April 24, 2023
10:00 am - 11:15 am


Zoom Webinar

The Middle East Institute is pleased to partner with the Rethinking Yemen’s Economy Initiative (RYE) to launch a policy brief on scaling up solar energy investments in Yemen. This brief asks: How viable are applications of specific solar energy in Yemen’s fragile context? How feasible is partnering with the private sector in the energy space? Can there be a switch from an exclusive focus on large, fossil fuel-based, centralized power generation plants to a stronger prioritization of smaller, distributed renewable power generation plants? Can Yemen shift from centralized planning and implementation to empowerment of local authorities? Instead of overemphasizing support for small, stand-alone solar systems, can the country prioritize innovative financing models and market-creating interventions that promote sustainability of the sector at scale?

In addition to presenting the findings from the report and recommending practical steps to address the challenges of scaling-up investments in Yemen, this expert panel will discuss the paradigm shift needed to address the energy crisis in Yemen and kickstart meaningful economic activity in this war-torn country. 

Read the policy paper here

Welcome Remarks by

Marie-Christine Heinze
President of Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO)


Rafat Ali Al-Akhali
Fellow of Practice, Strategic Projects, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford 

Akram Almohamadi
Energy Researcher, Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency 

Jessica Obeid
Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute 

Mohammed Mahmoud, moderator
Director, Climate and Water Program, Middle East Institute 

Detailed Speaker Biographies

Rafat Ali Al-Akhali 
Rafat Ali Al-Akhali is a development practitioner dedicated to addressing development challenges in fragile and conflict-affected situations. He is the Convenor of the Council on State Fragility at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. He previously managed the LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth, and Development and led the secretariat of Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development. He previously served as a Minister in the Government of Yemen and, prior to that, led the government’s policy reforms team.

Akram Almohamadi
Akram Almohamadi is an energy researcher working as a Sustainable Energy Expert at the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), Egypt. He has sound experience in energy policies and regulatory frameworks, renewable energy, energy efficiency, project management, research, and analysis. He participated in the implementation of several projects related to renewable energy, power sector, and energy efficiency in the Arab region, including Yemen. He has also led several research projects funded by international organizations such as the World Bank, EU, UNDP, UNOPS, and UNEP, amongst others.

Marie-Christine Heinze
Marie-Christine Heinze is the current president of CARPO. Since 2008, Heinze has regularly worked as a consultant on development, peacebuilding and political change in Yemen. At CARPO, she takes responsibility for the academic quality management of the publications and leads on the implementation of projects focusing on conflict prevention, stabilization and peacebuilding in Yemen.

Jessica Obeid
Jessica Obeid is an energy policy consultant. She is Partner at New Energy Consult. She draws on 15 years of experience in engineering, think tanks and consulting in EMEA to contribute to the development of sustainable energy systems. Additionally, Obeid is senior global advisor for Azure Strategy consultancy boutique in London, and non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC. Previously, she was resident fellow at Chatham House’s energy, environment, and resources program in London. Prior to that, she was the chief energy engineer at the United Nations Development Programme in Beirut. Obeid holds a masters’ degree in political sciences with an emphasis on strategic negotiations and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

Mohammed Mahmoud, moderator
Mohammed Mahmoud is the Director of the Climate and Water Program and a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute. His expertise includes climate change adaptation, water policy analysis, and scenario planning. Mohammed has held leadership positions in several organizations, most recently as chair of the Water Utility Climate Alliance. Prior to that, Mohammed was president of the North American Weather Modification Council. Mohammed has conducted water-management research and work for the MENA region, most extensively on the Nile River Basin. 

In partnership with 

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