Saudi Culture Ministry signs partnership with classical singer Andrea Bocelli

Through its partnership with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation the culture ministry aims to empower participants and their communities through music. (SPA)
Updated 14 November 2019

Saudi Culture Ministry signs partnership with classical singer Andrea Bocelli

  • The partnership is part of his work with UNESCO program "Voices of the World" giving singing lessons to children
  • The program aims to boost emotional and social support for children through creating regional musical bands

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture has signed a partnership with the foundation of classical singer superstar Andrea Bocelli.

The partnership is part of his work with UNESCO program "Voices of the World" giving singing lessons to children.

The program aims to boost emotional and social support for children through creating regional musical bands alongside various learning activities.

Through its partnership with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation the culture ministry aims to empower participants and their communities through music, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Bocelli is considered the world’s most famous classical singer and was the best-selling classical artist between 1997 and 2004.

Abdel Rab Idris, head of the National Music Ensemble at the Saudi Ministry of Culture, expressed his pride in being part of the project.

“We are delighted to be part of the Voices of the World program to support music education in Middle Eastern communities, and in the coming years, we look forward to contributing to the sustainable development of our Arab region through the project,” he said.

The Voices of the World project will be implemented in the coming years in the Middle East.


Saudi labor minister urges Kingdom to increase economic role of charity sector

Updated 33 min 28 sec ago

Saudi labor minister urges Kingdom to increase economic role of charity sector

  • Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi said: “Our effort is to increase the share of the non-profit sector in GDP”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia needed to increase the contribution of the non-profit sector to the Kingdom’s economic and social development, the country’s labor minister told business conference delegates on Thursday.

Moderating a session on the subject during the final day of the Riyadh Economic Forum (REF), Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi said: “Our effort is to increase the share of the non-profit sector in GDP.”

Describing the non-profit sector as the third pillar of sustainable economic development, the minister pointed out that in developed countries its average contribution toward GDP had reached 6 percent.

Referring to a REF study on the sector, he noted that it was only during the last decade that the Kingdom had come to realize its important role in economic development, social participation, job creation, and promoting the culture of teamwork.

“The non-profit sector contributes to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by one percent and our effort is to increase the share,” Al-Rajhi told the session’s attendees.

Presenting the REF study, Yousef bin Othman Al-Huzeim, secretary-general of Al-Anoud Charitable Foundation, said: “This sector, together with its substantial developmental roles, has become a criterion for the overall progress of nations and a yardstick of their civilization and humanitarian activity rather than a mere indicator of individuals’ income.”

He added that the sector had a key part to play in helping to realize the Saudi Vision 2030 goal of achieving sustainable development through diversification, and that the aim was to raise its level of contribution to the country’s GDP from 1 percent to 5 percent by 2030.

The study stressed the need to transform the sector from a mere initiative into an institutional entity concerned with social investment and integration, in cooperation with the public and private sectors.

Among its key findings, the study highlighted the requirement to increase the awareness of sector employees and supervising agencies about the development needs of society.

A lack of detailed information on the non-profit sector in the Kingdom was also having a negative effect on the extent of its contribution to economic and social development, the study found.

The media too had failed to give enough coverage to the sector and rules and regulations often stood in the way of any expansion in individual and community partnerships through charities and trusts.

Princess Nouf bint Mohammed Al-Saud, CEO of the King Khalid Foundation (KKF), said women were the most important enablers of the non-profit sector.

Currently, the most prominent development was the system of NGOs and philanthropic associations, and the stimulation of the sector to implement good governance, she added.

The princess urged the lifting of restrictions on money transfers to the non-profit sector and tax exemptions on charities and donations.

The KKF had issued a number of regulations to help the non-profit sector, she said, but there was still a need for the creation of more executive programs in order to realize Vision 2030 goals.

Rajaa bin Manahi Al-Marzouqi, a professor of economics at Prince Saud Al-Faisal Institute for Diplomatic Studies, in Riyadh, said: “If we look at any economy, it consists of three important sectors, which are the government, private, and non-profit sectors. There is a need to develop the non-profit sector in such a way that it sustains in the long run and contributes to socio-economic development.”