King Salman, Niger president discuss ties

Updated 11 May 2015

King Salman, Niger president discuss ties

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman met Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou at the royal palace on Sunday and held wide-ranging talks to discuss mutual interests in order to further enhance partnership between the two countries.
The visiting president decorated King Salman with the National Merit Medal, the highest medal of his country.
Earlier, the president was received at the air base by King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar.
“The two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and exchanged ideas on further improving it in different fields,” said an official at the Niger Embassy in Riyadh.
They also discussed regional and international issues of common concern during the meeting, he added.
The Niger president was accompanied by a delegation comprising Minister of Defense Mahamadou Karidjo, Minister for Planning, Land Management and Community Development Amadou Boubacar Cisse, Minister of Education Mariama Elhadj Ibrahim Ali, Minister of Public Health Mano Aghali, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, African Integration and Nigers Abroad Aichatou Boulama Kane and President of the Presidential Court Saido Sidi.
King Salman hosted a luncheon in honor of the Niger president and his delegation, which was also attended by ministers and senior Saudi officials.
The Niger president also met Minister of Education Azzam Al-Dakhil and discussed cooperation in the field of education.
A large number of Niger students study in the Kingdom.
The Kingdom attaches great importance to strengthening its economic relations with African countries including Niger. The two countries have many areas and promising sectors of cooperation that include petroleum, petrochemicals, maintenance of oil refineries, industrial products and mining, where Niger can benefit from Saudi experience.
Opportunities exist for common investments in the agricultural and livestock sectors, where Niger could be one of the African countries for Saudi agricultural investments abroad to ensure food security.

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

Updated 24 January 2020

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.”