Saudi organization receives the Africa Peace Prize 2018 award

Updated 30 January 2018
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Saudi organization receives the Africa Peace Prize 2018 award

RIYADH: The United Religions Initiative (URI), an international African organization, has granted its Africa Peace Prize 2018 to the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) in Vienna in appreciation for its efforts in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue and encouraging coexistence through establishing several dialogue platforms, SPA reported.

In a statement issued by URI on behalf of its 204 member states, URI said it has awarded the Africa Peace Prize for 2018 to KAICIID in recognition of its efforts in reviving the AU Interfaith Dialogue Forum in partnership with the African Union and in promoting dialogue and eliminating hatred between followers of different religions and cultures.

Ambassador Mussie Hailu, the regional director of URI-Africa and consultant at the Economic and Social Council of the UN, announced that the Africa Peace Prize was granted to KAICIID for its international efforts in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue in Africa and around the world, as well as establishing dialogue platforms, managing differences, shortening distances, and activating the roles of religious individuals and institutions in policymaking.

The secretary-general of KAICIID, Faisal bin Muammar, said: “We are proud and happy to receive this international award, which reflects the center’s prestigious international status and its achievements in implementing successful interreligious and intercultural dialogue initiatives and promoting the role of international organizations and their partnerships with the center.”

“KAICIID is the first international dialogue organization to activate the roles of religious individuals, leadership, and institutions to help policymakers establish peace and coexistence under common citizenship, find effective, sustainable solutions, and achieve positive results,” he added.


Saudi reforms encourage investment in Kingdom: Davos panel

Updated 25 min 22 sec ago
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Saudi reforms encourage investment in Kingdom: Davos panel

  • Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman welcomed the social reforms, calling them essential progress to provide the backbone for the economic reforms
  • Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri said to attract investors into Saudi Arabia needed to improve its infrastructure

The recent reforms in the Kingdom have been the drive behind foreign investment in the country, a panel debate on the “Next Steps for Saudi Arabia” at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos said Thursday.

Chairperson of the board of directors of the Saudi Stock Exchange, Sarah Al-Suhaimi said WEF reports reflected the positive changes in Saudi Arabia that had improved the country’s ranking in terms of investment.

“We have worked on developing the financial system of the capital market,” Al-Suhaimi told the panel, adding that in 2018 Saudi Arabia joined the FTSE Emerging Index which provides investors with a comprehensive means of measuring the performance

Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri said to attract investors into Saudi Arabia needed to improve its infrastructure, which he says the Kingdom had been working on. This includes the 68 initiatives that were introduced last year to help the private sector.

Al-Tuwaijri also said unemployment rates had been kept steady over the past two years, while more women had entered the workforce, which he said played an important role in diversifying Saudi Arabia’s economy.

Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that since the “significant economic and social reform,” the GDP of Saudi Arabia grew 2.3 percent in 2018.

In 2019 Saudi Arabia announced a $295 billion budget, which Al-Jadaan says with help the growth of the economy and create more jobs.

“We are determined to reduce the deficit from 19 percent to 5 percent,” he said.

Morgan Stanley’s CEO James Gorman welcomed the social reforms, calling them essential progress to provide the backbone for the economic reforms.

Meanwhile, French oil major Total’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said that Total was investing heavily in Saudi Arabia and that a petrol network in be established soon in the Kingdom.

When pressed by journalists on the Jamal Khashoggi case – the journalist who was killed in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul last year – Al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia was taking serious measures to hold those involved accountable.

Prosecutors in Saudi Arabia have said they will seek the death penalty for five defendants accused the murder of the journalist Khashoggi.

“We are absolutely sad about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. Everyone in Saudi Arabia is sad. It goes against our beliefs and morals,” Al-Jadaan said, adding that the government has restructured the intelligence service as a result of the incident.