More than 450 participants from around the world have converged on Doha to attend the eighth edition of the youth-led Empower conference officially inaugurated by Reach Out to Asia (Rota) chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani on Thursday.
The opening ceremony was also attended by HE the Minister of Economy and Commerce Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, Rota board member Dr Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh al-Thani, executive director Essa al-Mannai and a number of other dignitaries.
Organised by ROTA, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), the three-day conference is taking place at the Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Student Centre in Education City.
The event under the theme, ‘Innovation in Youth Social Entrepreneurship, in line with QF’s overarching mission, aims to unlock human potential by motivating young people to use their innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurial talents.
Al-Mannai stated that every year the conference continues to demonstrate its significant contribution to youth empowerment, and to finding solutions to local and international challenges.
The dignitaries are seen with some of the participants
“Empower 2016 aims to help bolster youth leadership and management skills, enabling participants to manage projects in a sustainable and professional manner, and so adding value to both the economy and society.”
A distinguished group of Arab youth entrepreneurs also attended the opening ceremony. Among them were Essam Heggy, an Arab scientist working at Nasa, and Jehangir Malik, CEO of International Inspiration.
From Qatar, Abdulrahman al-Romaihi, Aisha al-Naama, Maryam al-Thani, and Mohamed Fakhro participated, in addition to Firas al-Jarrah, a Saudi Arabian entrepreneur, and Lojain Alobaid, founder of Tasami Foundation in Saudi Arabia.
Aiming to raise awareness of opportunities and challenges relating to entrepreneurship among Qatar’s young population, the conference will feature panel discussions, keynote speeches, exhibitions, and group workshops. Topics such as crowdfunding, innovation in product creation, entrepreneurship, and the power of social networking will be addressed.
Several trainers and speakers from Qatar will lead sessions, including Maryam al-Subaiey, Hussain Habib al-Sayed, Salah al-Yafey, and Abdallah al-Buainain. Additionally, numerous workshops will be conducted by local entities, such as Qatar Development Bank, Bedaya Centre, Qatar Debate, Entrepreneur Middle East, Qatar University, Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services, Qatar Charity, Qatar Scientific Club, Qatar Science and Technology Park, and Qatar Computing Research Institute.
More than 15 experts from the Regional Office of the United Nations Development Programme will also conduct training sessions.
Rota goodwill ambassador Ghanim al-Muftah said the registration fee paid by the participants will be used to build recreation facilities at a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, which he visited in his first mission.
The conference also serves as a discussion forum, where participants will be able to pitch and review solutions to increase the contribution of youth in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Qatar National Vision 2030, using the youth social entrepreneurship business methodology.
Educating youth, and raising their awareness about social entrepreneurship, is an essential element of Rota’s strategies to bolster youth employment in Qatar and the region.
Rota has partnered with Qatar Charity, the Qatar Financial Centre, and the Qatar National Convention Centre to sponsor Empower 2016.
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