Qalaa Holdings, an African leader in energy and infrastructure, and a leading supporter of educational and cultural initiatives on the African continent, is sponsoring the ‘Best Short Film Award’ and the ‘Egyptian Filmmakers Forum’ at the sixth annual Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF).
During the course of the 7-day event attended by leading Egyptian and African dignitaries from government, the diplomatic corps and the film community representing over 30 African countries, Qalaa helped showcase and promote both talent and opportunities for hundreds of African filmmakers, and support the de-centralization of cultural and artistic events in Egypt that tend to be organized in Cairo and Alexandria.
“Knowledge and creativity will light our way towards a better future as a continent. We must nurture youthful African dreams and ambitions, support creative interactions and foster determination and hope. Qalaa Holdings embraces creativity, entrepreneurship, gender equity and believes in the potential of African youth,” said Ghada Hammouda, Chief Marketing Officer at Qalaa Holdings.
“In a world where Africa is divided politically into North and Sub Saharan, Arab and black African, the Luxor African Film Festival is an essential event that creates and promotes the joining of Arab and African culture on an international level,” said Caroline Kamya, Ugandan Filmmaker and Executive Producer, and the 2012 winner of the LAFF feature film prize.
“The films screened here are African narratives that portray our unique point of view from a very special location, the heart of all civilization, the heart of Africa. We need this festival, so it’s great to see African companies like Qalaa Holdings supporting it and we hope they continue to do so in the years to come,” she added.
Qalaa Holdings follows a responsible investing approach that is governed by “The Triple Bottom Line,” meaning the company prioritizes positive social impact and human capital development alongside financial performance.
“Africa will have the world’s largest and fastest-growing working age population by 2040—in order for these attractive demographics to materialize into prosperity for the continent we need a new generation of leaders in business, the arts and all fields. The first step towards bringing down trade barriers and growing intraregional trade on the continent is to remove cultural barriers and support young Africans so that we can reap the benefits of the demographic dividend. The private sector must do its part in helping bring the nations of Africa closer together by supporting educational and cultural initiatives such as LAFF,” said Hammouda.
The company runs Egypt’s largest private sector scholarship program through the Qalaa Holdings Scholarship Foundation (QHSF), which has thus far awarded over 151 students with scholarships to pursue graduate studies in some of the world’s most prestigious universities on the condition that they return to Egypt after graduation. Scholarship recipients have studied a wide variety of disciplines including filmmaking, anthropology, art and human rights.
Two of Qalaa’s subsidiaries TAQA Arabia and ERC have also launched complementary scholarship programs for both study abroad opportunities and studies at the American University in Cairo (AUC), along with a teacher’s training program for public school teachers through an initiative called “Mostakbaly.”
The firm recently co-hosted the annual meeting of the Choiseul 100 Africa laureates, which consisted of a delegation of 100 top African business leaders as well various European dignitaries, for two days of meetings with senior government officials and leading Egyptian investors.
The annual ranking carried out by the independent French think tank, Institut Choiseul identifies young African business leaders under the age of 40, who are active contributors to the economic development of Africa.
“LAFF is an optimal venue to build connections, celebrate commonalities and break down barriers so that we may engage in a more meaningful dialogue about our shared concerns and aspirations. Our support for the Luxor African Film Festival, the Choiseul 100 and the various scholarships that we offer, underscores our fundamental belief that by fostering a positive African identity, enabling cultural bridges, listening to the voices of and celebrating young Africans in their quest for cultural, social and economic excellence, we can pave the way for a brighter future,” said Hammouda.
Qalaa Holdings is an African leader in energy and infrastructure, with business units operating in the energy, cement, agrifoods, transportation & logistics and mining sectors.