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AIWF PROGRAMMES & ACTIVITIES

AIWF EVENTS in 2008
 

‘Domains of Influence’
Arab Women Business Leaders in a New Economy

UK Launch of AIWF Supported Book

hosted by The Arab British Chamber of Commerce

43 Upper Grosvenor Street, London W1K 2NJ

Wednesday 3 December 2008

6.30-8.30pm

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UK Chapter AIWF – Get Together

Waterhouse & Dodd, Cork Street London

with an exclusive viewing of two major exhibitions

of Contemporary Middle Eastern & Arab art

‘Routes’ & ‘Crossroads’ featuring 8 leading Arab Women Artists

Wednesday 15 October 2008

6-9pm

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ARAB INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S FORUM

Partners for Change: Realizing the Potential of
Arab Women in the Private and Public Sectors

 

22 – 24 June 2008
at
The World Bank, Washington DC, USA

Representatives from both the public and private sector came together at the first U.S.-based conference of the Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF), hosted by the World Bank Middle East North Africa in Washington, D.C. on 22 – 24 June 2008.

The conference, titled ‘
Partners for Change: Realizing the Potential of Arab Women in the Private and Public Sector,’ drew 180 participants from over 20 countries including government representatives, international business leaders, academics and esteemed AIWF members and Global Partners from the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. It gathered Arab and international policymakers in an attempt to stimulate dialogue aimed at removing roadblocks to women’s gainful participation in Arab politics, economies and society.

Distinguished international Guest Speakers successfully examined opportunities for the entrepreneurial, political, and economic engagement of Arab women in the Middle East, the United States and beyond.

The conference studied the role of women in public life; the challenges to their involvement in politics and the steps that Arab governments are taking to encourage their participation in the political sphere. In a session entitled Empowering Women through Education the importance of education was stressed as the most effective means to overcoming socio-economic challenges and barriers and essential dialogue examined the roles of Arab women in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

The event also incorporated the official US launch of the book, Domains of Influence: Arab Women Business Leaders in a New Economy within the Conference Programme. Supported by AIWF, the book was produced in partnership with The World Bank as a unique testament to the impact of Arab women in today’s global environment of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.

Another significant feature was the publication of the FT report Leading Business Women in the Arab World – on which AIWF has collaborated for the second year. This was published on the first day of the conference and available to the attendees and others at the World Bank.

It was truly an honour and a pleasure for the Arab International Women’s Forum to have hosted its first conference in the United States at The World Bank in Washington, DC. AIWF applauds the initiatives of the World Bank to foster an environment of progress, peace and prosperity in the Arab world – objectives that lie at the very heart of the mission and vision for AIWF.

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PARTNERS FOR CHANGE:
Realizing the Potential of Arab Women in the Private and Public Sectors


OPENING SESSION

Welcome from the World Bank
Mrs Nadereh Chamlou,
Senior Advisor, Office of the Chief Economist, MENA Region,The World Bank (Size:31Kb)

Welcome Address and Introduction to the Conference
Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani,
Chairman, Arab International Women’s Forum
(Size:142Kb)

Special Address
HE Hala Bsesio Lattouf,
Minister of Social Development, Jordan
(Size:557Kb)

Special Address
HE Dr Sharifa Khalfan Al Yahyai,
Minister for Social Development, Oman

Special Address
HE Dr Huda Ali Alban,
Minister for Human Rights, Yemen

Keynote Address
Mr Robert B Zoellick,
President, The World Bank
(Size:35Kb)


PLENARY SESSION 1
POWERING THE PRIVATE SECTOR: ARAB WOMEN IN BUSINESS


Ms Pernille Spiers-Lopez,
President, IKEA North America

Dr Afnan Al Shuaiby,
CEO, Arab British Chamber of Commerce, UK
(Size:25Kb)

HE Ahmed Mohamed Luqman,
Director General, Arab Labour Organisation, Cairo, Egypt
(Size:62Kb)

Dr Ritva Reinikka,
Sector Director, Social and Economic Development Group, Middle East and North Africa, The World Bank
(Size:492Kb)

Ms Sushma K Bhan,
Geosciences (Subsurface) Data Management Team and Discipline Leader at Shell International Exploration and Production, USA
(Size:1280Kb)


PLENARY SESSION II
WOMEN IN PUBLIC LIFE

Ms Daniela Gressani,
Vice President for the Middle East & North Africa, The World Bank

HE Hala Bsesio Lattouf,
Minister of Social Development, Jordan

HE Dr Sharifa Khalfan Al Yahyai,
Minister for Social Development, Oman

HE Dr Huda Al Alban,
Minister for Human Rights, Yemen

Dr Fakhria Diari,
Former Member of the Shura Council, Bahrain
(Size:92Kb)



PLENARY SESSION III
EMPOWERING WOMEN THROUGH EDUCATION

Dr Edward Montgomery,
Dean of the College of Behavioural & Social Science, University of Maryland, USA (Size:821Kb)

Mr David Arkless,
Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Manpower Inc, UK
(Size:160Kb)

Mrs Elham Hassan,
Senior Country Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bahrain
(Size:26Kb)

Professor Lynda Moore,
Zayed University, UAE and Simmons School of Management, USA
(Size:520Kb)



USA BOOK LAUNCH
‘DOMAINS OF INFLUENCE: ARAB WOMEN BUSINESS LEADERS IN A NEW ECONOMY”

Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani,
Chairman, Arab International Women’s Forum (Size:107Kb)

Mrs Nadereh Chamlou,
Senior Advisor, Office of the Chief Economist, MENA Region, The World Bank




PLENARY SESSION IV
VISIONS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP: REALIZING WOMEN’S POTENTIAL


Ms Holly Taylor Sargent,
Founder and Director, Women’s Leadership Board, Harvard University, USA

Mrs Elham Hassan,
Senior Country Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bahrain
(Size:30Kb)

Ms Marilyn Carlson Nelson,
Chair of the Carlson Companies, USA

Eng Widad Ibrahim,
Vice Chairperson, Bee Petroleum Company, Sudan
(Size:2490Kb)



PLENARY SESSION V
INTERCONNECTED, INFORMED AND INSPIRED


Mrs Patricia Harrison,
CEO, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, USA (Size:19Kb)

Ms Hdeel Abdelhady,
Senior Associate, DLA Piper, UAE

Mr David Hamod,
President & CEO, National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, USA

Mrs Mayra Buvinic,
Director, Gender and Development, The World Bank
(Size:65Kb)



CONFERENCE LUNCHEON GUEST SPEAKER
Mr Juan Jose Daboub
, Managing Director, The World Bank
(Size:33Kb)


CONFERENCE GALA DINNER

Welcome
Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani,
Chairman Arab International Women’s Forum (Size:110Kb)

Guest Speaker
Mr Graeme Wheeler, Managing Director Operations, The World Bank (Size:20Kb)
 

2008 Programme Conference Booklet (Size:800Kb)

 

MEDIA ARTICLES
AIWF 2008 Washington DC Conference Press Release

(English Version)       (Arabic Version)


 


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DOMAINS OF INFLUENCE
Arab Women Business Leaders in a New Economy

Launched at the June 2008 AIWF Conference in Washington DC

This remarkable collection of photographic 'portraits' of leading businesswomen from right across the Arab world is a unique testament to the impact made on business by prominent Arab women. Art photographer Jacqueline Hassink, internationally recognised for her representations of the world of economic power, expresses these portraits through photographic explorations of the private and business domains of these powerful women. Designed by award winning book designer Irma Boom, this beautifully illustrated, full-colour work is introduced by leading photography critic Charlotte Cotton and includes two important essays by the prominent economist Dr. Heba Handoussa and Mrs Nadereh Chamlou of The World Bank. The book is published in association with the Arab International Women's Forum and supported by The World Bank.

Click HERE to buy the book now from I.B.Tauris Publishers
 


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Evening Reception at Number 10 Downing Street
hosted by Mrs Sarah Brown
in honour of the Arab International Women’s Forum
on
Tuesday 12 February 2008

A unique and very special occasion marked the start to the 2008 programme on Tuesday 12 February when Mrs Sarah Brown, wife of the UK Prime Minister hosted an Evening Reception, at their official residence, 10 Downing Street, in recognition and honour of the Arab International Women's Forum.

Click To Enlarge Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani,Chairman, was delighted to present to Mrs Brown, the Board and Members of AIWF, global partners and representatives of business, the corporate sector and leading Arab and international academic, economic and trade institutions from 21 countries. Also present were Baroness Vadera, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Competitiveness, Deregulation and British Business Council and Mrs Maggie Darling, wife of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In her warm welcome Mrs Brown said "I want to congratulate the Arab International Women's Forum for raising public awareness of the need to bring more women into the economic life of the Arab region. The Forum's work has allowed women to exchange knowledge and experience, develop their business potential and to take up positions of responsibility in the public arena.

The 2007 programme Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship, through which the Forum promoted links between the Arab region, the UK and the international sector, has been particularly important in creating an environment for collaboration, giving women the support and encouragement needed to overcome remaining barriers and challenges to their full equality and opportunity".

Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani was pleased to acknowledge this accolade when she said " AIWF is proud to be recognised as an organisation that is at the forefront of effecting change, promoting the role and potential for women, which is vital for growth and stability and developing strategies that create jobs, catalyse economic development and foster social cohesion".

Press Release for Downing Street Reception
(English
(Size: 30Kb))  (Arabic (Size: 122Kb))
 


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AIWF EVENTS in 2007


Under the Patronage of
HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein
Wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai

ARAB INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S FORUM

Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship

Powering the Future
Arab Business Women in a Modern Economy

9-11 December 2007
The Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai


 


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GLOBALISATION, TRADE and ENTREPRENEURSHIP
POWERING THE FUTURE
Arab Business Women in a Modern Economy

The Arab International Women’s Forum held its first conference in the United Arab Emirates on 10 and 11 December 2007 under the Patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai.

Entitled
Powering The Future – Arab Business Women in a Modern Economy, this outstanding event was the culmination of the AIWF 2007 programme focussing on key elements for economic success, namely the creation of an enabling environment for the development of private enterprise and overcoming the challenges and barriers to greater female participation in the Arab economies.

The conference, held at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) at the kind invitation of the Governor of the DIFC,
HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, developed widely and professionally the remit of the 2007 programme theme, Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship. It served as another bridge linking the City of Dubai, the City of London and the wider financial community, providing a further opportunity to expand business partnerships and to highlight gender equality and good governance practices as key elements for unlocking the full potential of the region.

The two day initiative provided a forum that brought together a high profile gathering of 250 people from over 35 countries, including 19 Arab countries, representing AIWF global partners, members, and other supporters, men and women who are engaged in significant roles within the global economy representing government, business, trade and academic and professional circles.

HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Economy, United Arab Emirates and AIWF Founder Board Member, delivered the Keynote Opening Address on Monday 10 December. Other eminent speakers, addressing the conference sessions, shared with the participants their experience and deep knowledge of global trade, finance and entrepreneurship.

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Click To EnlargeOn the Monday evening, a reception was held to launch the AIWF book, ‘Domains of Influence: Arab Women Business Leaders in a New Economy’ which features successful business women leaders in the Arab world. On the following day, many of the women business leaders made a valued contribution in an interactive session when they revealed best practices that have influenced their success.

Click To EnlargeA highlight of the conference programme was a corporate governance workshop in collaboration with the Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance, ”The Value of Good Corporate Governance for Women’s Entrepreneurship in the MENA region”. At the start of this session on Tuesday 11 December, Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, Chairman, Arab International Women’s Forum signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dr Nasser Saidi, Executive Director of Hawkamah to enable both organisations to advocate corporate sector reform and strengthen corporate governance for women entrepreneurs and their businesses in the MENA region.

 

The Dubai Conference also included the launch of a key AIWF report, the outcome document of the first event within the 2007 Programme, which was the Roundtable Meeting held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London on 25 January 2007. Entitled Women as Engines of Economic Growth in the Arab World – Moving Forward, this publication set out the achievements and perspectives of the review of the AIWF 2005 Programme Report and Recommendations, with the impact and the advocacy for further action being identified.

AIWF was proud to have the support of Global Corporate and Institutional Partners whose generous support and cooperation made the 2007 Dubai Conference Programme possible and thanks are expressed to:

Leading Partners:           PepsiCo International. Abraaj Capital

Programme Partners:    The Hawkamah Institute, Merrill Lynch

Supporting Partners:      Shell, General Motors, Crescent Petroleum

Conference Support:      The Dubai Business Women Council,
                                        MCM, DLA Piper, Jumeirah Group


Conference Opening Session

Welcome Address and Introduction to the Conference
Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani. Chairman, AIWF
(Size:127Kb)

Special Address
HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman. Governor, Dubai International Financial Centre
(Size:27Kb)

Keynote Address
HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi. Minister of Economy UAE
(Size:664Kb)

Special Address
HE Mrs Suhair Al Ali. Minster of Planning & International Cooperation, Jordan
(Size:547Kb)

World Bank Message
Ms Daniela Gressani. Vice President, MENA, The World Bank


Plenary Session I
Entrepreneurship in the Arab World

Ms Daniela Gressani, Vice President, MENA, The World Bank (Size:38Kb)

HRH Princess Mashael bint Faisal. President of the Board of the Business Women Forum in the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia
(Size:1110Kb)

Mrs Raja Al Gurg. Managing Director, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group and President DBWC
(Size:1260Kb)

Professor Aicha Belarbi. Former Ambassador to the European Union & Professor and Researcher University Mohammed V. Rabat 
(Size:70Kb)


Plenary Session II
Financing and Promoting Female Entrepreneurship

Dr Zara Khatib. Manager Technology Marketing & Deployment for Middle East Region, Caspian and South Asia Regions Shell

Ms Sahar Mohamed Ali El Sallab. Managing Director, Commercial International Bank, Egypt

Mr Saad Benhimi. Director Investment Banking Merrill Lynch MENA


Plenary Session III
Global Networks and Partnerships: Sharing Experiences

Alderman Alison Gowman. Partner. DLA Piper (Size:292Kb)

Dr Cristina Molinari. Cabinet Adviser, Ministry of International Trade, Italy
(Size:30Kb)

Mrs Kalliopi Boudara. Special Counsellor to the Foreign Minister of Greece
(Size:14Kb)

Ms Sung – Joo Kim. Chairperson & CEO, MCM Products AG/Sungjoo Group
(Size:15Kb)


The Value of Good Corporate Governance for Women’s Entrepreneurship in the MENA Region
Workshop in cooperation with Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance

Introductory Remarks
Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, Chairman, Arab International Women’s Forum
(Size:28Kb)

Dr Nasser Saidi, Executive Director, Hawkamah Institute for Corporate Governance
(Size:1200Kb)

Mrs Nadereh Chamlou, Senior Advisor (Economic & Sector Work), Office of the Chief Economist, Middle East and North Africa Region
(Size:293Kb)

Dr Celia de Anca, Merrill Lynch External Diversity Adviser
(Size:1280Kb)

Mrs Neveen El Tahri, Chairperson Delta Securities, Egypt
(Size:26Kb)

Ms Ruth Martin, Managing Director, Securities & Investment Institute UK

Ms Dania Mchaourab, Vice President, Forsa


Conference Gala Dinner at Al Falak Ballroom, JUMEIRAH BURG AL ARAB

Conference Dinner Welcome - Mrs Al Kaylani, Chairman AIWF (Size:56Kb)

Keynote Address by
Mr Saad Abdul – Latif
President, SouthAsia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA) Region of the
PepsiCo International (PI) Division of PepsiCo, Inc
(Size:25Kb)

2007 Programme Conference Booklet
(Size:568Kb)

2007 Programme Conference Booklet Cover
(Size:180Kb)
 


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Women in Banking and Finance

20th June 2007, Dubai

AIWF and Merrill Lynch Celebrate Their Partnership
 

Celebrating the new partnership with Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) and the launch of their new offices in Dubai, Merrill Lynch presented an overview of their business strategy in the region and demonstrated their commitment to the development of professional women in the Middle East.

The agenda focused on how Merrill Lynch has positioned itself to take advantage of the next stage of globalisation and how the company is building on recent successes. A panel discussion explored the keys to a successful career in banking and finance, and
Eva Castillo, ML Head of Global Private Client EMEA and Hannelore Graf, ML financial advisor, looked at the investment trends and market potential of female investors in the region.

The 50 attendees included partners and members of the AIWF and Dubai Business Women’s Council (DBWC), local business women and students. Merrill Lynch was well represented with senior executives including
Ahmass Fakahany, president.

Overcoming the Challenges
In her opening address,
Haifa Al Kaylani, chairman of the AIWF said, “we are proud to be jointly hosting this meeting with our valued new Annual Global Partner Merrill Lynch.

“Women in the Arab World have achieved significant advancement in recent years. There are women CEOs, women government officials, women professors, women engineers; women run e-businesses and financial institutions. However, the utilisation of Arab women’s capabilities through economic and political participation remains the lowest in the world in quantitative terms as evidenced by the fact that in 2005 women made up only 28% of the work force. One of the reasons identified is lack of awareness of the opportunities available. Another is the need for specific management skills and competences.

The impact of overcoming challenges and increasing benefits to women will be seen as the next major breakthrough in the economic development of the Arab World.”

Success from Diversity
Speaking on the importance of Diversity to Merrill Lynch,
Bob Wigley, EMEA Chairman said, “At Merrill Lynch, we firmly believe that we must create an environment where we can attract, retain and develop the best female talent available - it is our most important diversity objective in EMEA and sends a clear message to our clients and partners as well as colleagues that female talent is vital to our continuing success as a business.
“In order to be competitive and to find the most innovative and creative solutions to our clients' needs, firms need to have staff that can provide the widest possible range of perspectives.

The firms that will succeed will be those who develop global teams with the widest pools of knowledge to create the best local solutions for their clients. The differences companies can leverage will be the differentiator in their performance.

We’re committed to the Middle East for the long term, because we think the opportunities are tremendous. In short, this region is of key strategic importance and will continue to be one of the vital areas of growth for our business.”

Jeffrey Culpepper, Head of Global Markets and Investment Banking Middle East and Africa, commented that, “The economic and intellectual power of women in the region is dramatically under represented in trading and investment banking. We at Merrill Lynch will be working to correct this imbalance by actively seeking out women professionals and graduates to join our Global Markets and Investment Banking team.”

New Opportunities
A lively panel discussion saw active participation from the audience, with advice on having a successful career in banking and new markets of talent and wealth emerging in the Middle East. Panellists included
Raja Al Gurg, DBWC president; Eva Castillo, ML Head of Global Private Client EMEA, Celia de Anca, ML External Diversity Advisor and Subha Barry, ML Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion.

Highlights of the discussion:

• There are ~10500 business women in Dubai. This group is gaining momentum (2002–2007 saw growth of business women from 5.2% - 14.7%) and the time is right to further develop and tap into the recruitment potential

• Local universities, both private and public institutions, are willing to develop partnerships with financial services employers.

• The new generation of women have new perspective of the viability of a long term career ambition. Regional differences exist but the market of talented and well educated women who wish to pursue a career is growing.

• A large proportion of personal wealth is lying in low interest accounts. The opportunity exists to promote alternative investment products tailored to local cultural values, e.g. Islamic finance products.


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Arab International Women’s Forum


LAUNCH of the AIWF 2007 PROGRAMME
Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship

AIWF DINNER at the MANSION HOUSE

Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship:
Enhancing Business Opportunities between
the City of London, the Arab World and the International Community

Wednesday 7 March 2007

In the Presence of the Rt Hon Lord Mayor of the City of London,
Alderman John Stuttard

Programme Partner
 
Shell

Programme Supporting Partners



 


INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CONFERENCE
At DLA Piper UK LLP, London

Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship:
Women’s Entrepreneurship as a Driver for Growth and Stability

Thursday 8 March 2007

Conference Partner



Supported by
Programme Partner
Shell

Programme Supporting Partners

 

AIWF DINNER
Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship: Enhancing Business Opportunities between the City of London, the Arab World and the International Community

Welcome and Address by Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, Chairman Arab International Women’s Forum

Address by The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor, Alderman John Stuttard

Address by H H Sheikha Hanadi bint Nasser bin Khaled Al Thani
Vice Chairperson & Managing Director Amwal


Address by Mr Hamid Jafar, Chairman Crescent Petroleum & Chairman Dana Gas


Address by Mr Willem LJ Bröcker, Senior Global Advisor, PricewaterhouseCoopers

AIWF Dinner Programme Booklet



INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY CONFERENCE
Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship: Women’s Entrepreneurship as a Driver for Growth and Stability

Welcome and Address by Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, Chairman Arab International Women’s Forum


Panel 1

The Role of the Public and Private Sectors in Stimulating Entrepreneurship - Creating the Climate, Providing Support Initiatives and Policies.
Presentations in order of participation

Presentation by Ms Laura Baeza, Head of Unit for the Barcelona Process Directorate for External Affairs European Commission

Presentation by Ms Roxanne Decyk, Corporate Affairs Director, Royal Dutch Shell plc

Presentation by Dr Florence Eid, Middle East Economist and Advisor to Pantera Capital Management LP

Ms Roxanne Mankin Cason, President, Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard


Panel 2
Women Making an Impact in Trade in SMEs and Corporate Business on a National, Regional and International Basis.
Presentations in order of participation

Ms Helena Samaha, Partner, Technology, Media and Commercial, DLA Piper UK LPP

Ms Rania Rizk, International Legal Counsel, Pepsi – Cola International Ltd

Dr Lamia Al – Sulaiman, Board of Directors, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce

Dr Jean – Pierre Lehmann, Professor of International Political Economy, IMD & Founding Director of the Evian Group

Ms Stephanie MacKendrick, President, The International Alliance of Women

International Women’s Day Conference Programme Booklet

 

The Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) chose the City of London to launch its 2007 Programme Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship.


Click To EnlargeThe two-day initiative commenced on Wednesday 7 March when, invited back to the Mansion House by the Rt Hon Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman John Stuttard, AIWF hosted a Special Dinner with a theme of Enhancing Business Opportunities between the City of London, the Arab World and the International Community.

Welcoming the distinguished gathering of 270 men and women representing governments, financial and business interests, international organisations from over forty countries, including 18 Arab countries, the AIWF Chairman, Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, embraced the opportunity for AIWF to continue developing links and build bridges, build business.

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Click To EnlargeIn her message to launch the AIWF 2007 programme, the Chairman said “ It is essential that we maximise opportunities for entrepreneurship for men and women within the region and for trade between the Middle East and the international community in order to make globalisation effective and more inclusive. AIWF has played a key role since its inception in bringing together all the players necessary to this process. Many challenges remain. However it is through public – private partnerships and international cooperation that we can meet them. The City of London is uniquely placed to assist with the introduction of financial models that will fit the region and stimulate its long term economic growth. It can facilitate access to finance for both men and women entrepreneurs, creating a basis for local growth that is directed at the global market.”

Click To EnlargeThe Lord Mayor commended AIWF as an organisation in the mainstream of creating an environment for growth, accessibility and collaboration in the 22 Arab nations saying “this has led to investment, prosperity and employment opportunities.”
 

Click To EnlargeAddressing the assembled company was guest speaker and leading Arab business woman, HH Sheikha Hanadi bint Nasser bin Khaled Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and Managing Director Amwal and AIWF Board Member, who gave some interesting points about the important role being played by Arab women in entrepreneurship. In stating her belief in building partnerships throughout the region, she said “ we have achieved success with Amwal with a team representing 15 different nationalities, women and men working side by side for a common goal. The only requirement for working at Amwal is that you have to be good at what you do – this is the true spirit of Globalisation”

Click To EnlargeIn his remarks, guest speaker, Hamid D Jafar, Executive Chairman of Dana Gas said “there are positive trends encouraging private sector growth, entrepreneurship and economic diversification in the region. Investing across borders within the Middle East and collaborating with other companies of the region is an important requirement for the creation of any successful regional economic bloc.”

Click To EnlargeMoving on to the perspective of a global business, guest speaker Willem L J Bröcker, Senior Global adviser, PricewaterhouseCoopers identified people‘s skills and talent as a key but also scarce resource which business could not afford to waste. He said “in the Arab world there is a significant challenge in developing the skills base among women that successful businesses and economies need. We need to identify role models and AIWF is playing a key part in this”

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Click To EnlargeThe next day, AIWF provided another opportunity to expand business partnerships for encouraging greater participation in the global marketplace when it held a conference to celebrate International Women’s Day that was hosted by AIWF global partner DLA Piper UK at their offices in the City.

In speaking about the launch of the AIWF 2007 programme, Mrs Haifa Al Kaylani, Chairman AIWF, highlighted the reason why the theme of Globalisation, Trade and Entrepreneurship is so important when she said “We believe that the future growth of the region must be built on making better use of all its resources, human and capital with women as an integral force. Women’s entrepreneurship is expanding around the world. Cooperation between the Arab world and the international community is vital to encourage this trend. AIWF is well placed to facilitate this link and put forth an agenda for positive change. The timing for Arab women to make real and tangible difference has never been more opportune nor the demand for their contribution greater”

Outstanding Arab and international speakers examined the theme of Women’s Entrepreneurship as a Driver for Growth and Stability, illustrating how women are proving themselves as business leaders, starting their own businesses or taking leading roles in companies and multinational organisations. Mentioned in every one of the ten panellists’ presentations were the key aspects of sharing best practices, making partnerships and using role models.

There were two panels. Moderator/Speaker for Panel 1, The Role of the Public and Private Sectors in Stimulating Entrepreneurship, - Creating the Climate, Providing Support Initiatives and Policies, was Roxanne Decyk, Director Corporate Affairs, Royal Dutch Shell.

Also addressing the topic in this panel were:
Laura Baeza, Head of the Unit for the Barcelona Process Directorate for External Affairs European Commission
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, Businesswomen and former Minister for the Middle East, UK government
Florence Eid, Middle East Economist and advisor to Pantera Capital Management LP
Roxanne Mankin Cason, President Women’s Leadership Board, Harvard

Click To EnlargePanel 2 - the Moderator /Speaker was Dr Jean – Pierre Lehmann, Professor of International Political Economy, IMD & Founding Director of the Evian Group. This panel had the topic of Women Making an Impact in SMEs and Corporate Business on a National, Regional and International Basis

Also addressing the topic in the other panel were:
Helena Samaha, Partner – Technology.Media and Commercial, DLA Piper, Rania Rizk, Senior International Counsel, PepsiCo International, Lama Al –Sulaimen, Member, Board of Directors, Jeddah Chamber of Commerce Stephanie MacKendrick, President The International Alliance of Women / President Canadian Women in Communications

During the debates, the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs were summed up as: Access to finance, Access to markets, Access to information, Access to training and, finally Access to policymaking. The delegates learnt about many initiatives with which the speakers were involved that aimed at creating entrepreneurs and helping women succeed.

It was pointed out that women are the largest economy, diversity is central to success but must be combined with inclusiveness and, businesses need to play a key role in encouraging women to take up diverse and expanding roles.

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The AIWF Chairman on behalf of the Board acknowledged the support of Global Annual Partners, Shell International as Programme Partner, PepsiCo International and PricewaterhouseCoopers as Programme Supporting Partners and DLA Piper UK LPP as Conference Partner for the launch events. She also expressed her appreciation to Jumeirah Carlton Tower for their special cooperation.

Mrs Al Kaylani underlined the intent of the 2007 programme when she said “AIWF is fully committed to achieving the greater participation of women as positive agents for change to move the agenda for prosperity and peace forward.”
 


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WOMEN AS ENGINES OF ECONOMIC GROWTH -  MOVING FORWARD

AIWF Roundtable Meeting at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London

Thursday 25 January 2007

On Thursday 25 January 2007, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office hosted an Arab International Women’s Forum (AIWF) Roundtable entitled ‘Women as Engines of Economic Growth – Moving Forward’’.

Background

The purpose of the Roundtable was to review the 2005 AIWF Programme Report & Recommendations, ‘Women as Engines of Economic Growth in the Arab World’ and to discuss its impact, assess the extent to which recommendations in the Report have been implemented by stakeholders and advocate their full implementation. Key partners, stakeholders and contributors to the 2005 Programme were invited to participate in the review.

Leading European and Arab organisations were involved in the 2005 Programme which featured two linked conferences: ‘Ten Years After Barcelona: Empowering Women as Catalysts for Economic Development’ held at the European Parliament in Brussels and ‘Women and Integrated Rural Development’ held at the League of Arab States in Cairo which culminated in the 2005 Report & Recommendations. The actionable recommendations that came forward at the conferences represented a significant body of opinion.

Roundtable Review

In welcoming the participants, Mrs Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani voiced warmest thanks and appreciation to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for their invaluable collaboration since 2005 through the Global Opportunities Fund, and for so generously hosting the Roundtable. She said “This has offered us the opportunity to review and discuss the impact, progress and implementation of our programme, Women as Engines of Economic Growth in the Arab World, launched to mark the tenth anniversary of the Euro Med Partnership Agreement. I also wish to thank the European Commission, the League of Arab States, the World Bank and all our programme partners including Shell for their enduring support.

Clearly, much has been achieved since the programme began, and at AIWF we acknowledge that this would not have been possible if not for the continued commitment and practical steps taken by our institutional and corporate stakeholders as well as policy makers and business leaders in Europe and the MENA region. But so much remains to be done. We hope the findings of the Roundtable will be seen as a compass for the road ahead, and a platform on which to build further reform.”

The Roundtable which was moderated by Dame Julie Mellor, AIWF Member and Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, included presentations with three distinct perspectives from the European Commission, the World Bank and IBM.

The Presentations

Dominique Dellicour, Head of Unit, Governance, Human Rights, Democracy and Gender at EuropeAid Cooperation Office of the European Commission reported on the current and planned actions of the European Commission in the Mediterranean Region in the framework of the Barcelona Process since the launch of the AIWF 2005 Programme Report and Recommendations in September 2005.

Substantial resources had been earmarked by Commission to promote gender equality and included tackling female illiteracy as a priority of the Commission’s thematic programme Investing in People and women’s empowerment and their access to higher education within the Erasmus, Mundus and Tempus programmes. She re-affirmed the commitment of the EC to gender equality and highlighted the important role AIWF could play helping to transform policy into practice.

Nadereh Chamlou, Senior Advisor, Middle East and North Africa Social and Economic Development, World Bank Group highlighted the reasons why more than ever women’s contribution to and participation in Arab business is an economic necessity in the region

The strategy of the World Bank is to increase the economic participation and contribution of women through supporting increased access to assets, more public resources, jobs and pensions. In order to develop a more enabling environment for women, she said improved literacy has to be matched by job creation; Arab Governments need to engage more in an agenda for women’s entrepreneurship and investment climate needs to change making it easier for women to access finance. She indicated that collection of statistics can stimulate change but this process still needs to be improved


Wendy Papworth, Pan European Diversity, Gender Programme Manager described the key external initiatives of IBM to promote gender diversity especially in the region, and how IBM recognises the business benefits of diversity. IBM currently sets ‘gender goals’ in recognition that the challenges are great and that diversity is a long journey for the company.

Their various projects include a web application focused on development and advancement of women entitled ‘Women’s Gathering’, with site operating in both English and Arabic; a women leadership programme and programmes for girls and young women - working in a public/private partnership on the Egypt Education Initiative and day care centre places for employees’ children

Future Progress

These important presentations and the discussion that followed confirmed significant progress has been made since 2005 by key stakeholders in the areas identified in 2005 Report and Recommendations but much still remains to done. The achievements so far are extremely encouraging but the impetus to improve the prospects of women in the region and to facilitate their full integration in the economy has to be maintained.

During the open forum discussion a number of recommendations and interventions to help secure Arab women’s economic security were proposed. Both the presentations and the recommendations appear in the report - Achievements & Perspectives - Review of the 2005 Programme Report & Recommendations which was launched at the final event within the AIWF 2007 Programme – the AIWF Dubai Conference ‘Powering the Future: Arab Business Women in a Modern Economy’ held at the Dubai International Business Centre, Dubai UAE on 10 & 11 December 2007.

Women as Engines of Economic Growth in the Arab World – Moving Forward Cover (Size:1046Kb)

Women as Engines of Economic Growth in the Arab World – Moving Forward Report (Size:1088Kb)

 


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DIARY OF AIWF SUPPORTED EVENTS IN 2007


17 December 2007
UK Chapter AIWF – Get Together at Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London

27 November 2007
MENA – OCED Women Business Leaders Forum

Under the High Patronage of H E Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, the First Lady of Egypt

Preceding the annual MENA – OCED Ministerial Meeting and organised by the OCED and the Ministry of Investment of Egypt In cooperation with GAFI and UNIDO

Conrad Hotel, Cairo, Egypt  (Draft Agenda
(Size: 181Kb)  -  Flyer (Size: 1.4Mb))

28 – 30 October 2007
Damascus Chamber of Commerce Conference
Sheraton Damascus Hotel. Damascus, Syria

Theme: Women in Business Management & Investment

21 – 22 October 2007
The New Arab Woman – A Forum on Leadership & Social Responsibility

Organised by Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group and Al-Hasnaa Magazine in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the Arab League, ESCWA and the Arab International Women

Under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE Ruler of Dubai. (www.iktissad.com)

27 – 29 September 2007
W.I.N. 2007 - Taking the next step: fearless, graceful and together.

The 10th Global Leadership Forum of Women’s International Networking at the Hotel Radisson SAS Scandinavia – Oslo, Norway (www.winconference.net)

16–17 July 2007
The Regional Conference on The Arab International Maritime Women in MENA and Africa – Alexandria, Egypt
Arab Academy of Science and Technology and Maritime Transport in collaboration with International Maritime Organisation and The Arab International Women’s Forum. 
Report of the Event   (Size: 65Kb)

14–16 June 2007
 Global Summit of Women – Berlin. AIWF - International Partner

4 June 2007
UK Chapter AIWF – Get Together at Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London


For more information contact AIWF office: +44 207 409 7788 or info@aiwfonline.com


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