Amb. Alqahtani shares UAE’s Youth Empowerment Programs with students, teachers at Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum School

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 20 June 2023 at 01:00

The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Hazza Alqahtani has shared insights into his country’s Youth Empowerment Programs with students and teachers at Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Secondary School for Sciences, highlighting the government’s commitment to fostering the growth and development of young people.

As he visited the school located in Kigarama Sector of Kicukiro District on Monday 19th May 2023, the envoy also emphasized the UAE government’s belief in the significance of empowering youth and enabling them to shoulder responsibilities, innovate, and contribute to the welfare of the community.

Recognizing the importance of providing opportunities for young Emiratis, the UAE has implemented various initiatives aimed at diversifying the economy and creating job prospects in both the private and public sectors.

Amb. Alqahtani reminisced on the appointment of Shamma Al Mazrui in 2016 as the first Minister of State for Youth Affairs in the UAE at the age of 22, making her the world’s youngest minister.

Besides out of the 34 ministers in the UAE’s cabinet, 10 are young Emiratis. This trend extends to other positions of influence, such as undersecretaries and CEOs.

The ambassador stressed that the growing number of young undergraduates can find employment in the public and private sectors where numerous multinational companies including Apple and Google, attract young graduates, especially in the fields of information technology and sciences.

To support youth participation in key federal entities, the UAE government approved 33 young Emiratis as members of boards of directors in February 2020.

According to Amb. Alqahtani, these young board members underwent intensive training and enjoyed similar privileges and benefits as established board members.

Additionally, the government subsidizes private sector companies that employ UAE youth, ensuring they receive the same benefits as their peers working in the public sector.

The UAE’s commitment to youth empowerment is also evident in various government institutions.

For instance, Amb. Alqahtani said 75% of employees in the UAE Ministry of Finance are young people who play a crucial role in the country’s financial growth and sustainable economic development. The government has also established funds to support small and medium enterprises owned and run by young Emirati entrepreneurs.

In 2016, the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai announced the establishment of the Emirates Youth Councils, which aim to represent the ideas and aspirations of Emirati youth and provide innovative solutions within the government. The Global Youth Council, a part of this initiative, brings together Emirati students from around the world to promote cross-cultural understanding, enhance leadership skills, and prepare them to make a positive impact in their universities and communities.

These Youth Councils serve as platforms for ongoing communication between leadership and youth, providing opportunities for young people to voice their innovative ideas and opinions. The UAE government also supports youth businesses through dedicated funds and awards that aim to bolster young entrepreneurs in various phases of the small and medium enterprise sector.

Amb. Alqahtani highlighted the pivotal role of education in youth empowerment, quoting Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, who said, "The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. It is not something you await but rather create." He emphasized that secondary school is where the journey towards creating a successful future begins.

The UAE has established an exceptional and diverse higher education system, encompassing more 100 public and private institutions of higher learning, including renowned international campuses like Sorbonne Abu Dhabi University, New York University, and the American University of Sharjah.

The Ministry of Education offers scholarships to young Emiratis in various fields such as medicine and health sciences, engineering sciences, environmental science, and energy.

To further support youth development, the UAE Government has launched several career development and support programs to empower youth. These programs include free career counseling and workshops offered by different career centers, which are now present in every university in the UAE.

In 2017, the UAE government introduced the Youth Hub, a community space for young people aged 15 to 35, regardless of whether they are studying or working. The Youth Hub provides workspaces for young entrepreneurs, researchers, programmers, and media professionals.

Moreover, the UAE Government initiated the Youth Circles initiative to foster youth-centric dialogue across various areas and encourage sustainable engagement with young people to shape innovative solutions for global challenges. The Youth Circles bring together youth from different genders, fields, and age groups to participate in a dialogue with senior government leaders. This dialogue takes place in a circle format, enabling youth to express and share their opinions in shaping policies and solutions.

In 2019, the UAE Embassy organized a successful youth circle for 100 young women in the hospitality and tourism sector in collaboration with Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and Culture.

The participants attended a training session on empowerment in hospitality excellence, facilitated by trainers from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management.

Furthermore, going beyond youth empowerment through education, in June 2019, the UAE Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Rwanda to facilitate labor mobility between the two countries.

This agreement allows skilled Rwandans to access job opportunities in the United Arab Emirates through the exchange of workforce, as well as the transfer of skills and knowledge.

By sharing these experiences and programs, the UAE aims to inspire and motivate young people in Rwanda to explore their potential, develop their skills, and actively contribute to their communities and the nation’s progress.

Amb. Alqahtani highlighted the pivotal role of education in youth empowerment.
at Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum School for Sciences entertaining guests at the event.
Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Secondary School for Sciences is located in Kimisange.
Amb. Alqahtani (in the middle) along with other guests at the event following performances during his visit to Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum School for Sciences in Kimisange.
A photo of souvenir was taken after interactive discussions.