2017 Tutu Fellow Ahmed Zahran has been chosen for Fortune Magazine's Change the World List 2022. The list includes the 50 most impactful companies globally that demonstrated the creative tools of capitalism making them uniquely suited to addressing society’s biggest challenges.
Each year, Fortune publishes the Change the World List to celebrate companies and leaders that embrace corporate purpose and recognize how it can add value to business and society.

The list recognizes companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. To create the list, Fortune writers and editors, evaluate companies by these four factors: measurable social impact, business results, degree of innovation and corporate integration.  You can read more about the KarmSolar listing at the Fortune Magazine Change the World List. 

It notes that Africa has 60% of the world’s best global solar resources, according to the International Energy Agency, but only 1% of installed solar energy capacity. Many African businesses remain heavily dependent on high-polluting diesel generators. KarmSolar was launched to fix that. Its early business focused on helping farmers who weren’t connected to Egypt’s central grid reduce the cost of powering their water pumps. 

In the years since, KarmSolar has expanded to offer energy distribution from solar grids. It has also moved beyond generating and transmitting energy: Its KarmWater arm offers solar-powered water desalination and storage;

Ahmed is the co-founder and CEO of KarmSolar, an Egyptian company established in 2011, that aims to move communities away from centralized power to sustainable, localized, and independent alternatives. KarmSolar has won several technology competitions and become Egypt’s largest private off-grid solar integrator and one of the leading companies in solar energy applications in the country.

Previously, Ahmed worked for Shell as a financial adviser to the European Emissions Trading System. He also worked at the Egypt Kuwait Holding Company as the business development manager for renewable energy and clean development mechanisms, establishing the company’s carbon trading and renewable energy business. Ahmed is also co-founder and a former board director of Nahdet El Mahrousa, one of the largest youth-run NGOs in Egypt, which works as an incubator.

Fortune says their Change the World list is dedicated to the idea that the creative tools of capitalism—the perpetual quest for a better mousetrap, fueled by the profit motive—makes business uniquely suited to addressing society’s biggest challenges. The 2022 list was their 8th.   They said that this list was published as the world began moving past the COVID-19 pandemic, but into the ongoing crisis of climate change and Russia's war in Ukraine. This year’s list featured 18 smaller companies, with annual revenue under $1 billion, whose focus on public-interest problem-solving is having an outsize impact—including a drone-delivery pioneer, a green-energy architect, a pharmacy newcomer, and two fast-blossoming vertical-agriculture growers.


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About AFLI




The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.