MANAMA // The first phase of an ambitious five-year programme to train 1,000 Bahraini youths in leadership skills before they take management posts in government and the private sector is to begin on Sunday. The new programme, which falls under the wings of the Bahrain Economic Development Board - a semi-private autonomous agency responsible for formulating the economic development strategy of Bahrain - will cost US$2.6 million (Dh9.55m) in its initial stage, according to Nasreen Faqihi, the executive manager of the Bahrain chapter of the Young Arab Leaders organisation.
"A five-day Arab Leadership Forum [ALF] will be held between Oct 19 and 23 to train 200 Bahraini youth in leadership skills. They will be the first patch of 1,000 young leaders we hope to train over the next five years," she said. According to Ms Faqihi, the participants, aged between 24 and 28, have been selected after careful consideration and co-ordination with government and private sector to ensure that those who soon will be taking management positions undergo the training.
"We wanted to ensure that as many as possible benefit from the training, that is why we opted to hold the forum here instead of sending them abroad for training and carefully selected the participants to maximise its impact," she said. "The goal is to develop the capabilities of young Bahrainis who are preparing to take over management positions in their jobs so they could be more effective in the workplace."
She said business skills developed in the programme would also build character and relationship qualities. Warner Evans, an author and a corporate strategist, and Jerome Joseph, an author and brand strategist, are among the business leaders who will lead the training during the forum. Participants from the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories and Jordan are expected to attend.
"We want to ensure that these links among the participants are developed and built on as it is part of the programme goals, that is why we have plans in the pipeline to develop a network of communication for the participants in the forum so they can remain in touch with each other," Ms Faqihi said. The Young Arab Leaders is a network of 500 of the region's leaders from the business community, politics, government, academia, media, arts and other fields, who seek to improve the state of the Arab world by developing the skills of youth and creating an environment for future leaders to develop across all sectors of Arab society.