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The 2nd Gulf Intelligence Food Security Forum - March 15th 2012

By:Gulf Intelligence

Date & Venue: March 15th 2012 at The Health Sciences Auditorium, Cert Technology Park, Abu Dhabi.

Under the Patronage: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, U.A.E. Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research & Chancellor, of the Higher Colleges of Technology

Forum Theme: Population

This year we reach another milestone in global population growth, 7 billion inhabitants of Earth. It has only taken us 12 years to add an additional 1 billion people to the planet. This kind of rapid population growth puts strains on environmental, political, and financial resources. The goal of this event is to highlight key issues related to rapid population growth and offer a look at current solutions.  China has mandated a one child policy for a generation and India is now offering cash payments for abstinence or sterilization – what is acceptable in curbing population growth?

Eighty percent of women in India undergo sterilisation as a birth control method, the Earth Policy Institute has revealed. They usually opt for a tubectomy when they're only in their mid-20s.

Governments need to be able to gather information about, track and analyse population trends in order to create and manage sound policies and generate the political will to appropriately address both current and future needs. UNFPA assists countries in every aspect of this, as needed, from developing capacity in data collection and analysis to participating in national, regional and global policy dialogue to supporting demonstrative programmes for purpose of upscaling. 


Forum Special Guest: Fuad Siniora, former Prime Minister of Lebanon

H.E. Mr Fuad Siniora is currently the Head of the Future Bloc in the Lebanese Parliament. He also served as the President of the Council of Ministers in Lebanon from 2005 to 2009. Prior to his Premiership Mr. Siniora served as the Minister of Finance between 2000 and 2004. Mr Siniora was also the Chairman – Chief Executive Officer of the Méditerranée Group from 2004 to 2005 and served on the Board of Arab Bank. He was appointed as acting Minister of State for Financial Affairs in successive cabinets during H.E Rafic Hariri’s tenure as Prime Minister between 1992 and 1998. Between 1982 and 1992 Mr. Siniora held several high level executive posts within the Méditerranée Group. Notably, he was the Chairman-General Manager of Saudi Lebanese Bank and Banque De La Méditerranée and served as Vice Chairman of Banque De La Méditerranée Suisse as well as the Méditerranée Investors Group. Mr. Siniora was also the Chairman – Managing Director of the IRAD, sal and Mal, sal Holding Companies and was a director at the Arab Universal Insurance & Reinsurance Co. Mr. Siniora began his career in the finance industry at Citibank in the early 1970s and then joined Lebanon’s Central Bank in 1977 where he Chaired the Banking Control Commission until 1982. During that time he also lectured the Lebanese University and at his alma mater, the American University of Beirut, where he earned a Masters degree in Business Administration in 1970.

Forum Special Guest: Sir Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof has been nominated seven times in succession for the Nobel Peace Award and in 2005 was awarded the Nobel Man of Peace Award, which was presented to him by Mikael Gorbachev at a ceremony in Rome. Mr. Geldof is a member of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group of eminent personalities, which also includes Bill Gates, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser of Qatar. At the forefront of Geldof's public activities in July 2005 were the Live 8 concerts which took place in London, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome and Berlin to draw attention to the crippling impact that debt had on developing nations. Bob was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 2005 European Hero's and made the front cover of their European Edition on 10th October 2005. In 2007 Bob Geldof was honoured by Newcastle University who awarded him a Doctorate of Civil Law at a ceremony with Gordon Brown MP and most recently Bob was presented with an honorary degree from the University for Creative Arts in Cantebury for his contribution to culture and humanitarianism.The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) conferred Bob with an honorary Fellowship in May 2007 in recognition of his outstanding achievements and contribution to tackling the poverty of his fellow man. Bob Geldof was born in Dublin on 5 October 1954. Geldof entered the music scene as a journalist on Canada's premier underground rock journal Georgia Straight and later formed the band The Boomtown Rats, one of the first acts to emerge during the punk/new wave explosion of 1976/77.

Forum Agenda: 

08.30am - 09.30am       Registration & Coffee Reception

09.30am - 11:00am         Session A

  • Opening Address - Ashraf Hamouda, Head of Partnerships MENA & Gulf, UN World Food Programme. 
  • Key Note Speech - Sir Bob Geldof
  • Feature Forum Interview with Bob Geldof and Audience Q&A  - 'The World at 7 Billion: Sustainable?' 
    Moderator - Sean Evers, Gulf Intelligence  

11.00am - 11.30am       Coffee Break

11.30am - 1.00pm       
Session B

  • Key Note Speech - H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, U.A.E. Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology
  • Speech Presentation - H.E. Fuad Siniora, Former Prime Minister of Lebanon, with introduction by Dr. Mazen Soueid, Senior Economic Advisor to the former Prime Minister of Lebanon.
  • Panel Discussion and Audience Q&A - 'Food Security: Food Aid to Food Assistance'
    Panel - His Excellency Yacoob Omar, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa, Jeffrey Culpepper, Chairman of Agrisecura, Dr. Deborah Schlichting, Senior Economist at Solvus Economics, and Ashraf Hamouda.
    Moderator - Richard Dean, Broadcaster & Author  
  • Closing Comments 

Forum Host - Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT)

Founded in 1988, the Higher Colleges of Technology has grown to be the largest of the higher educational institutions in the UAE, gaining a well-respected reputation for innovative learning. More than 18,000 students attend 17 modern men's and women's campuses throughout the UAE. HCT offers more than 90 different English-taught programs in six core fields, which are all relevant to the UAE’s fast growing and evolving economic sectors. The programs are designed in consultation with business and industry leaders to ensure that the students’ skills are job-relevant and to high standards. All students learn in a technologically sophisticated educational environment that encourages development of independent and life-long learning skills necessary for success in a fast changing world. HCT has awarded over 48,000 academic credentials to its graduates. HCT focuses on meeting the needs of the local economy and community while at the same time meeting international benchmarks and accreditation standards. To do this it has established active links and collaborations with major companies and entities in the UAE and with many of the world’s leading universities and organizations.

Forum Panelists:

HE Yacoob Omar, Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa
A political activist from a young age, HE Yacoob Abba Omar grew up in Durban and joined the ANC, was detained and escaped into exile in 1985, living in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola and Zambia, including eight months in the former Soviet Union. He graduated from the University of Durban--‐Westville (now UKZN) with combined Honors in History and Political Science in 1983 and has since earned a Master of Philosophy in South African Political Economy. He is currently reading for his PhD on ‘Sovereignty and National Identity’, through the Sociology Department of Wits University.  HE Yacoob Omar worked for the Department of Information and Publicity (DIP), of the ANC and in 1998 during the last year of Nelson Mandela's presidency was appointed deputy head of the government’s communications unit. After a few more years with Thabo Mbeki, the second post--‐apartheid president of South Africa, Mr Omar joined the private sector and took a job with Meropa, a PR company based in Johannesburg. In 2003, Mr Omar was appointed South African Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman. After five enjoyable years in Oman, he was transferred to Abu Dhabi in June 2008 where he currently resides with his wife and two children. 

Ashraf Hamouda - Head, Partnerships & Business Developmen MENA United Nations World Food Programme
Ashraf Hamouda has 28 years senior management experience in the Middle East with leading multinationals, including Henkel, Pepsi, Mars, Coca Cola, Rio Tinto Alcan.  He has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait and the UAE, with vast responsibilities in marketing, sales, operations and plant management where he was instrumental in launching over 20 global leading products and brands in the region.  Ashraf has joined the United Nations World Food Programme in early 2010 as Head of Partnerships & Business Development, in charge of the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf.  

WFP - is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds more than 90 million people in more than 70 countries. In emergencies, WFP gets food to the people who need it the most, saving the lives of mothers and children and of victims of conflict and natural disasters. After the initial emergency has passed, WFP uses food to help communities rebuild their shattered lives with the objective of preventing hunger through programmes that use food as a means to build stronger, more food-secure communities. Born in 1961, WFP pursues a vision of the world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life.

Jeffrey Culpepper, Chairman, Agrisecura
Jeffrey has over 35 years of experience working in the Emerging Markets, starting in Upper Volta in 1977 to present. He is currently Chairman and Founder of AgriSecura Partners, a company set up to invest in ethical solutions for food security. He is also Chairman and Founder of SecuraCapital Partners, an advisory firm that helps clients make sustainable decisions in mergers and acquisitions and strategic capital raising. Current projects include work in Iraq, South Sudan, United Kingdom, US and the Caribbean. He is also a Senior Advisor to Credit-Suisse Group. Before establishing AgriSecura and SecuraCapital, he was a Vice Chairman in Investment Banking for Credit-Suisse, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to this, he was CEO of Merrill Lynch Middle East and Africa, a Vice Chairman of Deutsche Bank Investment Banking and Head of Middle East and Africa Investment Banking for Chemical Bank / Chase Manhattan. He has also been involved in setting up, chairing and director of various joint venture companies including Dar Al Istithmar, an Islamic advisory firm in partnership with The Oxford Islamic Center.Before starting his banking career in 1986, he worked for the Vatican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs in the CARITAS department, specializing in refugee and migration projects in Togo, Zaire, Angola, Uganda, Rwanda and Sudan. Prior to CARITAS, he was a Peace Corps volunteer and staff member in Upper Volta, Niger and Mauritania.

 AgriSecura Partners - Is a new company under formation that has been set up to invest in ethical food security solutions. AgriSecura is a for profit commercial investment firm that will make strategic investments in multiple, global, diverse food producers that will have take or pay agreements that will allow investors to take food production instead of financial profit on the behalf of their host countries where there are shortages. Targeted food investments will be rice, wheat flour, edible food oil and white protein. Additional investments will be made in appropriate technology that will assist farmers in developing countries to improve farmer training, yield, water conservation, processing, storage, transportation, marketing and help reduce chemical additive dependency. In developing countries where there are food import/export imbalances, the first 20% due AgriSecura will be held back to support local markets. In addition, AgriSecura will invest 10% of all net profits back into the farming communities to support training, education, healthcare and community development.

Dr. Deborah Schlichting, Senior Agricultural Economist, Solvus Economics and INSEAD Business School
Dr Schlichting has a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Sydney for which she specialised in food security.  She has consulted to large donor organisations and governments  including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and, most recently, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  In the MENA region, she has worked on projects in Yemen, Qatar, Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  She has also worked extensively on food security in Pakistan.  Dr Schlichting has lived in the GCC since 2006, and is resident of Abu Dhabi with her family.  

INSEAD Business School - As one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas from around the world to change lives and to transform organisations. A global perspective and cultural diversity are reflected in all aspects of our research and teaching.

Solvus Economics - provides independent economic advisory services to private and public sector clients operating in the emerging markets of the Middle East and South Asia. Specialising in the provision of pre-feasibility, scoping and baselines studies, Solvus Economics supports clients in their work in the most challenging and interesting markets. With sector expertise in food security, agriculture, private equity, and renewable energy, Solvus Economics focuses on industries that drive sustainable futures. Solvus Economics’ key objective is to provide reliable information to support sustainable and beneficial economic progress. 

Invited Forum Panel Moderator - Richard Dean

Richard is a business journalist and media consultant, based in Dubai. Richard has spent the past decade as a reporter and editor covering the Gulf Arab states. He’s written widely for blue chip media including the Financial TimesThe Economist and Reuters. He currently writes a weekly column for the London Evening Standard. As a broadcaster, Richard launched and presented the award-winning Business Breakfast radio show in Dubai. Between 2007 and 2008 he worked for Bloomberg News in London, as anchor presenter of Bloomberg’s flagship radio show. Now back in Dubai, he presents Business Tonight on Dubai Eye. Richard draws on this extensive experience to train executives on handling both print and broadcast media. He is also a sought-after public speaker.

Forum Producer - TheGulfIntelligence.Com

Gulf Intelligence facilitates knowledge exchange between stakeholders. The strategic communications and public affairs consultancy produces boutique industry forums and roundtable discussion series globally with an architecture that ensures all participants engage in a dynamic and competitive exchange of knowledge towards a shared goal. The Dubai-based firm assists Middle East companies and government entities to tap dormant intelligence and create knowledge reservoirs that can be utilized to bolster their profiles, to communicate with stakeholders and to overwhelm competitors. 

Forum Chairman & Moderator - Sean Evers

In 2009, Sean Evers became Managing Partner and Founder of Gulf Intelligence. He attained a BA from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana in 1988, and went on to secure his law degree at Ireland’s University College Galway. Sean has spent his career building ground-breaking media enterprises, starting with the award winning Punchbag Productions across Britain and Ireland, securing top award at the 1992 Edinburgh Festival. In the mid-1990s Sean Evers was appointed Cairo correspondent for The Financial Times. In 1997 he joined Bloomberg in Dubai and over the following decade built the U.S. media company’s Middle East network from Cairo to Tehran, culminating in 2008 in Dubai being designated as the firm’s fourth global hub. Sean founded Gulf Intelligence in 2009.

Forum Master of Ceremonies - Dyala Sabbagh

Dyala, who has presented the BBC and CNBC’s signature Middle East Shows, is a much sought after Moderator and Master of Ceremonies for government, corporate and charity events across the region that has included The Stars Foundation with Special Guests President Bill Clinton and Queen Rania of Jordan. Ms. Sabbagh’s unique combination of a U.K. public school education with Lebanese origins, international broadcast experience, successful business woman and bilingual in Arabic and English has seen her emerge as a face of the modern Middle East. Dyala, shortlisted for the Emirates Woman of the Year 2009, has been the Master of Ceremonies for numerous Middle East events that have included as special guest His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Sir Bob Geldof, Saudi Oil Minister His Excellency Ali Al-Naimi and the Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar His Excellency Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah.  

Last Update: 14/03/2012