The BA Inaugurates the Sixth Arab Civil Society Forum for Childhood

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The BA inaugurated this morning the sixth Arab Civil Society Forum for Childhood, which is held under the theme "Empowering Arab Children in the Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Beyond”, and takes place from 13 – 14 February 2024. It is organized by the Arab Council for Childhood and Development, in partnership with the Arab League and the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND).

The Forum was inaugurated by Prof. Ahmed Zayed, Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina; Ambassador Haifa Abu-Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Affairs Sector at the Arab League; and Dr. Nasser Al-Qahtani, Executive Director of the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND).

Dr. Ahmed Zayed mentioned that the BA is keen on raising a conscious and educated generation. He highlighted the fact that, since the Library’s opening, it has paid special attention to children, thus seeking to instill in them a love of reading, refine their artistic talents, develop their scientific and cognitive skills, and encourage their creativity through its various programs and activities.

He pointed out that the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a new term that has recently been introduced, is defined as the use of applications for emerging technologies in the field of artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, etc., which may be accompanied by an intellectual revolution required to deal with this advanced technology.

For her part, Ambassador Haifa Abu-Ghazaleh said that the Fourth Industrial Revolution was accompanied by several advantages and disadvantages, and despite achieving a high standard of living and improving health levels, it brought about social changes that affected human resources, especially children.

Additionally, Dr. Nasser Al-Qahtani said that the Arab Gulf Program for Development has dedicated an important space within its development mission to early childhood, which is a crucial stage in human life, and seeks through its projects to help Arab countries formulate modern and solid national plans and strategies for childhood.

In the Forum’s introductory session, Dr. Najat Maalla M'jid, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, said in a recorded speech that digital technologies have become vital for children in their present and future.

Dr. Hany Torky, Chief Technical Advisor and Director of the Knowledge Project – United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the United Arab Emirates, shed light on the Project, which aims to teach students the necessary skills for the labor market in parallel with the current educational systems.  

It is worth mentioning that the Sixth Arab Civil Society Forum for Childhood aims at raising awareness of the importance of empowering Arab children in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with its opportunities and risks, as part of an integrated and interconnected conceptual structure, and according to a new intellectual system that establishes an organic relationship between children and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It also attempts to discuss the reality of Arab civil society for childhood amidst the current developments.


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