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International and Saudi Athletes Launch Extreme Sports at NEOM

NEOM, Saudi Arabia – International athletes joined their Saudi counterparts during the weekend at an extreme sports extravaganza held to bring NEOM, the world’s most ambitious project, located in the Northwest of Saudi Arabia, into the global spotlight.

Bouldering world champion Juliane Wurm and Saudi female rock-climbing star Yasmin Gahtani topped the bill to kick off a one-day event of rock-climbing, wingsuiting and BASE jumping conceived to showcase the pristine beauty of NEOM with its wilderness, deserts, mountains, valleys, islands, coast and unique coral reefs

Development of the first phase of NEOM, which has a total area of 26,500 km2, will begin in weeks. NEOM Bay, which will be the first urban area in NEOM, will include a wide range of resorts and tourist attractions. NEOM is the flagship project of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said the choice of an extreme sports event to bring global attention to what has been described as “the world’s most ambitious project” was especially appropriate.

“NEOM is all about the unusual and the unexpected. NEOM is futuristic, risky and daring and it’s more than a dream: it’s a plan to enhance how we work and live.” the CEO added.

“The reason we chose extreme adventure sports at the first event in NEOM is because it’s a beautiful environment,” explained Jason Harborow, Head of NEOM’s Future of Sport sector. “Sport is right at the center of what we want to achieve at NEOM, and that means sport for all: male, female, children and athletes with disabilities. NEOM will be for everybody.”

Lead climber Yasmin Gahtani, Managing Director of the Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation, said that she was thrilled to participate in an event which encapsulates NEOM’s ethos of finding, empowering and encouraging talented individuals.

“Being a woman, I’m very honored to be here and very happy to have NEOM’s support,” she said, adding that rock climbing in Saudi Arabia used to be seen very much as a male-dominated sport but her participation at this event will help to change that perception.

It was German-born climber Juliane Wurm’s first visit to Saudi Arabia. “There’s huge potential here,” she said. “I’m surprised and excited to see how this is going to evolve.”

Head Wingsuit Pilot Sam Hardy, British medalist at the World Wingsuit League, was equally thrilled. “I can 100% see NEOM being the place for extreme sports whether it is climbing, skydiving or kite surfing. The landscape, the mountains, the sand areas and the ocean are like nothing I have seen before. That’s what makes NEOM special and unique.”

 

About NEOM

NEOM is the flagship project of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

A vast destination designed to welcome and celebrate the world’s athletes, sports enthusiasts and thrill seekers. NEOM was announced to the public on October 24, 2017, by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).

The name “NEOM” is derived from two words. The first three letters form the Ancient Greek prefix neo- meaning “new”.

The fourth letter is from the abbreviation of Mostaqbal (Arabic: مستقبل), an Arabic word meaning “future”.

As the name suggests, it will be the land of the future where the best ideas, most promising start-ups, established companies, future industries and the best talents are joined to create solutions for the key challenges facing humanity.

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Legendary Arabian Nights Tale Becomes 4D Show Spectacular

SHARJAH, UAE, April 24, 2019 – A breath-taking stage show by the masterminds of the Beijing and Sochi Olympic ceremonies has premiered in Sharjah in the UAE.

1001 Nights:The Last Chapter was inspired by the Arab world’s legendary anthology of folk tales and was staged to celebrate the emirate’s UNESCO World Book Capital 2019 title. At the end of the five-day run at the Al Majaz Amphitheatre this week, production bosses will commence discussions about taking the show on a worldwide tour.

The production was conceived 12 months ago and blends circus performers, dance artists, 4D screen projection and a 50-piece orchestra. It includes 537 theatre artists and acrobats, innovators, technologists and storytellers from 25 countries.

The Last Chapter was pieced together by directors, performers and musicians around the globe with theatrical rehearsals in Montreal, technical work completed in London and Canada and music recorded in Prague and rehearsed in Armenia. Director of Creation Philippe Skaff, who worked on the 2008 Beijing Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, said staging a show based on 1001 Nights was a challenge because so many shows had covered the theme before.

Show director Sebastien Soldevilla, who worked on the Sochi Winter Games ceremonies, said: “If you had to take a lesson out of 1001 Nights, it would be about the power that storytelling has on people across the world.”

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Beer And Digital: A Story Of Co-Creation In Africa

Namibia – The use of digital technology is on the rise in Africa, as proven by Tafel lager’s successful ‘Beat of Namibia’ campaign.

Gone are the days when Africa had a reputation for lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to the adoption of new technologies. Right now, the continent is experiencing a digital boom.

At a number of African Development Bank meetings, the subject of digital in Africa has been discussed extensively. This speaks to the increasingly important role that digital technology plays in the economy, as well as the daily lives of the people living on the continent.

The availability of relatively cheap cell phone handsets and access to established communications networks mean digital media is already being used to connect people and brands in innovative ways, especially in countries like Namibia.

A recent example is that of Tafel Lager, one of the most popular beer brands in Namibia from Namibia Breweries Limited, using social media to include thousands of Namibians in the celebration of the country’s 29th anniversary of independence.

The Beat of Namibia campaign encouraged Namibians to send 15-second video clips via WhatsApp showcasing their musical ability (moves, beats, ululate, etc). These clips were then turned into a song and music video by Namibian producer Sam-E Lee Jones, along with a host of local musicians. Launched on 21 March, Independence Day, the song has been a resounding success.

The entries received totaled in the thousands, illustrating just how easy collaboration can be when digital technology is used correctly.

“With the growth in internet penetration in Africa, and mobile becoming the primary tool through which people engage, projects based on the mechanics of crowd-sourcing and co-creation have been flourishing”, says LucyMay Lubrani-Slabber, Manager: Digital Marketing at Namibia Breweries.

Hendrik van der Westhuizen, Managing Director at Namibia Breweries, agrees: “In a mobile-first continent, we are committed to riding the wave of the digital revolution. At Namibia Breweries, we are enabling an ecosystem of amazing experiences for all our Namibian stakeholders, and beyond.”

The success of the Beat of Namibia campaign proves what many have known for a long time –Africa is in the middle of a surge in digital adoption. This surge is allowing Africans to tell their own stories in collaboration with top brands, like Tafel lager, which have the vision to take advantage of this new digital movement… and it seems it’s only the beginning.

-Ends-

Shows: Beat Of Namibia Music Video – 4:30 min

Other:

ABOUT NAMIBIA BREWERIES LIMITED

Established on 29 October 1920, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) is one of the leading beverage manufacturing companies in Namibia and, indeed, in Southern Africa. Today, with the stated vision to be the most progressive and inspiring company, NBL leads the domestic beer market and has a significant share of the premium beer category in South Africa. NBL’s total exports account for more than half of total production output. In May 1996, NBL listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) and became a publicly owned company.

The Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies (O & L Group), a major Namibian group, is the controlling shareholder in NBL. In 2015 NBL restructured its operations in Namibia and South Africa, resulting in Heineken acquiring Diageo’s indirect stake in NBL. This new joint venture between NBL and Heineken is exclusively focused on a beer portfolio which will be beneficial to growing key brands in South Africa.

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2019 Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Ceremony, Ibrahim Forum, Concert

Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Ceremony Honors Kofi Annan; Forum looks at Immigration and Youth Unemployment

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s annual Governance Weekend honored the past, assessed crucial African challenges, and spread the message of good governance to a young audience, Friday-Sunday 5-7 April.

The weekend began with a tribute to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In speeches from Ibrahim, Ivoirian President Alassane Ouattara, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, Bono and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Annan’s achievements and legacy were honored. The ceremony also featured music from Congolese singer-songwriter Fally Ipupa.

The Leadership Ceremony is at the heart of the 2019 Ibrahim Governance Weekend, the flagship event of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which takes place in a different African country each year.

Saturday, 6 April, saw the Ibrahim Forum, which this year focused on Immigration and Youth Unemployment, and featured discussion with President Ouattara, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Vera Songwe, Founder of the Africa 2.0 Foundation and Chairman and CEO of Ubuntu Capital Mamadou Toure, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina, and President and Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation Aliko Dangote.

The weekend ends with its annual concert, bringing the Foundation’s focus on good governance to a wider, younger audience through music. This year’s line-up included Ivoirian artists Shado Chris, Safarel Obiang, and Serge Beynaud, legend Youssou NDour as well as Fally Ipupa.

Shows:

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (5 April 2019)

1. Wide shots of arrivals, audience and stage

2. Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, welcoming attendees, saying “Tonight actually we are celebrating the legacy of a great son of Arica, Kofi Annan of Ghana. We are celebrating. This is not a wake. This is a party. We’re going to have music; were going to have fun because we are rally grateful for having Kofi in our lives, working with us and inspiring us. So we want to celebrate that; so no handkerchiefs.”

3. Bono speaking about Kofi Annan, saying, “If Kofi was a singer, I thought, ‘What would he be?’ He’d be a crooner, wouldn’t he? I knew he loved Nat King Cole. He was certainly more Bing Crosby than Frank Sinatra. I sang with Frank Sinatra, was proud to, but he had a voice like a fist. Kofi, I thought, turned fists into open hands and outstretched arms.”

4. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed speaking, saying, “Friends, the world today needs more leaders like Kofi Annan. We are living in a period in which we are finding our core values and our multinational foundations under treat. Inequality is certainly on the rise among and especially within countries. Trust in political establishments is on the decline. Intolerance, extremism and virulent nationalisms are increasingly widespread. People are nervous about jobs and about the prospects of their children’s future. Kofi’s example can inspire us as we seek to meet these challenges, especially in our mother Africa.

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (6 April 2019)

5. Shots of audience and forum

6. Former Liberian President and Ibrahim Prize Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaking about youth unemployment.

7. Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Vera Songwe speaking about unemployment, saying, “Rwanda has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Africa. Rwanda is the only country in Africa that has signed the free movement of people. So if you’re an IT specialist on the continent today and you want to move to Rwanda, you go to Rwanda. The good news is also that in West Africa, West Africans, 60 percent of the West Africans say they want more migration. We would say, ‘Are they crazy? Everybody says we don’t want migration. Why are they asking for that?’ And I think Mo talked about it as well.”

8. President and Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation Aliko Dangote in conversation with Mo Ibrahim, speaking about free trade and corruption.

9. Ivoirian President Alassane Ouattara speaking (French), about open borders.

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire (7 April 2019)

10. Highlights of Serge Beynaud, Youssou NDour and Fally Ipupa performing.

Other: Notes to Editors

Mo Ibrahim Foundation

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa. By providing tools to support progress in leadership and governance, the Foundation aims to promote meaningful change on the continent.

The Foundation, which is a non-grant making organisation, focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through four main initiatives:

• Ibrahim Index of African Governance

• Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership

• Ibrahim Forum

• Ibrahim Fellowships and Scholarships

Ibrahim Forum

Established in 2010, the Ibrahim Forum is an annual high-level discussion forum tackling issues of critical importance to Africa. The Forum convenes prominent African political and business leaders, representatives from civil society, multilateral and regional institutions as well as Africa’s major international partners to identify specific policy challenges and priorities for action. Data and research on Forum issues are compiled by the Foundation as the basis for informed and constructive debate.

Ibrahim Prize

The Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee. Previous Laureates: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2018, Liberia), Hifikipunye Pohamba (2014, Namibia), Presidents Joaquim Chissano (2007, Mozambique), Festus Mogae (2008, Botswana) and Pedro Pires (2011, Cabo Verde), as well as the 2007 Honorary Ibrahim Laureate – President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Further contacts:

For more information, please visit: www.moibrahimfoundation.org

You can also follow the Mo Ibrahim Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr:

Twitter: @Mo_IbrahimFdn

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/moibrahimfoundation.org

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/moibrahimfoundation 

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moibrahimfoundation/

ENDS

IGCF Conf 2019 “Indian School Leads Global Movement To Change Education”

lt’s a question that education experts are trying to answer.

How do we prepare children for a technologically advanced world where 65% of today’s jobs will disappear?

Riverside School in India believes it has the answer and has started exporting its model around the world. With the motto ‘I Can’, children as young as four work with local organisations to solve real problems and graduate believing they can achieve their dreams.

Pupil Preya Patel

Students have successfully rebuilt a new butterfly garden for the community, helped with a local sanitation problem and created a new ice cream flavour which they marketed and sold, donating profits to terminally ill children. Teaching methods involve getting the pupils to experience topics first hand.

Riverside teacher Niall Walsh sot

The strategy has the full support of parents who say their children are responsible, mature and ready for life’s twists and turns.

Parent Shweta Garg sot

Riverside pupils have not only been successful in improving the world around them, they have also outperformed most of their peers in India for over a decade. The school is now expanding to China and is in talks with schools and governments in Jordan, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, Lebanon and the US.

This week it was held up as a blueprint for the future of education at an international Government conference in the Middle East.

Author and education expert Marc Prensky sot

While doubters might see such a project as too local and limited to such a small community, Riverside says its principles are universal and can be easily adapted to communities around the world.

The students themselves and the growing international interest, they say, speak for themselves.

Shows: * Audio Track 1 English Narration / Track 2 Natural Sound and Interviews

IV with pupil Preya Patel

IV with teacher Niall Walsh, Riverside School India

IV with parent Shweta Garg

IV with Marc Prensky, education expert

GVs of school

GVs of IGCF 2019

Panel discussion

Background

A leading school in India is exporting its award-winning model around the world to improve children’s chances of getting jobs in an advanced digital age.

Experts estimate that around 65% of jobs will not exist in the future due to technological advances which will see machines replacing roles in the workplace.

Children as young as four at the Riverside School in Ahmedabad are now collaborating with organisations to find solutions to important environmental problems, food shortages and issues in their local community.

School leaders believe that by putting children to work on issues from a young age, they will be better equipped to find jobs. Teachers focus on making children self-aware, adaptable and resilient so that irrespective of technological change, they will have the growth mindset to learn, unlearn and relearn if required.

Community successes include raising awareness of the need for good sanitation in less privileged areas and redesigning a butterfly garden for the community. Other students teamed up with a local ice cream brand and created a new Christmas flavour. They marketed and sold the ice cream, donating a percentage of their earnings to terminally ill children.

Riverside pupils have not only been successful in improving the world around them, they have also outperformed their peers in most of India’s top schools for over a decade.

The award-winning school was held up as a blueprint for the future of education at a conference in the Middle East this week.

Over the next two years three schools in India and two in China will be set up. Organisations and governments in Jordan, Singapore, Malaysia, Lebanon, Israel, the US and Spain are also interested in the model.

The school was set up in 2001 to empower children to help their communities and make positive changes once they graduate. It is one of a small but growing number of schools working in this format.

The ambition is to train large numbers of teachers from around the world and offer online support.

Leading education expert Marc Prensky, from the US, has endorsed the Riverside model. He said there are millions of untapped creative young brains which could help solve community and global problems if children are allowed to work on them.

Education experts and decision-makers have gathered in Sharjah, UAE this week at the International Governmental Communication Forum to discuss, amongst other topics, the future of education and how to best educate children to work in an advanced digital age.

ABOUT IGCF 2019:

Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah launched the inaugural edition of the forum in 2012.

A first-of-its-kind event, the forum aims to build a platform for better communication between governments and their stakeholders to support the government of Sharjah towards creating a participatory dialogue and to develop government communication mechanisms for the benefit of government institutions in the UAE and the region.

Hosted now by International Government Communication Forum, the event witnesses the convergence of local, regional and global media experts along with government thought leaders from all over the world in the emirate of Sharjah. By internationalising the title to ‘International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), the forum is set as an annual event to benchmark Sharjah’s media and communications mandate against global best practices, aims to bring the latest professional standards of various governments’ communication methods to the emirate, seeks to address and embed macro topics to develop a collaborative and participatory dialogue with opinion leaders, heads of government institutions, and other officials.

In addition to a series of panel discussions and workshops, the forum highlights Sharjah Government Media Bureau and its role in developing and overseeing best practices in the field of media relations and communications for government institutions.

Source: Pool Material International Government Communications Forum and ENEX (Access ALL)

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Call For Better Communication In A Polarised World – IGCF 2019

Against a global backdrop of terror attacks, government representatives and thought leaders from around the Middle East and beyond gathered to consider the role of government in the 21st century.

In 2019, it is communication, particularly between government and its citizens, which can offer stability in an unpredictable and politically unstable world.

Pitch the message in a way that polarises communities or fails to speak to the right people, and the results can be catastrophic. On the flip side, good communication reaps not just political popularity but also benefits for a nation.

Comparisons were made between Whitehouse responses to attacks on minorities and those from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand.

A stream of international panellists offered insights into how democratically elected leaders might guide their societies into a 21st century that will be dominated by climate change, Artificial Intelligence, vastly altered employment opportunities and populist politics.

At the end of the first day of the conference there was some optimism from the delegates and also a warning; that governments should be wary of a digital future – a future where technology and social media might become a tool to bring people together or a weapon to drive them apart.

Shows:

00-1’59 Sharjah GVs

2’00-2’40 IGCF 2019 opening ceremony

2’42-3’31 Roger Fisk, head of President Barack Obama’s political campaign, marketing and media strategy

3’32-4’06 IGCF panel discussion

4’07-4’59 Andrew Keen, author specialising in the impact of new technology on business, education, culture and society

5’00-6’18 IGCF 2019 panel discussion

6’19-6’48 GVs of IGCF His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi

6’49-7’00 IGCF 2019 general GVs

ABOUT IGCF 2019:

Under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, Sharjah launched the inaugural edition of the forum in 2012.

A first-of-its-kind event, the forum aims to build a platform for better communication between governments and their stakeholders to support the government of Sharjah towards creating a participatory dialogue and to develop government communication mechanisms for the benefit of government institutions in the UAE and the region.

Hosted now by International Government Communication Forum, the event witnesses the convergence of local, regional and global media experts along with government thought leaders from all over the world in the emirate of Sharjah. By internationalising the title to ‘International Government Communication Forum (IGCF), the forum is set as an annual event to benchmark Sharjah’s media and communications mandate against global best practices, aims to bring the latest professional standards of various governments’ communication methods to the emirate, seeks to address and embed macro topics to develop a collaborative and participatory dialogue with opinion leaders, heads of government institutions, and other officials.

In addition to a series of panel discussions and workshops, the forum highlights Sharjah Government Media Bureau and its role in developing and overseeing best practices in the field of media relations and communications for government institutions.

Source: Pool Material International Government Communications Forum and ENEX (Access ALL)

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