Under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance, Social Solidarity, and Youth and Sports.. The launch of the activities of the annual regional forum for sustainable development in its first edition
Under the slogan “Where Sustainability Meets Innovation”, Aspire launches the annual regional forum for sustainable development
Egypt, Cairo, Thursday 7 September 2023 – The events of the first edition of the Annual Regional Forum for Sustainability Development were inaugurated under the slogan “Where Sustainability Meets Innovation”, in the presence of Eng. Hassan Mostafa, Assistant Minister of Social Solidarity for Investment and Resource Development on behalf of Minister Nevine El-Kabbaj, Dr. Manal Gamal, Head of the Central Department for Youth Empowerment at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, on behalf of His Excellency Minister Dr. Ashraf Sobhi, Mrs. Sarah Eid, the official spokesperson and head of the Financial Transparency Unit at the Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Lamis Negm, the CSR advisor to the governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Bassem Emad, CEO of Aspire Training and Consulting Company organizing the forum in partnership with Blue Green, the Emirati company specialized in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility Consulting in the Middle East, Ms. Nanis Yousri, Director of the Community Transformation Sector at Aspire Company, and Ms. Lina Hourani, Founder of Blue Green Company in the United Arab Emirates, under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Finance, Social Solidarity and Talabat.
The launching ceremony of the Forum was attended by Mr. Shady Shafiq, the Manager of “Afaq” project of the International Labor Organization; Mr. Mina Kamel, Representative of the USAID-funded Workforce Egypt Project; and Mr. Kumar Anurag Pratap, Senior Vice President and Leader of Digital Inclusion and Sustainability for CAPGEMINI Global, one of the Top 100 CSR Experts.
The annual regional forum for sustainable development is the first of its kind in Egypt and aims to enlighten young minds about new trends in designing development programs and to enhance the role of pre-university education in general, especially technical education, in achieving development goals. Besides, the forum helps young people to be able to experiment with new tools and methodologies that can be used in designing solutions for marginalized communities. These tools reflect three main ideas, namely, discovering the latest global sustainability and social responsibility trends in our world today, enhancing communication with sustainability experts in the region, and experiencing the power of tools closely applied in the field of sustainability.
During his speech at the opening of the annual regional forum for sustainability development, Mr. Bassem Emad, CEO of Aspire Training and Consulting, thanked the representatives of the ministries for their continuous support for all community programs and initiatives to develop the skills of young people and engage them in society.
Bassem said: “We are proud to launch the first edition of the annual regional forum for sustainable development, and through the forum we seek to combine the concepts of innovation with sustainability and to cooperate with all agencies entrusted with development and sustainability in order to implement and develop sustainable projects throughout the Arab world as part of our responsibility as individuals, institutions, and companies.”
Bassem added: “We have gained great experience over the past many years, during which we realized the necessity of continuing development and thinking about how to devise effective solutions for the development of society and empower and raise the competencies of individuals in Egypt and all countries of the region.”
Mrs. Lina Hourani, founder and CEO of Blue Green Consulting in the UAE, expressed her happiness in participating in organizing the event and said, “We are here in this wonderful event to talk about topics and issues that concern us all, such as education, gender equality, social inclusion, financial inclusion, and environmental protection.
Hourani added: “At Blue Green Consultancy, we participated in many international projects in more than 15 countries around the world, provided training programs, established strategies and programs for social responsibility and corporate sustainability, and prepared a measure of social returns on investments, and we are here participating in the forum because it is an opportunity to share touching and inspiring experiences for all.”
Ms. Nanis Yousry, Director of the Community Transformation Sector at Aspire, said:”We are very excited to celebrate the launch of the first edition of the Annual Regional Forum for Sustainability Development, which is a bright moment in our journey, through which we aim to collaborate and share ideas and achieve a significant impact in the field of development and sustainability in our countries.”
Nanis added: “We hope that the forum will be a prestigious regional center that brings together experts in development and corporate social responsibility to cooperate and create sustainable solutions.”
She stressed that the long-term commitment is to support cooperation, innovation, and teamwork and said:” We aspire for this annual gathering to evolve into a regional hub, a central platform where development practitioners and CSR experts come together to exchange knowledge, share experiences, and collectively work towards sustainable solutions. Our long-term commitment is to foster collaboration and innovation that transcends borders and transcends limits.”
Nanis concluded:” Under the overarching theme of “Where Sustainability Meets Innovation,” we are here to explore the intersections of these two vital aspects of development. It is at these crossroads that we find the potential for groundbreaking solutions that will pave the way for a brighter future.”
On the sidelines of the forum, a discussion session on financial inclusion was held with the participation of Ms. Sarah Eid, the official spokesperson and head of the Financial Transparency Unit at the Ministry of Finance, representatives from FAB Bank, and Mr. Ahmed Naguib, Corporate Social Responsibility Adviser and Training Consultant, in addition to panel discussions and workshops on current challenges and issues related to community development and sustainability such as education, design thinking, governance, and gender mainstreaming.
The forum witnessed the presentation of a series of short films that discuss many societal issues. Besides, Wataniya, Medfest Egypt, and Maggie Morgan organized a session to shed light on the role of cinema and the media in community issues in the region, in addition to a session organized by the Dutch Football Association to emphasize the importance of sport in the development sector and its overlap with issues such as employment and equality.
The Forum organized a regional social leadership camp in which many young people from Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen participated. The camp is an initiative that brings together young people with the aim of identifying ways to address the main ongoing challenges in their communities and designing social initiatives.
Accordingly, the participants will also have the opportunity to present their initiatives at the forum in front of a committee of experts. This camp is also the first of its kind, and its role is to inspire young people to lead a future that considers the foundations of societal development and the goals of sustainable development.
A number of major international, regional, and local institutions and entities in the sectors of sustainable development, business, education, training, and consultancy participated in the forum, such as the International Labor Organization, the “World Coaches” organization of the Dutch Football Association, Transform Us Company, the Egyptian Energy Foundation for Development, the Wataniya Association, Abu Dhabi Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and MedFest Egypt.