Omar Kutayba Alghanim, Chief Executive Officer, Alghanim Industries, has been appointed co-chair of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa , due to take place at the King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre on the Dead Sea in Jordan from May 21-23, 2015. As the first Kuwaiti to hold the prestigious co-chair role, Alghanim’s appointment sends a clear signal to the international community of the importance of Kuwait’s role on the global stage.
An active contributor to the Forum’s strategic agenda, Alghanim also serves as chair of the Regional Business Council (RBC) for the MENA region, which is responsible for delivering the second phase of the Forum’s “New Vision for Arab Employment” study. He is also a member of the Forum’s Global Advisory Board for Employment, Skills and Human Capital.
Alghanim said: “The role of the private sector is often overlooked in the current debate around the MENA region, but it has a fundamental role to play in driving regional stability and prosperity. Too many of our young people are feeling marginalized, leading them to disengage from society and humanity. As responsible business leaders, we must help create inclusive economies, develop skills, foster a culture where entrepreneurship is celebrated, and help cultivate a strong and competitive market for diverse talents”.
Alghanim is sharing his role as co-chair with four other senior global leaders: Gordon Brown, former UK Prime Minister and Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative; Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Sheikha Bodoor Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority; and John Rice, Vice-Chairman of GE. He will be contributing to one of the meeting’s sessions, “The Youth Imperative”, which will examine the shifts that are required to equip the region’s youth with the skills needed to promote a future environment of peace and prosperity.
“This year’s Forum comes at a critical time for the region,” said Alghanim. “In the face of ongoing political turmoil, violence and instability, we must look at ways to re-engage young people in society through work and education. The private sector cannot neglect the responsibility it has to tackle these fundamental issues.”
While some of this century’s greatest security and humanitarian crises are facing many countries in the MENA region, including Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Libya, there is also dynamic nexus of global, regional, national and industry transformations which is now ushering in a new strategic context for the Middle East and North Africa. Regional cooperation and stability are essential for the development of industry and competitiveness.
“The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa gives the private sector a first class opportunity to have its voice heard on the issues that are defining our region. We must seize this opportunity and, as business people, align ourselves around the things we can do now to equip our young people to succeed and contribute in a meaningful way to society,” said Alghanim.
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