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Al Maktoum launches largest education foundation with $10b Endowment


His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced during the World Economic Forum for the Middle East, the launching of 'Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation' with an endowment of $10 billion.

The Foundation, the largest initiative of its kind in the region, will be based in the United Arab Emirates and will implement its program later this year.

The announcement was delivered during a keynote speech by his highness at the forum which is being held at the Dead Sea in the Jordanian capital of Amman. It comes as a major initiative to build a knowledge society in the region by offering support to the youth segment, focusing on developing scientific research and education, investing in the infrastructure of knowledge and seeking to provide equal opportunities to the region's youth.

Sheikh Mohammad said that the foundation will design and manage programs for building a knowledge base with international standards. His highness added that the foundation's key priorities will be creating a fund to promote researches and establishing research centers in universities all across the region.

The foundation will also provide scholarships for higher studies in the most prestigious institutes and universities at the beginning of 2008. Moreover, the foundation will also provide leadership programs for youth in government, the private sector and in non-governmental organizations. Scholarships and research grants will also be given to authors and researchers in the region.

Sheikh Mohammad said that the challenge facing the region currently is not only restricted on lack of knowledge but goes beyond it as there is graver problems associated with providing the right atmosphere for building knowledge and equipping the right people with proper tools to embrace it. The Sheikh pointed out that the illiteracy rate in the region is still high with an alarming 18 percent for males' under-15 age group and 43 percent among females.

Human development reports show that literary and intellectual books published in the Arab world represent only 0.08 percent of the world's production, less than those published in Turkey alone. For every 100,000 books published in North America, there are 42,000 published in South America, and only 6,500 books published in the Arab world.

Sheikh Mohammad said that the Arab World spends only 0.02 percent of its Gross Domestic Product compared to the expenditure of developed countries which spend between 2.5 and 5 percent. In the Arab world, for every 10,000 people in the workforce there are 3.3 academic scholars, while the developed world has 110 for every 10,000.

His Highness stated that unemployment in the region is 14 percent and that 15 million jobs are needed right now in the Arab world, while 74 million to 85 million new jobs will be needed over the next 20 years. He said that the business environment in the Arab world would need to be improved if these jobs were to be created, but there are challenges that will need to be overcome.

Furthermore, His Highness called upon governments, businessmen, intellectuals, university teachers, religious scholars'...etc to assume their roles in building a knowledge society in the region so that the Arab World can rise up the different challenges it faces.

2 Comments:

Blogger bizzwhizz said...

Well it will be interesting to see how this fund unfolds for the country and the region, weather the endowments carry "nationality" and "origin" as a prerequisite or not. Qatar Foundation which took a precedence in launching funds for knowledge based development has very liberal requirements and open doors to outside talent. If this fund also head that way we would witness the biggest inflow of talent in coming years.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Lirun said...

hey

also.. its cool to hear about this as an outcome of the summit.. over on my side of the river we tend to focus too often on the other messages..

this one is very positive..

11:00 AM  

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