitigating the impact on climate. At the same time, this has created a window of opportunity for young entrepreneurs to enter the energy market with innovative solutions for their start-ups.

In this interview, Mr. Karim Samra is answering our questions on how the “Scale Up to Green Program” stimulates entrepreneurship in the Energy sector and witnesses the sector’s value chain transformation from Policy to Practice:

  • What is the objective of the “Scale Up to Green Program”, and which organizations at the national level are taking part?
  • What are the main challenges faced by Egyptian entrepreneurs and how the “Scale Up to Green Program” has helped them in the different phases of their projects? 
  • What are the impact and the main outcomes of this program on the Egyptian Scale Up ecosystem?

To watch the whole #NOWANDLIVE interview (click on the youtube below or click here)

About Mr. Karim Samra

Mr. Karim Samra holds a B.A. in History from Boston College and an M.B.A. from NYU’s Stern School of Business, where he was a merit-based scholarship recipient. He launched Changelabs, a dedicated platform for the Middle East to make sure as many young people as possible could receive training, inspiration and funding for early stage startups. He introduced ‘Scale Up to Green’ accelerator which is one of the leading impact-centred accelerators primarily focused in Egypt and operating in MENA. The programme is targeting Egyptian resource efficiency, green energy, and agritech companies and aims to help SMEs and scale ups build the right long term partnerships, raise additional rounds of funding and access to the resources they need to scale, and acquire more customers.


THE NEXT SOCIETY #NOWANDLIVE are organised by FEMISE and ANIMA with the financial support of the European Union.

For more details about this series of THE NEXT SOCIETY #NOWANDLIVE click here

“Renewable Energy Development Strategies in the MENA Region” (Report FEM43-04)

This work explores the question of the dynamic link between the development of renewable energies and growth. The main results of this work can be summarized as follows. First, the results show that efforts to develop renewable electricity generation must be supported in the short term because the relationship between renewable electricity production and GDP per capita is asymmetrical. In this case Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey are concerned by this strategy which will enable them to increase well-being in the long term. Second, the current level of renewable electricity generation in Tunisia and Israel is low enough to have a significant effect on welfare. Both countries must therefore continue their efforts to produce renewable electricity in order to reach levels that allow them to have an impact on well-being. Thirdly, Iran and Lebanon are in a strategy that has a negative impact on welfare, namely hydroelectric power generation. They must try to develop other sources of energy by exploiting their potential in wind and solar energy.

Ndiouga Sakho: “We must experiment within the territories, with the local actors”

Interviewed during the annual conference of the Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes (Femise-Malta, 7 to 9 February 2018) Ndiouga Sakho, President of the Commission for Urban Development and Sustainable Development of the City of Dakar, discusses the actions of the Territorial Energy Climate Plan implemented in the capital of Senegal thanks to European and Mediterranean partnerships.

Ndiouga Sakho insiste sur la nécessité d'une coopération ville à ville (photo : F.Dubessy)

Ndiouga Sakho insists on the need for city-to-city cooperation (photo: F.Dubessy)

econostrum.info: How does the city of Dakar deal with the issues of sustainable development?

Ndiouga SakhoFor a few years now, the city has been engaged in the fight against climate change. Our capital is home to 80% of the country’s industrial activities in 3% of the country’s size.
We have begun to make a diagnostic of the vulnerability of the city, the environment, the social sector, the economy, and so on. Starting from 2013, we have put together an action and environmental management plan. This enabled us to mobilize €1M on a Territorial Energy Climate Plan financed by the European Union over three years, with a global vision around three points: an adaptation and mitigation strategy, a platform of the actors to cooperate and share lessons and failures, and finally, energy efficiency projects to strengthen the share of renewable energy in public lighting, for example, as in municipal infrastructure, and energy savings. Dakar, along with ten other cities benefiting from this plan, is a laboratory test in Africa with a goal of replicating our experience.
I insist on the city-to-city cooperation and the major role of the territories with the local actors, which are in the same time, the places of emissions as well as of the solutions. This is where we have to experiment.

On what points Dakar can serve as an example?
N.S. : The city has a lot of experience in the field of urban mobility, for example, a system of remote control of all traffic lights to regulate car traffic in case of pollution peaks, paving and street improvement to encourage people to walk or cycle instead of using their vehicles. We are also developing public transportation with the BRT, a fast transport bus, and a TER. As well as the relocation of administrative services to be able to limit the concentration of activities in the city center.

Vegetable gardens in urban and school environments

La ville de Dakar fait la promotion des comportements eco-citoyens (photo : F.Dubessy)

The city of Dakar promotes eco-citizen behavior (photo: F.Dubessy)

What actions have you taken with the population?
N.S.: We have raised awareness of environmental culture in schools and with the promotion of eco-citizen behavior, but also by developing eco-neighborhoods. One of our projects is based on the installation of vegetable gardens in urban and school environments with training and capacity building activities that we have initiated. We are doing all this through a technical partnership with FAO (Editor’s note: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in Milan, where we have also been able to find partners within a city university. We have shared this experience with other neighboring countries.

Are you also trying to adapt solutions from Mediterranean countries?
N.S.: Our partnerships in the Mediterranean are unfortunately not very well developed. But, we did several missions in Paris to study the implementation of their climatic plan. Similarly, with the city of Marseille, we have developed our master plan for beach development. The city of Marseille has helped us install pilot projects for our eight beaches.

Interviewed by Frédéric Dubessy, in LA VALETTE (MALTA)


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