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NAMA’s five-year journey of advancing women gives thousands opportunity to capitalise on their potential

SHARJAH, 14th December, 2021 (WAM) — What began five years ago for NAMA Women Advancement (NAMA) as a mission to advance gender equality by creating enabling environments in support of inclusive growth and development, is today transforming the lives of thousands of women, not only in the UAE and the region but in many countries across the world.

Founded by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and under the directives of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of NAMA, the UAE-based organisation designs and implements impactful initiatives that support women across economic, professional and social sectors through its three affiliates – Sharjah Business Women Council (SBWC), Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council (Irthi) and Badiri Education and Development Academy (Badiri), in partnership with local and global entities.

Speaking about being part of NAMA’s powerful growth story at the five-year anniversary celebration event, Reem Bin Karam, Director of NAMA, said, "Since its establishment in December 2015, NAMA has been successfully implementing its initiatives to support women through its three affiliates – Sharjah Business Women Council, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, and Badri Education and Development Academy, in partnership with local and international organisations and institutions."

She added, "NAMA’s success can be attributed to its strategic action plan with a clear objective and measurable results that has helped all three entities grow sustainably under the directives and wise leadership of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. At NAMA, we take a holistic three-step approach to women’s advancement through a comprehensive support system that helps women excel professionally and economically by upskilling them, increasing their efficiency and qualifying them to enter the labour market; investing in their talents and helping them set up SMEs or grow their businesses; and by creating an ecosystem that allows them to not only grow professionally and personally, but also play an active role in shaping an equitable world for women while contributing to the nation’s economic development."

"NAMA’s achievements are a direct result of not only choosing the right objectives, but also investing in hardworking and passionate people who have taken it upon themselves to turn this grand vision into a reality that has changed the tide for women not only in Sharjah and the UAE, but across the world," Bin Karam concluded commending the NAMA staff on their dedication.

Footprints in South East Asia, Beirut and Nigeria

Over the years, NAMA and its affiliates have supported women through several local as well as global projects. The entity has contributed to building more resilient communities in South East Asia by promoting the participation of women and girls in peacebuilding efforts and providing them with the skills to counter violence and extremism and transform societies affected by conflicts. By partnering with Global Network of Women Peacebuilders (GNWP) through their Girl Ambassadors for Peace Programme (GA4P) in Bangladesh and Indonesia, NAMA supported cross-learning and knowledge-sharing between young women and girls, as well as their economic empowerment through skills development and entrepreneurship training.

Closer to home, NAMA partnered with the UAE-based The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and Save the Children to provide a safe space for young girls and boys affected by the tragic Beirut blast in 2020 to receive psycho-social support and help them process trauma and express their emotions in a healthy way.

Aligning with its goals to secure a better future for children through education, NAMA teamed up with TBHF and Malala Fund in 2020 pumping in more than AED200,000 to fund educational opportunities for more than 65,000 girls and boys as well as strengthening teaching capacity by training 300 teachers in Nigeria.

Over the years, NAMA has engaged with grass-roots organisations in extending support to women in need, including providing acid attack victims in Pakistan with psychological and psycho-social assistance to facilitate their social reintegration and employment.

Investing in women’s economic inclusion

Under the ongoing Flagship Programme Initiative (FPI), NAMA partnered with UN Women to empower women entrepreneurs worldwide and close existing gaps in women’s access to procurement markets by addressing both demand and supply side constraints. NAMA also co-hosted the biennial Women Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS) in Sharjah to strengthen women’s business skills and provide them with an effective networking platform.

NAMA has also contributed to more inclusive economic growth across several counties in the region. Its partnership with Education for Employment (EFE) has been extremely productive in Jordan, Egypt and Palestine, connecting youth – including 50 percent females – to meaningful employment opportunities.

In collaboration with TBHF, NAMA contributed to supporting Kenyan women’s economic inclusion through skills development training and education in Nanyuki village.

The entity’s initiatives to support economic empowerment of women in MENASA region includes: mentorship programmes and career development opportunities – in partnership with Global Thinkers Forum – across different sectors; collaborating with the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) platform to support women leaders who wish to drive change, innovation and sustainability in order to advance UN’s SDG Agenda 2030; supporting gender mainstreaming in business practices and addressing barriers to women’s career advancement in the private sector through its Irtiqa platform; and contributing to policy discussions at the national and international level by providing insights on various issues affecting women’s inclusion in society, including most recently at Expo 2020 Dubai.

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Hamriyah and Deira ports record AED 12.133b in customs declaration value for first nine months of 2023

Dubai Customs plays a crucial role as the frontline defense for community security, consistently advancing its customs centers to safeguard and facilitate maritime trade. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, recently visited Creek Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center to evaluate progress and oversee ongoing efforts for continuous customs service development. During this visit, several executive directors, department heads, and customs center managers were present.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, accompanied by Rashid Al Dhabah Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Seae Customs Centers Management, conducted inspections at Khor Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center. Managers Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Salman and Majid Salem Al Tawilah provided insights into workflow progress and accomplishments. Over the first nine months of this year, 62,454 customs declarations were processed, totaling AED 12.133 billion, with 19 seizures recorded during the same period. A visit to Hamriyah Port Customs Center showcased an advanced container X-ray inspection device, supporting increased inspection operations.

Subsequently, visits to Khor Customs Center and Deira Port highlighted achievements, including a notable seizure called the “Wheelhouse,” which successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle 243 kilograms of narcotics into the country. Commending customs employees, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih emphasized the pivotal role of maritime customs centers in ensuring community security and facilitating trade. The department collaborates for efficient goods clearance and acknowledges employee efforts
during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the department’s support for global efforts to revive maritime navigation and international trade.

Musabih clarified that the department’s advanced capabilities in monitoring and inspection enable it to keep pace with the UAE’s rapid foreign trade growth. Supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, the department aims to double foreign trade and enhance economic partnerships with key global markets. Efforts to boost customs inspector efficiency continue through training courses, ensuring their ability to thwart smuggling attempts. Continuous development of X-ray scanning
devices and the K9 customs dog unit further enhances contraband control achievements. Rasheed Al-Dabah explained that the forthcoming period will witness the advancement of new initiatives and mechanisms in the realm of inspection and examination. These initiatives are grounded in a forward-looking perspective to introduce cutting-edge technologies utilized in examining maritime transport vessels, wooden ships, and ships engaged in fish trade.

He remarked, “Our endeavors are harmonized to enhance performance in sea customs centers, concurrently focusing on bolstering monitoring, tracking, and technical support activities to yield optimal outcomes through continuous and productive collaboration among all specialized teams within the department. The Customs centers in Deira, Al Khor, and
Hamriyah Port Customs Center shoulder their vital responsibilities in safeguarding society and facilitating maritime trade through Dubai Creek and Hamriyah Port, supporting the ongoing growth of the national economy.”

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Dubai Customs Hosts Sharjah Housing Delegation to Strengthen Government Communication Ties

Dubai Customs, represented by the Corporate Communication Department, warmly welcomed a delegation from the Sharjah Housing Department. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the duties and responsibilities of the
Corporate Communication Department and its affiliated divisions. The delegation also aimed to explore the awards received by the department, notably the recognition as the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2023.

Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of Corporate Communication Department, along with department managers, extended a cordial reception to the Sharjah Housing delegation, which included Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication, Nada Sivan, Head of the Public Relations and Events Department, and Hamad Saleh Al Hamadi, Head of
the New Media Department. Bin Gharib highlighted the department’s commitment to strengthening communication with government entities to exchange practical experiences and knowledge. The delegation was briefed on Dubai Customs exceptional performance in customs operations and other facets.

The meeting delved into discussions on potential avenues for collaboration, with the Sharjah Housing delegation. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role played by Dubai Customs’ Corporate Communication Department, customs administrations, and centers in ensuring security and safeguarding society. The delegation was presented with an overview of the department’s working mechanisms, awareness campaigns, events, and activities conducted internally and externally, aligning with Dubai Customs esteemed reputation.

Furthermore, the Sharjah Housing delegation acquired an understanding of the best media practices adopted by the Corporate Communication Department, showcasing its outstanding performance in enhancing knowledge and media dissemination to all partners. This has resulted in the department establishing and fortifying relationships with local and international media
entities. The presentation also encompassed the factors contributing to the department’s receipt of the award for the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award.

Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication at Sharjah Housing, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dubai Customs Corporate Communication Department, acknowledging its excellence and significant contribution to enhancing the department’s standing. Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed Sharjah Housing’s commitment to fostering ongoing visits and meetings with Dubai Customs, aiming to achieve the highest level of coordination and benefit from the Corporate Communication Departmen’s experience in securing numerous local and international awards.

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Zayed Sustainability Prize opens submissions for 2025 cycle

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has officially announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions.  Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Commenting on the launch of the 2025 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “Since 2008, the
Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the
way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision.” In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the Prize has increased its funds from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million. The Prize will reward US $1 million to each winner in the organisational categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to US $150,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held during COP28 UAE. To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the Prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised. For the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges. The evaluation of each submission to the Prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria of Impact, Innovation, and Inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners across all six categories.   Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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