The CEO of Jordan’s EDAMA organization, Nasser Majali. (Photo by author)
Nasser Majali, the CEO of Amman-based EDAMA – an NGO working to promote energy, water and environment projects in Jordan – was not listed as one of the scheduled speakers at the MENASOL solar energy conference in Cairo this week. However, given just a few minutes of advance notice, he gave a smooth presentation about his organization’s mission.
Majali is a serial entrepreneur with no particular expertise in the fields of energy, water or the environment. Instead, his green passion developed during nature outings as an amateur photographer: He became alarmed by the piles of litter and other environmental damage he witnessed.
After growing up in Amman, Majali earned a BA at the University of Michigan and an MBA at the American University in Beirut. A string of IT startups followed, including some he continued to manage until assuming his position at the newly formed EDAMA earlier this year.
Instead of environmental know-how, he brings business acumen and an ability to work the halls of power. “Together with the private sector, we will identify the specific needs and seek to work as an effective lobby vis-à-vis the government,” he explains.
A supportive government
Majali cites the renewable energy legislation approved in Jordan earlier this year as a positive step and sees the government as a willing partner. “EDAMA was established with the support of His Majesty King Abdullah, and the Minister of Energy is very enthusiastic about renewable energy,” he says.
A third sector, academia, is also essential, he says: “We are working to involve academia in these fields. It is vital to build an R&D capability.” While citing the need for greater environmental awareness among Jordanians, Majali is optimistic about the future. “There is a real lot of interest in developing renewable energy in Jordan,” he says.