Quality of Life 2020: Growth through arts and culture
Almost ten years ago when, as one of BMG Foundation Pillars, we launched BMG Classics, one of our objectives was enhancing the youth’s “quality of life.”
Our region faces the threat of being overwhelmed by an invasion of commercialized music which does not enhance the tastes and sensibilities of our children. It was, therefore, the foundation’s humble ambition to provide an arena to enjoy the wonder and beauty of classical music as part of life enhancement.
Now, another dream is being realized in our Kingdom: The Quality of Life 2020 Program.
The program promotes the Kingdom’s contribution to arts and culture through the elevation and development of fields including performing arts, filmmaking, poetry, literature and national heritage. By refining the talents of both established and up-and-coming Saudi artists, the Kingdom’s presence on the international arts and culture stage will be greatly enhanced.
The program includes plans for the creation of an island for arts and culture: the opening of theaters, libraries, and the Royal Arts Complex by 2020 to promote the arts and culture sector in Kingdom.
Quality of Life 2020 aspires to provide economic and investment opportunities for sustainable growth and development. Creative industries have proved to be key drivers of economic growth around the world. There are many opportunities for these sectors to thrive in the Kingdom; a number of funding models will be developed to stimulate the private sector to invest in both capital expenditures and operating expenses.
The monitoring is in line with approved governance for measuring achievements. A number of specialized agencies have been established at government level, e.g., the National Center for Performance Measurement, the Strategic Management Office, the Bureau of Spending Rationalization, the Non-Oil Revenue Development Unit and the Local Content and Private Sector Development Unit.
All aim to formulate strategies and set goals, create programs, monitor achievements, and manage projects. This contributes to the development and economic decision-making process through close liaison among all ministries concerned with economic, financial, social and development issues.
Recently, the Board has approved the strategic objectives of Vision 2030 to establish measurable frameworks, benchmarks, and to follow the progress of plans and operational programs continuously and effectively. To me, this is a commitment by the government at the highest level to enhance the lives of its citizens.
I believe most of us, if not all of us, will become part of this beautiful program, directly or indirectly. Next week, I will take my seven-year-old Salma to buy her first violin so she can start taking private lessons.
• Basil M.K. Al-Ghalayini is the Chairman and CEO of BMG Financial Group.