Doha: A vision for an organization like the Qatar Foundation would be ambitious if it emerged today. The scale of this ambition was even more astounding in the 1990s. But turning ambition into reality requires financial resources – and, at the start of its journey, that was one of the biggest challenges facing the fledgling Qatar Foundation. was facing.
In The Untold Stories of Qatar Foundation, HE Yousef Hussain Kamal, former Minister of Finance and one of the key figures in creating a unique organization, explained how overcoming this challenge was based on Qatar’s recognition of the importance economic investment 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 efforts 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 which 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.
At the time, HE Youssef Hussein Kamal highlighted decisions taken by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which classified education spending as an investment, which reinforced the QF’s vision.
Explaining why QF also decided to invest 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 the Qatar’s participation in global research that aligns with national needs and attracts researchers to the country for the purpose of locating knowledge and then investing in it for the benefit of the national economy.
HE Yousef Hussein Kamal also took advantage of 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 – stressing the change of name from Qatar Petroleum to Qatar Energy, and its main strategic focus on environmentally friendly technologies.
“It is imperative that companies improve their contributions in the field of scientific research, alongside their contributions in fields such as sport and community, especially companies listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange,” he said. declared.
The speaker from the Untold Stories of Qatar Foundation, HE Dr Ibrahim Al Ibrahim, said: âThe economic situation at the time was efficient, 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. QF helps the country achieve the goals of all pillars of the national vision.