Mona Al Marri:
Lamia Abdulaziz Khan:
Dubai, 16 December 2019: Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) announced it will host the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Summit during the Global Women’s Forum Dubai (GWFD) 2020. The events will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We-Fi, an international strategic partner in the Forum, is a global platform, housed in the World Bank, dedicated to advancing women entrepreneurs in developing economies. The Initiative has activities planned in over 50 countries and aims to reach close to 115,000 women and mobilize $2.6 billion. The GWFD 2020 will host We-Fi’s MENA Regional Summit in Dubai during 16-17 February 2020.
Organized in collaboration with DWE, the We-Fi MENA Regional Summit will bring together high-level government representatives from MENA and We-Fi donor countries, leaders from international organizations, their private and public-sector partners, We-Fi Leadership Champions, and women entrepreneurs from the region. All We-Fi Summit participants will also be invited to participate in the comprehensive program of the GWFD 2020. The We-Fi MENA Regional summit sessions will be organized in collaboration with We-Fi’s Implementing Partners, including the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank Group (including the International Finance Corporation).
The summit aims to spur action in order to accelerate women’s opportunity to thrive as entrepreneurs in the MENA region. It will also showcase programs, institutions and research that help women entrepreneurs access finance, markets, training and mentoring, and enhance policies. Among the summit’s objectives is to inspire by hearing from women who have overcome obstacles to become entrepreneurs in the region.
A distinct collaboration
An agreement detailing the collaboration between the entities was signed by DWE and We-Fi at Madinat Jumeirah on 12 December 2019. Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, the Executive Director of GWFD 2020 and Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat signed the agreement in the presence of Jamal Al-Kibbi, Program Manager for GCC Countries at the World Bank; Sultana Saif, Director of Women Development Department at DWE; and Angela Bekkers, We-Fi’s Senior Communications Officer.
Reflecting on this distinct collaboration, H.E. Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Managing Director and Chairperson of the Board of Dubai Women Establishment (DWE), said: “The UAE has always been a champion of enhancing women’s participation in leadership roles – the partnership with We-Fi is just another example of how the country is expending every effort to support female entrepreneurs. Given the Initiative’s commendable efforts in support of women, it is an honour to collaborate with a distinguished international Initiative such as We-Fi during the Global Women’s Forum Dubai, an important event to advance gender balance in the region. Hosting the We-FI MENA Regional Summit in Dubai is testament to the emirate’s commitment to support women across both a regional and international level. This partnership is in line with our national strategy to establish and foster international collaborations to elevate the standing of women in the UAE. This strategic partnership will also support our efforts to manifest the UAE wise leadership’s vision and national goals to advance gender balance and women empowerment.”
Reflecting similar sentiments, Lamia Abdulaziz Khan, the Executive Director of the GWFD 2020, expressed her pleasure at the distinct collaboration with the Initiative, stating: “We are pleased that We-Fi is the international strategic partner due to its extensive and tangible efforts in empowering women at the global level. Holding the Initiative’s MENA Regional Summit this year in Dubai will enrich and provide an added valuable dimension to the discussions and results of the Global Women’s Forum Dubai 2020, through which we seek to reach the best policies to empower women and enhance their governmental, economic, social and future role.” Lamia Khan also highlighted that concerted global efforts, such as those that will occur during the GWFD 2020, will effectively contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030, particularly Goal 5 – ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’.
Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat, said: “The Regional Summit is a flagship event for our Initiative, and we are very pleased that we can collaborate with Dubai Women Establishment and use the GWFD to propel more support for women entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa. Starting and growing a business is one of the most powerful tools for women to build a better future for themselves and their communities and in this event we will discuss actions to make this a reality for women around the world. The event also underlines our partnership with the UAE government, one of the first contributing donors to We-Fi.”
The GWFD 2020 will take place on 16-17 February 2020 at Madinat Jumeirah. Hosted and organised by Dubai Women Establishment (DWE) under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE Gender Balance Council, President of Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the GWFD 2020 will build on the theme ‘The Power of Influence’ with the aim to highlight dynamic women in governments and the business world, as well as their impact and contributions across the global economy and society.
The GWFD 2020 aims to focus on the importance of adopting policies and building partnerships that elevate women’s role and influence in four main focus areas: government, economy, society and future. Each of the four areas will be addressed through extensive sessions led by local and global speakers and experts from various sectors.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) was formed on 1 January, 1992, by a decree issued by the late Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum to merge Dubai Electricity Company and Dubai Water Department, which had been operating independently before then. Both organisations were established by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in 1959. Dubai Government fully supported the Electricity Company and the Water Department to provide Dubai’s citizens and residents with a continuous and reliable supply of electricity and water. Since then, DEWA has made considerable achievements, to be ranked as one of the best utilities in the world. DEWA provides services today to more than 900,000 customers with a happiness rate that reached 95% in 2018.
The UAE, represented by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has maintained its first global ranking, for the third consecutive year, with scores of 100% in all Getting Electricity indicators in the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report. The report measures the ease of doing business in 190 economies around the world. DEWA achieved competitive results in global benchmarking, surpassing the private sector and major European and American utilities in efficiency and reliability. DEWA raised the efficiency of its energy production by using the latest technologies and adopting technological innovations, surpassing European and American utilities, by reducing losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks to 3.3% compared to 6–7% in the US and Europe. DEWA also achieved the lowest customer minutes lost per year (CML) in the world of 2.39 CML compared to 15 minutes in Europe and was also able to reduce water network losses to 6.5% in 2018 compared to 15% in North America, which is one of the best results in the world.