Press release

MESIA and PwC unveil the Middle East’s future solar leaders

January 22 2014, United Arab Emirates: In an award ceremony held during the World Future Energy Summit, the Middle East’s most promising future solar leaders have been selected by the Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) and PwC as part of their joint Middle East Solar Pioneers Programme. The ten awarded individuals have been chosen based on four core criteria that have shown their expertise and experience in the solar industry based on their leadership, impact, innovation and long term vision goals.

The ten awarded pioneers will be given the opportunity to network and gain even higher exposure to the solar industry. Through technical workshops and highly facilitated scientific labs, they will gain a better understanding of the impact of solar power in the Middle East and receive the support and experience needed to further their careers.

Commenting on the awards Vahid Fotuhi, President of MESIA said “The 10 winners are all crème de la crème leaders. They have achieved a lot in a very short time. As a team, they are fantastic ambassadors for the work that MESIA is doing: helping grow the role of solar power across the Middle East. We are thrilled to be able to champion their work and to help them reach new heights.”

“Partnering with MESIA on this great initiative has been remarkable. Together, through the support we will provide for the young leaders and innovators, we will ensure that the region is better positioned to enjoy the benefits of solar technology in short to medium term,” said Gus Schellekens, the leader of PwC’s Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy, Cleantech and Sustainability in Abu Dhabi. Adding “With the world’s population set to reach 9 billion by 2050, the need to look for new sustainable sources of energy is inevitable.”  

The selection of the top 10 pioneers was made by a panel of international judges that are drawn from across the Middle East and selected jointly by MESIA and PwC. The panel includes CEOs, UN dignitaries, and former Minsters.

The Middle East Solar Pioneers Programme provides a platform for leaders to gain widespread exposure and diligent support and mentorship. Running for 12 months, the programme will also provide personal development and technical support. Such support is delivered through free MESIA membership with access to labs and PwC’s training sessions as well as events and meetings.

Listed below are the winners of the Middle East Solar Pioneers Programme –

Abdulaziz Mohammed Baras
Researcher in Solar Energy
King Abdulla Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE)
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Abeer Manneh
Urban Designer
Woods Bagot
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Ahmed M. Zaitoun
Founder, Solatechs (solar technology solutions)
Cairo, Egypt

Alexandre Allegue
Vice President, Business Development
Sun & Life
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Georg Eitelhuber
Nomadd-Desert Solutions
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Matthew Merfert
Project Manager
First Solar
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Mohamed Makki Jamjoom
Shareholder & Manager
Desert Technologies
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Omran Al-Kuwari
Green Gulf
Doha, Qatar

Reda El Chaar
Managing Director
Access Advisory
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sami Khoreibi
Chief Executive Officer
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Notes to the Editor

About MESIA:

The Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) is a non-profit, non-governmental solar trade organization. Our mission is to create a solar  community in which all the stakeholders, from both the public and private sector, can come together and help grow the footprint of solar across the entire Middle East. Our activities and publications aim to expand the awareness and applications of solar energy in the region, to strengthen the local solar industry, and to facilitate business opportunities for our members.

About PwC

Established in the region for over 40 years, PricewaterhouseCoopers Middle East has 2,500 people in 12 countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Our Middle East Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy, Cleantech and Sustainability has been working closely with MESIA for the last two years to raise awareness and promote the adoption of renewable energy and sustainable solutions across government and business.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see for further details.
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MESIA contact person:                                                                  

Micheline Thienpont
Marketing Manager
Middle East Solar Industry Association
M: +971 55 771 9456

PwC contact person:

Gus Schellekens
PwC | Middle East Sustainability Leader
Mobile: +971 (0) 56 2261016