Dubai: The chief of the Arab League on Tuesday called for investing in education of youth for the prosperity and development of the region.
Speaking at a session on Arab Prosperity and Development at the World Government Summit (WGS 2023) in Dubai, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General, Arab League, said “youth are our future and there is no future without educated youth”.
“There are Arab societies which have succeeded including those in the Gulf and countries that have been shaken,” added Gheit.
“There are countries like the six GCC countries that succeeded in having a balanced economic growth. Why? I see the resources were available. But there was also a leadership that could foresee the future. GCC gave high priority to education and hence the universities moved from the West to the Gulf countries.”
He cited the American University in Sharjah as a great example that he has personally visited.
Gheit said the Arab dream is to create educated youth. “The teachers at schools and universities must be able to bring out the best potentials of the youth. Resources must be provided for education.”
Speaking about the situation after the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, he said some people expect the Arab League to deliver aid to combat the disaster in Syria.
“The fact is the Arab League is not an organisation with that power. We called upon the UN and the international community to rush aid. But the League is not designed to deliver aid for disasters like in Syria or Turkey. Arab Ministerial Councils have sent a lot of aid to both the countries,” said Gheit.
Sustainability in focus
Also at WGS 2023, Jassim Muhammad Al Budaiwi, Secretary General, Gulf Cooperation Council, hailed the WGS’ success and also expressed condolences to people of Turkey and Syria.
He said the GCC countries have been marching towards sustainability. “Since its establishment in 1981, the Council has been working for a sustainable future,” he added.
Al Budaiwi highlighted the achievements of the GCC countries in various fields including in diversifying energy resources and women empowerment.
“The GCC governments are foreseeing future and supporting development. They have launched national strategies for development in governance. They also focus on enhancing performances of the people and culture of all communities, utilising technology, focussing on innovation and providing best services in partnership with other partners…People of GCC have responded with loyalty and hard work,” Al Budaiwi pointed out.
Among the challenges, he listed the necessity to ensure the continuity of development, the need for greater connectivity and economic integration and unemployment of the youth and preparing them with future skills.