Corporate Governance Forum for Bahraini Youth
Corporate Governance Forum for Bahraini Youth
Author: Aya Ibrahim

I remember my first call with the Ministry of Youth & Sport Affairs’ team back in 2021 when we were discussing the need for raising awareness on the importance of corporate governance best practices among the Gulf region’s youth. We spent months planning and deciding on the best ways to engage with the youth, driven by the common mission of instilling a sense of purpose and meaning within the Gulf region’s youth. With nearly 50% of the Gulf region’s youth aspiring to start their own business over the next five years, it is important for today’s business leaders to educate the future workforce on how to build sustainable enterprises that create inclusive value and generate economic and social impact, becoming agents of change. 

Following months of hard work and collaboration between our 2 organisations, it was a truly rewarding experience developing the first youth forum on Corporate Governance in Bahrain. The 2-day forum that took place on 10 & 11 October 2022, titled “Masari: Corporate Governance Forum for Youth in Bahrain. Masari is an Arabic word that is derived from Masar, which means road Thus, Masari means, “The road I am taking.” As the name indicates, the goal of the forum was to help the Bahraini youth find the route that leads to fulfilling their ambitions and starting the journey to becoming successful entrepreneurs and future business leaders.

The forum provided youth with a solid understanding of good corporate governance practices and their importance for businesses’ survival, sustainability, and growth.

The wonderful lineup of expert speakers from leading organisations & Tech start-ups across the Gulf region included: Noor Bukamal, the Head of Corporate Governance and Board Secretary at Batelco; Mpho Netshiombo, the Head of People at KPMG Bahrain; Maryam AlAhmed, the Senior Manager, Human Capital at BNH Group; Jordana Semaan, the Head of Human Resources (Gulf and Asia) at Investcorp; Dishang Patel, the Founding Partner & COO at Leading Point; Hadi Dawani, the CEO at Eatco.

Each speaker added value through graciously sharing a piece of their vast experience on different areas of governance such as business ethics, ESG, integrity, inclusion, and the benefits of building a diversified workplace along with tailored interactive activities that ensured that the audience formed marvellous synergies through working in teams.

We were also honored by the attendance of the Minister of Youth & Sport Affairs, His Excellency Aymen Almoayed, who listened to the Bahraini Youth’s thoughts and concerns on setting up successful businesses and generously shared his thoughts and expert opinion. This painted a beautiful picture of dedication, passion, and in fact a good governance practice from the Ministry’s end.

The whole experience was very rewarding, not only because of the great line-up of speakers of subject-matter experts, but most importantly the level of engagement that was in the room, and the amount of learning and knowledge that each future business leader acquired. Mostly, the energy of curiosity and eagerness to learn that was in the air on both days of the forum.

A key element of the forum included the launch of the Masari Challenge, Case Study Competition for youth between the age of 18-35 years, this includes University students and Entrepreneurs in Bahrain to submit Case Studies of a leading company’s corporate governance best practices. The Case Study Competition is in line with PI & MYSA’s mission to grow a knowledge base on regional responsible business practices, and to enhance the capabilities of future business leaders. The case study competition has been designed to give students and entrepreneurs in Bahrain real-world experience and invaluable insights into corporate governance practices within companies.  Each case study provides students with a unique opportunity to research and study corporate governance strategy, policies, and processes within select companies in Bahrain and UAE. The organisations joining the challenge are: AlSalam Bank, Bahrain National Holding Batelco, Benefit, Chalhoub & Talabat.

Stay tuned to know more about how the challenge will go, and the key learnings and insights that will be shared by the Bahraini youth members in the next blog!

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