Turning an ambition like the Qatar Foundation (QF) into a reality required financial resources – and, at the start of its journey, that was one of the greatest challenges of the nascent Qatar Foundation.
In The Untold Stories of Qatar Foundation, HE Yousef Hussain Kamal, former Minister of Finance and one of the key figures in the founding of the organization, explained how to overcome this challenge was based on Qatar’s recognition of the economic importance to invest in education.
âIt is no secret that in the mid-1990s, Qatar did not have the financial capacity to invest in a project such as QF which required large sums to achieve its aspirations, because at this stage, as economists we have focused our attention on oil and gas projects, âhe said during the discussion.
âHowever, investing in education was a noble goal for the country’s leaders, who stressed that supporting the education sector was a priority. And at the time, I noticed how much our leaders insisted on this.
âWhen we discussed the idea of ââQF, I felt that it was a noble national project for all Qataris: a project that would help to consolidate the heritage of Qatar and strengthen the role of Qatar. Qatar on the global economic scene. This meant that investing in education would be a profitable investment.
He highlighted decisions taken by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which classified education spending as an investment, which strengthened the QF’s vision.
As for QF investing in scientific research at the national level, in the context of sustainable economic development, he said: âQF’s investment in this area at the start of its journey was based on promoting Qatar’s participation in the global research aligned with needs and attract researchers to the country with the aim of locating knowledge and then investing in it for the benefit of the national economy.
He also used the discussion to call on Qatar’s private sector to invest in research, development and innovation, and underlined the importance of innovation in building a sustainable economy – highlighting the shift in focus. Qatar Petroleum’s name in Qatar Energy, and its key strategic focus on environmentally friendly technology.
The speaker from the Untold Stories of Qatar Foundation, HE Dr Ibrahim al-Ibrahim, reviewed the economic landscape of Qatar in the mid-1990s, at the start of the creation of the QF, saying: âThe economic situation at that time was effective, but investing in education was a goal.
âOnly a few years after the creation of QF, aspirations had matured, flourished and were reflected in Qatar’s national vision. Until today, QF supports the country to achieve the objectives of all the pillars of this national vision – human, economic, social and environmental development. ”