Part 2: How can we achieve a sustainable future for MENA?

Part 2: How can we achieve a sustainable future for MENA?

October 27, 2010 at 09:10am

(Written by Nabil Habayeb, President and CEO, GE in the Middle East & Africa)

The Forum opened to much fanfare. The enthusiasm towards making MENA a critical player in driving global economic growth is unmistakable. With its vibrant and dynamic economy, I am confident that MENA as a region will achieve peer status to the BRIC economies.

One issue that was discussed at the Forum stood out for me today. I was very interested in the session that tried to discuss and address the under-supply of home-grown talent from MENA. It is not enough to bring forth technology to solve a problem. I firmly believe that the path towards a sustainable future for MENA must begin with an educated population, which is keen to step into a leadership role. This would, in turn, spearhead the technology and economic growth needed for a sustainable future.

Developing human capital has been a pillar of GE’s business for over 130 years. I must highlight that developing human capital is a two-part process. It is not enough to increase the know-how of the region with knowledge-sharing, we must also foster local leadership within the region.

GE has a long history of knowledge transfer and technology sharing with our MENA partners. In a partnership, we share GE’s technological capabilities and financial strength with the local know-how of our partners. By increasing GE’s localization efforts and delivering innovative technology, we make sure that we truly deliver on the needs of the region.

GE’s many notable knowledge-sharing initiatives in the region include the GE Energy Fuel Research Center. Set up in collaboration with King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, this research center will focus on alternative fuels and the expansion of their use in the region.

In order to foster local leadership, together with Mubadala, GE recently set up the Abu Dhabi Leadership Development Center (LDC). Leveraging GE’s world-renowned “Crotonville” leadership curriculum, as well as developing programs addressing specific needs of the region, the LDC will focus on executive and emerging leaders with content ranging from strategic thinking, operational excellence and innovation to manager development, financial basics, project management and business simulation.

I am glad that the company I represent share my firm belief that only through developing human capital and fostering leadership will we achieve true localized innovation. This, in turn, holds the key to a sustainable future for MENA.

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