First American university to open doors in Bahrain

The new AUBH campus will feature modern classrooms and labs, as well as a state-of-the-art auditorium, student commons and athletic facilities.
Updated 26 March 2019
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First American university to open doors in Bahrain

The American University of Bahrain (AUBH), the first purpose-built American university in the country, is set to open its doors in September.

Built on a 75,000-square-meter plot in the Riffa area, the AUBH campus is designed by the US-based architects Ayers Saint Gross (ASG), who have designed a number of US university campuses. The new AUBH campus will feature modern classrooms and labs, as well as a state-of-the-art auditorium, student commons and athletic facilities.

AUBH has received institutional approval by the Higher Education Council (HEC) of the Ministry of Education in Bahrain and plans to launch its schools of engineering, architecture and design, and business in the 2019-2020 academic year. 

The AUBH board selected Dr. Susan E. Saxton, an internationally experienced executive, to lead AUBH as founding president. 

“We are very confident in the academic prospects of the Kingdom and look forward to the American University of Bahrain solidifying the country’s position as an education hub in the GCC and wider Arab region,” said Dr. Saxton.  

“Higher education plays an integral part in advancing economies by addressing the skills needed for the next generation of workforce. The American University of Bahrain will provide the necessary academia to support the Kingdom’s 2030 vision while enriching students with a holistic university experience,” she added. 

“Students enrolling in AUBH will be exposed to a university life that is very much influenced by collaborative learning, critical thinking and technical education in an American style university environment. Beyond the academic education that the students will receive, they will receive mentorship in soft skills and competencies including problem solving, negotiation and creative thinking with the purpose of empowering the next generation with the confidence, leadership and professionalism skills required in the workforce. They will also be able to experience social, athletic and other extra-curricular activities making AUBH home,” said Dr. Saxton.

Prior to joining AUBH, Dr. Saxton was the chief executive officer, Int. and SVP Innovation and Emerging Strategies for the University of St. Augustine, a Laureate Education institution; chief strategy and development officer for the International Baccalaureate Organization in The Hague; and chief strategy officer, chief academic officer and senior vice president for Laureate Education Inc. Global Products and Services Division. Dr. Saxton holds two doctorate degrees in business and human services, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) from the University of Liverpool in the UK, a Master’s of Science in Business Administration (MSBA)   from Boston University and a BA from Wellesley College in the US.


Ma’aden acquisition supports Vision 2030

Updated 24 April 2019
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Ma’aden acquisition supports Vision 2030

The acquisition of an African fertilizer distribution company by Ma’aden, the largest Saudi mining company, will advance Ma’aden’s Strategy 2025, which includes plans to expand operations in the Kingdom and grow sales globally. The acquisition will also support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which seeks to diversify the economy, increase non-oil exports, boost the Kingdom’s non-oil GDP, and reinforce the mining sector as the third pillar of Saudi industry, after oil and gas and petrochemicals. 

Ma’aden will make its first international acquisition with the purchase of the Mauritius-based Meridian Group, which is due to be completed by September for an undisclosed fee.

The publicly-listed Saudi mining company will acquire an 85 percent stake in the company in an all-cash deal that will provide one of the Middle East’s largest phosphate producers with 3,000 staff and a network of operations across southern Africa, from Malawi to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Phosphate is used to produce fertilizer that is essential in replacing the phosphorous mineral that is removed from soil when agricultural crops are harvested. 

“This acquisition marks a very important step in Ma’aden’s strategy to build global distribution channels for our fertilizer products,” said Darren Davis, president and chief executive of Ma’aden. “As we continue to build one of the largest producers and exporters of phosphate fertilizers in the world, ensuring an efficient route to key growth markets is critical to our success.” 

Agriculture forms a significant portion of the economies of all African countries. As a sector, it can therefore contribute to major continental priorities, such as eradicating poverty and hunger. The agri industry can also boost intra-Africa trade and investments, rapid industrialization and economic diversification, sustainable resource and environmental management, and create jobs, human security and shared prosperity.

The Southeast African market, like most of the African continent of 1 billion people, is experiencing increased demand for phosphate fertilizers which industry analysts expect to continue growing by 5 percent annually over the next decade, fueled by population growth and increasing education in the use of fertilizers.

“Ma’aden is acquiring unparalleled access to complementary distribution, blending and product-development capabilities in this fast-growth region,” said Hassan Al-Ali, Ma’aden’s senior vice president for phosphate. “This transaction will provide us with logistics advantages in Southeast Africa, and greater knowledge of on-the-ground customer requirements, both of which will be instrumental in better serving our customers.”

The Saudi global mining giant will secure the remaining 15 percent of Meridian’s equity over four years on agreed terms linked to the performance of the African company, which distributes approximately half-a-million tons of fertilizer through its network of granulation and blending plants, warehousing complexes and port facilities. 

HSBC acted as Ma’aden’s financial adviser on the deal and Baker McKenzie was the Saudi company’s legal adviser for this acquisition.