Saudi rights body empowers women, youth through partnerships, workshops

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The two organizations will work to promote human rights through the empowerment of women. (SPA)
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The two organizations will work to promote human rights through the empowerment of women. (SPA)
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Updated 09 September 2020

Saudi rights body empowers women, youth through partnerships, workshops

  • People with special needs, along with women and children, will be supported in accordance with international agreements and standards

JEDDAH: The Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the charitable group Alwaleed Philanthropies will work to promote human rights through the empowerment of women and youth following a partnership agreement between the two organizations.

Under the memorandum of cooperation (MoC) signed by Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, head of the HRC, and Princess Lamia bint Majid, secretary-general of Alwaleed Philanthropies, people with special needs, along with women and children, will be supported in accordance with international agreements and standards.

Support will also be directed at women who have suffered psychologically, socially or economically in the Kingdom as part of the foundations’ initiative, which also includes training lawyers of the Waeya program in partnership with the UN.

Al-Awwad said that the commission hopes to have partnerships with all agencies involved in protecting human rights, and praised the Alwaleed Philanthropies’ efforts in humanitarian services.

“This MoC is one of the bases of the foundation regarding the empowerment of women and youth and the development of societies. We need to work together to support the empowerment of women in the Kingdom, and to address all the challenges they face in economic and social development, as well as reduce violence and the oppression of young and special-need people’s rights,” said Princess Lamia.

Meanwhile, the HRC has highlighted the important role that civil society institutions have in protecting human rights by expanding their capacity to deal with international UN human rights’ mechanisms in line with the sustainable development goals, the Saudi Vision 2030 and their role during the Kingdom’s presidency of the G20.

This came during Al-Awwad’s inauguration of a training workshop, titled “Promoting the capacities of the civil society institutions in dealing with UN international human rights mechanisms,” held by HRC as part of a technical cooperation program with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The workshop’s first day of sessions will focus on the international human rights system and the role of civil society institutions in protecting and promoting human rights. An overview of the recommendations and remarks elaborated by UN mechanisms to the Kingdom will also be offered.

On the second day, sessions will discuss the role of civil society during the Kingdom’s G20 presidency and the activation of its role in the human rights work in line with the sustainable development goals and the Saudi Vision 2030.

Al-Awwad said that protecting human rights is a religious and national duty, and efforts should be combined in order to develop and encourage those rights and respect fundamental freedoms.

Cooperating with the relevant authorities is a central pillar for work in the area of human rights, he added.
 


Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

Updated 27 November 2020

Saudi investors share expertise on Saudi corporate VC opportunities

JEDDAH: The two-day Step Saudi 2020 event featured two prominent Saudi figures in the field of investment on the second day.
Hashim Al-Awadi, CEO of Tech Invest, and Salman Jaffery, chief investment officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, both shared their expertise, with the latter saying it is more beneficial for corporations to start a venture capital (VC) arm than invest from their current mergers and acquisitions arm (M&A).
Managing partner at Class 5 Global, Zach Finkelstein, who moderated the session on the second day of the event, said the San Francisco-based venture fund invested in a number of companies in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is particularly interesting to us, and in the past, our partners have invested in such regional companies as Careem. We’re excited to explore the development of the corporate VC space and how it can impact places like Saudi Arabia,” he added.
When asked why a corporation should start a VC arm instead of investing from an M&A team, and why have a separate corporate Venture Capital arm in the first place, Jaffery answered that “it brings faster results.”
“I think the easiest answer to that is just speed and agility,” he said. “Getting that response quickly to the market. VC deals can take weeks or months whereas an M&A transaction can take up to a year or longer, and also similarly, if you’re trying to then come out of it, it’s harder to come out of a joint venture agreement or an M&A as opposed to a VC.”
Al-Awadi explained his opinion a traditional VC perspective, and said: “We like the fact that corporations can invest from both their M&A arms and their VC arms if they have them.”
He highlighted that VC arms can invest in a greater variety of companies. “You have the intelligence, you know the market and if you’re looking at specific technology where we don’t have a lot of expertise we trust that you (other venture capitalists) know the market and you can evaluate that technology better to see if it has the capability and potential for growth or not.
“Eventually, you do have an M&A arm that will provide an exit for us, for an incentive for this company to work hard to grasp the intention after having been invested in by the VC arm of this big corporate to maybe look into making a partial agreement or complete acquisition, which really adds an incentive for the company to grow and attracts other investors and also attracts talent to join the company and help it grow even more.”
He said both the VC and M&A arm are important for company growth. “We tend to look at corporate investors through both arms as complementary to what we do when we have both of them around.”
The Kingdom has obtained a high reputation among investors internationally through the years, especially after the economic and social reforms of Saudi Vision 2030.
Step Saudi is home to the Kingdom’s best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives and digital enthusiasts. The last edition of Step Saudi featured four content tracks, more than 100 startups and over 1,500 attendees.