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Pakinam Kafafi, CEO TAQA Arabia , Qalaa’s Energy Company Named Among Forbes Middle East’s Top 100 Power Businesswomen

Kafafi, who has served as CEO of TAQA Arabia since 2013 has played an integral role in the development of the company’s growth and its recent push into Egypt’s promising solar energy sector with an IPO scheduled in the first half of 2020

Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange), an African leader in energy and infrastructure, is proud to announce that Pakinam Kafafi, CEO of TAQA Arabia, has been named among Forbes Middle East’s prestigious top 100 power businesswomen.

“The strength and diversity of our team have always been key pillars of our success,” said Qalaa Holdings Chairman and Founder, Ahmed Heikal. “We believe in being gender neutral and fostering a highly inclusive work environment that gives equal opportunities to all. Pakinam has worked in organizations that I have run for over 25 years. During that time I have had the opportunity to witness her develop from a young fresh graduate into the corporate leader she is today, and I am confident that she will continue to lead TAQA Arabia to become a force to be reckoned with in Africa’s energy, infrastructure and distribution sectors.”

With a degree in economics and political science from Cairo University, Kafafi launched the start of what would become a prolific career in the investment banking field, eventually becoming a vice president at EFG Hermes. Through her work in the field, she developed an interest in the energy sector, which spurred her to shift careers, joining Gas & Energy Group (Genco) in 2003. Following Genco’s acquisition by Qalaa Holdings and its incorporation into the newly developed energy platform, TAQA Arabia, Kafafi was appointed chief investment officer for the company, working under then-CEO Khaled Abu-Bakr.

After Kafafi’s appointment as CEO in 2013, she proceeded to diversify the company’s portfolio and grow its customer base, expanding its existing business lines and identifying new opportunities. She also led TAQA Arabia’s notable venture into the renewables sector, overseeing the development and launch of its 65 MW PV solar power plant in Egypt’s Benban Solar Park, one of the largest solar parks in the world.

“With Pakinam’s diverse background in investment banking, her experience in managing successful deals and IPOs, as well as her dynamic personality and ability to lead teams, I am very optimistic about the prospects for TAQA’s future. Given our wonderful young teams, solid and professional executives and leadership such as Pakinam: the sky’s is the limit,” said Khaled Abu-Bakr, Executive Chairman at TAQA Arabia.

“I am truly honored to be included amongst such an illustrious list of women on the Forbes Power Businesswomen list. They are all women who have been regional pioneers their respective industries. As for my role within TAQA Arabia, I would like to thank my entire team who have all contributed to the company’s remarkable achievements. I look forward to achieving more great things with them in the future,” said Kafafi.

Qalaa Holdings prides itself on the strength of its diverse management team. Gender equality (SDG#5) and economic empowerment for women are cornerstones of Qalaa's human capital development programs. “The success that Pakinam has achieved is proof that increasing the diversity of leadership teams leads to more innovation and improved financial performance across the board, said Hisham El-Khazindar, Qalaa’s Co-Founder and Managing Director and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator Initiative in Egypt.

Qalaa boasts a high number of women in leadership positions in both the holding company and its subsidiaries, with 25% female representation on its board of directors. More than 35% of managerial positions are also held by women across the group, many of whom have been recognized as some of the most influential women in Egypt and the MENA region.

“It is not just the number of women that we focus on, it’s the positions they hold and the influence they have that counts,” commented Ghada Hammouda, Qalaa Holdings’ Chief Sustainability Officer.

TAQA Arabia stands today as Egypt’s largest fully integrated private sector energy distribution group serving more than 1.2 million customers including c. 250 industrial and c.3,500 commercial clients. TAQA Arabia invests, installs, constructs and operates energy infrastructure including gas transmission & distribution, conventional and renewable power generation & distribution as well as marketing oil products and lubricants through more than 50 TAQA filling stations across the country. TAQA’s US$ 72 million Benban Solar Plant is the company’s first megaproject in the renewables sector. The company is currently exploring several additional opportunities in renewables.

TAQA Arabia plans to list its shares on the EGX with an IPO scheduled in the first half of 2020. Qalaa will continue to retain controlling stakes in the company and has no plans to sell down its stake in a public offering.

The prestigious Forbes list includes women working across 28 sectors in various countries throughout the region, ten of whom are Egyptian, who have had considerable impact on their respective companies and sectors.


For more information, please visit qalaaholdings.com and

Qalaa Holdings (CCAP.CA on the Egyptian Stock Exchange) is an African leader in energy and infrastructure. Qalaa Holdings builds responsible and sustainable businesses that add value to the economies and societies in which it does business. 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

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Ghada Hammouda
Chief Sustainability & Marketing Officer
Qalaa Holdings (S.A.E.)


Tel: +20 2 2791-4439
Fax: +20 22 791-4448
Mobile: +20 106 662-0002

Twitter: @qalaaholdings