IsDB webinar explores trade & technology transfer between Arab-African countries

IsDB webinar explores trade & technology transfer between Arab-African countries
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Updated 08 February 2021

IsDB webinar explores trade & technology transfer between Arab-African countries

IsDB webinar explores trade & technology transfer between Arab-African countries

Under the umbrella of the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) program, three Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group private sector entities hosted a webinar on key trade finance and investment components aimed at fostering regional trade. The entities included the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), in collaboration with IsDB Group business forum “Thiqah.” More than 1,000 development institutions, sovereign funds, banks, investment and private equity companies, and key government and corporate sector representatives were in attendance. 

The event on Feb. 4, which focused on the investment, trade and insurance pillars of the AATB program, showcased potential business opportunities existing between the two regions particularly in key industries such as agro-food, health and pharmaceutical, building and construction materials and equipment, as well as machinery and electrical equipment. Projects and activities involving the growth of trade-related investment and knowledge and technology transfer between the Arab and African countries were explored with the aim of growing the AATB member base.

The webinar was inaugurated with keynote speeches from Oussama Kaissi, chief executive of the ICIEC; Ayman Sejiny, chief executive of the ICD; and Hani Salem Sonbol, chief executive of the ITFC.

In his opening address, Kaissi, said: “Despite the tragedy presented by the pandemic, these unprecedented times have brought development institutions together to seek solutions and encourage innovation, teaching us that the best way forward is together. ICIEC believes that through the AATB program, our multilateral efforts can enhance pandemic responses, capacity building efforts, and economic security, providing the citizens of Arab and African countries the knowledge and materials to build a better future.”

Sonbol said: “Since its launch in 2017, AATB has become the foremost platform in driving trade between the Arab and African regions, with important initiatives that strengthen growth and prosperity in beneficiary countries. The program facilitates financial and technical support for trade and investment-related activities aimed at promoting intra-trade between the regions through specific interventions and dedicated trade finance and investment components.”

Sejiny said: “ICD will lead the investment pillar of the AATB program, which aims to mobilize and allocate resources to impactful investments in Arab and African countries, including recovery packages to overcome the adverse impacts of COVID-19. In line with our global approach, we aim to expand existing and build new partnerships with financial institutions to design and launch special financial packages for the benefit of member countries under the umbrella of the AATB program.” 

Key outcomes from this session noted considerable progress in terms of launching and implementing the projects involving the growth of trade investment and technology transfer between Arab and African countries. The session also addressed the key challenges limiting the business community and urged trade and investment authorities of the countries in both regions to nurture an environment where the parties can benefit from the opportunities that exist.


Evernex aims to help companies reduce carbon footprint 

Evernex aims to help companies reduce carbon footprint 
Updated 06 December 2021

Evernex aims to help companies reduce carbon footprint 

Evernex aims to help companies reduce carbon footprint 

In 2018, four percent of worldwide carbon emissions came from digital activities. At our current rate of expansion, this will grow to eight percent by 2025. Manufacturing of IT hardware such as cell phones, laptops, servers are major contributors of increasing carbon footprint.   

Life cycle analysis shows that raw material extraction and manufacturing represents 40 to 80 percent of the total CO2 emissions for a piece of equipment.  

As businesses refine their processes to reduce their total carbon footprint, sustainable IT practices will form a key part of every company’s Corporate Social Responsibility and overall drive to carbon-zero.

In addition to reducing their consumption, companies need to find ways to extend the life of their equipment and help reduce the demand for new assets. One way institutions and companies are already moving to a more sustainable IT strategy is by extending their IT equipment lifespan through maintenance rather than hardware refreshment.

Evernex Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of the global independent IT Life Services company Evernex, is one company helping others reduce their impact by extending the life of IT equipment through maintenance, preventing the need for the manufacture of new assets. 

Repairing helps slow the cycle of production within the IT industry. It reduces the demand for new raw materials and prevents carbon emissions that come from equipment production. 

Evernex currently maintains over 360,000 IT systems in more than 165 countries and has a global network of 45 offices. With over 2,000 clients in the Kingdom, it is a major contributor to bringing sustainable solutions to IT and the preferred maintenance partner for multinational companies looking for both engagement and expertise.


LuLu, EFAA mark World Disability Day

LuLu, EFAA mark World Disability Day
Updated 06 December 2021

LuLu, EFAA mark World Disability Day

LuLu, EFAA mark World Disability Day

LuLu joined hands with EFAA to support and spread awareness and kindness on World Disability Day. 

Lulu, in association with Dammam Disability Charitable Trust, honored around 50 participants at an event comprising elders and children, who are making a mark in this world against all odds.

The memorable event featured entertaining and encouraging stories and songs, emphasizing that the differently-abled are not alone in this fight.  

Rana Taibah, general manager of the trust, appreciated LuLu's efforts and support in marking the World Disability Day.


ADIB appoints Nasser Al-Awadhi as group CEO

ADIB appoints Nasser Al-Awadhi as group CEO
Updated 07 December 2021

ADIB appoints Nasser Al-Awadhi as group CEO

ADIB appoints Nasser Al-Awadhi as group CEO

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s board of directors has announced the appointment of UAE national Nasser Abdulla Al-Awadhi as ADIB’s new group chief executive officer, starting from Jan. 9, 2022 subsequent to UAE Central Bank approval.

Al-Awadhi brings more than 33 years of experience in banking and is a leading practitioner in Islamic finance, having held a variety of senior strategic, commercial and leadership roles. He joins ADIB from Dubai Islamic Bank where he served as the group chief of consumer banking, since March 2018, during which he contributed to the development of various transformational programs and implemented various strategic initiatives. He was also a board member of several leading national institutions.

In addition, he held the position of head of strategic relationships at Dubai Islamic Bank from 2014 to 2018 and head of business development at Tamweel Company from 2011 to 2014.

Jawaan Awaidha Suhail Al-Khaili, ADIB’s chairman, said: “The board is pleased to have appointed Nasser Al-Awadhi as group CEO. Nasser was our standout choice and brings a wealth of leadership experience in both Islamic finance and banking. He will now lead ADIB through our next stage of expansion under our 2025 growth strategy.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the leadership team for playing a central role in leading ADIB over the last two years. During that time and despite the pandemic, the bank has grown significantly, now serving over 1 million customers, delivering sustained profitability, and putting in place a world-class digital infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, Al-Awadhi, the newly appointed group CEO, said: “It is a great privilege to be joining ADIB at a time when the bank is achieving strong momentum, and as it sets out to deliver its 2025 growth strategy. I wholeheartedly share ADIB’s vision to become the world’s most innovative Islamic bank combining the very best digital services with innovative Islamic products. I look forward to working with the bank’s team to take advantage of all available opportunities in the market and contribute to ADIB by providing the best possible value to our valued shareholders.”

ADIB is a leading bank in the UAE with more than 133 billion dirhams ($30.7 billion) in assets. It has a presence in six strategic markets: Egypt, where it has 70 branches, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Sudan, Iraq and Qatar.


Huawei delves into faster digitalization

Huawei delves into faster digitalization
Updated 07 December 2021

Huawei delves into faster digitalization

Huawei delves into faster digitalization

Huawei Day KSA 2021 was held in Riyadh on Nov. 30, bringing together industry leaders, ICT experts, ecosystem partners and consultants to delve into the experience and implementation of digital transformation.

Participants, comprising high-level customers and government officials, also discussed how to solve customers’ core business difficulties and seize digital economy opportunities.

Saudi Arabia is driving government and industry digitalization through robust government policies. Guided by Vision 2030, the country is rolling out ambitious plans and initiatives such as smart government, cloud-first, new energy, and Industry 4.0. ICT, as the key enabler of industry digitalization is accelerating these efforts. Technologies such as 5G, AI, cloud, and optical are vital technologies for digitalization in government, energy, education, and healthcare industries.

Eric Yang, CEO of Huawei in Saudi Arabia, delivered the keynote speech titled “Innovating Nonstop for Faster Digitalization.” He said that Huawei’s commitment is to support Saudi public and private organizations with innovative technologies to enable new business models and deliver superior customer experiences. Huawei’s technologies such as 5G, cloud and digital energy are helping businesses in various verticals such as energy, finance, and the public sector by digitizing their operations, securing their data and, more broadly, promoting national economic development.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Ahmed Hamdan Altheneyan, deputy minister for Future Jobs and Digital Entrepreneurship, Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, said: “Huawei is a long-term strategic partner for MCIT, for which we are grateful. The company’s support in talent development through Seeds for the Future, the annual ICT Competition and other initiatives have inspired thousands of Saudi youth to pursue careers in the digital field and contributed to the continued digital transformation of our industries.”

Altheneyan and Yang later presented awards to the six winners of the Huawei ICT Competition finals in Saudi Arabia.

Organizations can only embrace digitization if they have the required digital talent. Partnerships with universities and governments to cultivate talents for the future is therefore crucial.


Microsoft partners with GMIS to fast-track digital manufacturing through cloud computing

Microsoft partners with GMIS to fast-track digital manufacturing through cloud computing
Updated 07 December 2021

Microsoft partners with GMIS to fast-track digital manufacturing through cloud computing

Microsoft partners with GMIS to fast-track digital manufacturing through cloud computing

The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit and Microsoft have announced a partnership to help digitally transform the manufacturing sector by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, cloud technologies, and the Internet of Things.

The partnership will explore end-to-end manufacturing solutions in the digital era, including capabilities that seamlessly connect people, assets, workflow, and business processes, empowering organisations to be more resilient. It will also highlight security, as investments are increasingly being made in building risk management and compliance solutions.

As a strategic partner to the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit, Microsoft will participate in the fourth edition of the Summit (#GMIS2021) to share best practices as a global leader in digital transformation and cloud computing to support organizations in upgrading their businesses, increasing their productivity, driving innovation, and evolving ecosystems.

Sayed Hashish, general manager of Microsoft UAE, said: “The rapid transition to remote work caused a spike in adoption of cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools. Manufacturing companies have been gradually moving toward data-driven automation, IoT, machine learning and AI, and 2020 has shown just how critical those capabilities are. At Microsoft, we are fully committed to empowering manufacturers in making these transitions to digital, through cutting edge offerings such as Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing as well as our focus on research through initiatives such as Manufacturing Core, which focuses on innovative ideas and technological solutions to make manufacturing more efficient and competitive.”

Following the launch of its data centers in June 2019, Microsoft has accelerated digital transformation in numerous ways in the UAE.

Badr Al-Olama, head of the GMIS organizing committee, said: “Cloud storage and file-sharing services are increasingly offering tremendous value to enterprises as they bring flexibility, scalability and cost savings. In an ever-changing digital landscape, such technological advancements are crucial. We are delighted to welcome Microsoft as a partner and look forward to jointly highlight solutions and opportunities in the field for businesses to continue to grow in a safe and digitally savvy environment.”