AIWF holds suc­cess­ful Young Arab Women Leaders: Voice of fu­ture ini­tia­tive in Kuwait

With sup­port from Min­istry of State for Youth Af­fairs

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Following on from the suc­cess of the Young Arab Women Leaders: The Voice of the Fu­ture con­fer­ences in Am­man, Beirut and Dubai in 2012, Pales­tine in 2013, Lon­don in 2011 and 2014, and Doha in 2015, the Arab In­ter­na­tional Women’s Fo­rum was proud to hold its first ever Young Arab Women Leaders Con­fer­ence in Kuwait on Thurs­day 20 Oc­to­ber 2016, with the val­ued sup­port of the Min­istry of State for Youth Af­fairs, in con­tin­ued part­ner­ship with AIWF Global Part­ner and YAWL Con­fer­ence Part­ner PwC, and with the sup­port of lo­cal part­ner Ibtkar Strate­gic Con­sult­ing. Close to 200 del­e­gates from no less than 15 coun­tries from the Arab world and in­ter­na­tion­ally at­tended this highly suc­cess­ful con­fer­ence, the 8th event in this series de­signed by AIWF in co­op­er­a­tion with PwC to nur­ture the next gen­er­a­tion of young women en­trepreneurs, help­ing to em­power them as they as­pire to lead­er­ship roles in busi­ness and in public life.

Guest speak­ers

The 8th Young Arab Women Leaders Con­fer­ence was ad­dressed by Guest of Honor Sheikha Al-Zain S Al-Sabah, Un­der­sec­re­tary of the Min­istry of State for Youth Af­fairs of Kuwait, and Haifa Fa­houm Al-Kay­lani, Founder Chair­man AIWF. Guest speak­ers in­cluded Fouad Dou­glas, Coun­try Se­nior Part­ner PwC; Dr Lina Abi­rafeh, Di­rec­tor, In­sti­tute for Women’s Stud­ies in the Arab World (IWSAW), Le­banese Amer­i­can Univer­sity, Le­banon; Dr Alanoud Al-Sharekh, AIWF Board Mem­ber and Con­sult­ing Part­ner, Ibtkar Strate­gic Con­sul­tancy, Kuwait; Shamael Al-Sharikh, Team Leader Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Kuwait Petroleum In­ter­na­tional, Kuwait; Sara Ak­bar, CEO, Kuwait En­ergy Com­pany, Kuwait; Diana Al Da­jani, Founder and CEO, eduTech­noz, Qatar; Hussa Al-Hu­maidhi, Co-Founder, Nuqat, Kuwait; Mona Al­moayyed, AIWF Board Mem­ber and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, YK Al­moayyed and Sons, Bahrain; Rana AlNibari, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, INJAZ Kuwait; Taibah Al-Qatami, Founder and Di­rec­tor, We­oritu, Kuwait; Hanan AlSa­mari, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Princess Madawi Fund for Women De­vel­op­ment, Saudi Ara­bia; Hadeel Al-Sham­mari, Board Mem­ber, Kuwait Na­tional Fund for Small and Medium En­ter­prise De­vel­op­ment, Kuwait; Sheikha Alanoud Ha­mad Al Thani, Qatar Coun­try Op­er­a­tions Man­ager, Si­lat­ech, Qatar; Dr Yas­min Al-Tawai­jri, Se­nior Sci­en­tist and Head of Epi­demi­ol­ogy Re­search, King Faisal Spe­cial­ist Hospi­tal and Re­search Cen­ter, Saudi Ara­bia; Cha­dia El-Meouchi, Man­ag­ing Part­ner, Badri and Salim ElMeouchi Law Firm, Le­banon; Noha Hefny, Di­rec­tor of Cor­po­rate Af­fairs, Pep­siCo, UAE; Chan­tal Khoueiry, Chief Cul­ture Of­fi­cer, Value Re­tail, Europe and China, UK; and Huda Radhi, Di­rec­tor, Daskalides Bahrain, Bahrain. All con­fer­ence ses­sions were kindly moderated by Ra­nia Rizk, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent and Gen­eral Coun­sel, Pep­siCo AMEA, UAE.

Dis­tin­guished guest speak­ers ex­plored op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Kuwait and the in­ter­na­tional busi­ness com­mu­nity; widen­ing the role of women busi­ness leaders; ex­plor­ing the chal­lenges, prospects and suc­cess sto­ries for women do­ing busi­ness in the MENA re­gion; how to take full ad­van­tage of the un­prece­dented op­por­tu­ni­ties aris­ing from tech­nol­ogy and cross-border com­merce; and the role of so­cial me­dia in Arab en­trepreneur­ship in pro­mot­ing and main­stream­ing the suc­cesses and chal­lenges of Arab women en­trepreneurs. The agenda and for­mat of the Young Arab Women Leaders Con­fer­ence were highly in­ter­ac­tive and dis­cus­sion-based, with valu­able ex­pe­ri­ences shared and key rec­om­men­da­tions made by panelists in ev­ery ses­sion that AIWF shall fol­low up on in fu­ture pro­grams and ini­tia­tives in col­lab­o­ra­tion with AIWF Global Part­ners.

High rank

In her open­ing re­marks, Haifa Fa­houm Al-Kay­lani, AIWF Founder Chair­man said, “Kuwait is largely con­sid­ered to be one of the re­gion’s top coun­tries for work­ing women, with the high­est rank­ing of all Arab coun­tries in the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s 2014 and 2015 Global Gen­der Gap Re­ports. Kuwaiti women have long been prom­i­nent in busi­ness and there are many suc­cess­ful, mo­ti­vated, tal­ented and truly in­spi­ra­tional busi­ness­women in the coun­try from whom the next gen­er­a­tion of Kuwaiti women leaders can draw valu­able in­spi­ra­tion and insight. The Government, through spe­cial­ized de­part­ments and ini­tia­tives, plays a lead­ing role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing train­ing and in­cen­tives for young women to con­tinue with their ed­u­ca­tion, en­ter or re­main in the la­bor mar­ket and reach their lead­er­ship po­ten­tial. We are in­deed proud to open this con­fer­ence to­day with the val­ued sup­port of Kuwait’s lead­ing ad­vo­cate and in­cu­ba­tor for youth de­vel­op­ment, the Min­istry of State for Youth Af­fairs, whose in­volve­ment and en­dorse­ment of youth-led ini­tia­tives has pro­vided a crit­i­cal plat­form for the emer­gence of a vi­brant en­tre­pre­neur­ial and pri­vate en­ter­prise-led econ­omy in Kuwait.”

Dr Alanoud Al­sharekh, Con­sult­ing Part­ner for AIWF Lo­cal Con­fer­ence Part­ner Ibtkar Strate­gic Con­sul­tancy, said of the event, “Ibtkar Strate­gic Con­sul­tancy prides it­self on be­ing a value added part­ner to NGOs and lo­cal ini­tia­tives that high­light women’s con­tri­bu­tion to their com­mu­ni­ties. We be­lieve in AIWF’s mis­sion to show­case the best in Arab fe­male lead­er­ship, and were de­lighted to be part of the 8th edi­tion of the Young Arab Women Leaders: Voices of the Fu­ture ini­tia­tive.” The 8th Young Arab Women Leaders con­fer­ence in Kuwait was held at the Jumeirah Mes­si­lah Beach Ho­tel and AIWF was proud to wel­come on this spe­cial oc­ca­sion AIWF Global Part­ners in­clud­ing Pep­siCo, PwC, Shell, The Shar­jah Busi­ness Women Coun­cil, Janssen Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Com­pa­nies of John­son and John­son, Vis­tra Ser­vices and Memac Ogilvy. The Con­fer­ence Pro­gram con­cluded on the evening of 20 Oc­to­ber with an Of­fi­cial Gala Din­ner that brought to­gether AIWF Board, Dis­tin­guished Guest Speak­ers, Guest Del­e­gates and Part­ners. The 9th Young Arab Women Leaders Con­fer­ence will be an­nounced by AIWF in the near fu­ture, as part of the AIWF 2017 An­nual Pro­gram.

A gen­eral view of the au­di­ence.

(From left) Haifa Al-Kay­lani, Chair­man of AIWF, Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah, Un­der­sec­re­tary of the Youth Af­fairs Min­istry and Dr Alanoud Al-Sharekh, Ibtkar Strate­gic Con­sul­tancy.

Sara Ak­bar, CEO, Kuwait En­ergy Com­pany de­liv­ers a speech.

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