The Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND) invited bodies entitled to nominations for its international prize for pioneering human development projects to submit their nominations for the four prize categories in the field of empowering youth through initiatives and increasing job opportunities. AGFUND Executive Director, Mr. Nasser Al Qahtani, indicated that national, international, and regional organizations as well as civil societies, universities, and research centres are the institutions entitled to prize nominations. In a statement to the Saudi news agency, Al Qahtani mentioned that the AGFUND prize with its continuous success is the outcome of the developmental thought of HRH Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz , AGFUND President and founder of a number of other developmental organizations, e.g. the Arab Open University, Banks for the Poor, the Arab Women’s Centre, and the Arab Council for Childhood. Al Qahtani added that when Prince Talal established AGFUND in 1980, with the support of the Arab Gulf countries’ leaders, he wanted this organization, with the Gulf as its base to set off and heal Man’s wounds everywhere by means of the aid and support it provides as well as by its financing and implementing of projects. The Prize was launched in 1999 based on the same humane and developmental approach of Prince Talal, its focus being on development in its most important fields. Through the Arab Gulf Programme, he established the Banks for the Poor, the Arab Open University, and he also leads the Arab strategy for early childhood development, boosts NGOs and civil society organizations, and supports women’s development and empowerment. Al Qahtani expects that the prize will attract many nominations in 2011 since its theme next year concerns an important sector of all societies, namely youth. He pointed out that the competing projects in the four categories are those to do with “Empowering Youth through Entrepreneurship and Job Opportunities.” The four prize sub-themes are the following:
- The role of national and international organizations in supporting and boosting the policies and programmes of developing countries for the empowerment of youth through entrepreneurship and job opportunities (dedicated to national, regional and international projects);
- The role of NGOs in the empowerment of youth through entrepreneurship and job opportunities (dedicated to national NGO projects);
- The efforts of governmental bodies in the Saudi-isation of pioneering initiatives for the empowerment of youth through entrepreneurship and job opportunities (dedicated to ministerial and public institution projects);
- The efforts of individuals in the empowerment of youth through entrepreneurship and job opportunities (dedicated to individual projects).