Developing residential areas, introducing new educational programmes and building new shopping complexes are underway in the Capital Governorate. They are part of future initiatives that will focus on economic growth and empowering the youth, said Capital Governor Shaikh Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al Khalifa.
He was speaking to the GDN on the sidelines of the Government Forum 2016, which was held yesterday at the Isa Cultural Centre under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
The opening address was delivered by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier.
“The governorate’s projects for the future will focus on economic growth,” said Shaikh Hisham.
“The way forward will ensure that the Crown Prince’s vision for Bahrainis will be the prime objective of the governorate.
“These include new shopping malls, educational programmes and openings focusing on innovation and technology, programmes for the youth, housing and health.
“Developing residential areas is already underway with ramshackle houses being revamped, which has been completed in Manama and we have started in other areas nearby.”
However, he said the governorate faced several challenges, mainly budget restrictions.
“We live in a dynamic economy with the region facing changes and our aim is to be different from our neighbours,” he added.
“The main way to achieve this goal is to empower young citizens with new ideas in innovation and technology fields so that they can set their feet across the region.”
Government officials and minister attended the forum that aimed to explore ways in which greater sustainable diversification and economic prosperity could be delivered.
The event will focus on five main topics; Bahrain’s Vision 2030 Achievements, Private Sector Role in Driving Growth, Sustainability and Advancing Infrastructure, Enhancing Public Services and Government Priorities, and Bahrain’s Next Phase of Development.
“This forum is really important as it is bringing everybody to the same table where the government’s formidable initiatives are discussed in their holistic picture,” said Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) chief executive Ausamah Al Absi.
“It puts them in context of the vision 2030 and gives people a target to look forward to and at the same time to see how we are approaching those targets.”
“We have had (many challenges) including the financial crisis, our own internal issues in 2011 and the oil crisis, and there will always be challenges and we are prepared for them.
“Despite these we made some very important progress and we learned from these challenges.
“We have become more resilient, flexible, agile and able to take on whatever comes.”
Bahrain’s growing population and the need for future planning meant that the forum was hosted at the “right time”, according to Electricity and Water Affairs Minister Dr Abdulhussain Mirza.
“The forum comes at a right time and from the Electricity and Water Authority’s point of view, it is a platform which will help us assess and plan further on the distribution and saving of these two vital resources on a sustainable basis,” he said.
“Bahrain is expanding with a growing population and we can’t remain idle and be happy with what we have of these resources and we need to be prepared for the future.”
He also stressed that the oil crisis did not have any long-lasting negative effects on Bahrain due to quick action by the government.
Bahrain adopted a series of austerity measures last year to offset the fall in oil prices, including lifting government subsidies, increasing oil prices and cutting spending.
Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Kamal Ahmed said the forum would also encourage government officials to be more transparent.
“It will expose the challenges ahead and will motivate government officials and ministers who will leave with a commitment to work united for the benefit of citizens,” he added.