Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman will celebrate Omani Youth Day, which falls on 26 October every year. Since the outset of the renaissance, youth have been the focus of the State’s attention.
His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik reiterated this approach at all events, the latest of which was the meeting of the Council of Ministers on 12 October 2021.
His Majesty the Sultan underscored the role of youth in the development process, noting that youth constitute the present and future of nations. In this context, His Majesty laid emphasis on the significance of establishing mechanisms and channels of communication capable of portraying the efforts made to answer the needs of development in all sectors.
His Majesty the Sultan stressed the importance of listening to youth and responding to their aspirations. For this purpose, His Majesty the Sultan instructed governors, in cooperation with the departments concerned, to hold regular meetings with youth, to take up issues of concern to them and listen to their views in a manner that enables them to perform the role expected of them in promoting the march of nation building.
This has been a longstanding conviction expressed by His Majesty the Sultan during his Royal speech on 23 February 2020, when he said, “Youth are the wealth of a nation, its inexhaustible resource and the arms that build it. They are its present and future. We will always listen to them, and sense their needs, interests and aspirations which will definitely be accorded the attention that they deserve.
“We stand today with firm invincible will on the threshold of a vital stage of development and nation building. It is a stage in which you all have participated in drawing out its prospects in Oman Vision 2040, and contributed to devising its economic, social and cultural goals, in a manner that embodies a clear-cut vision, great expectation towards a more prosperous future. We are all aware of the challenges imposed by the current global conditions, and their implications to the region and to us, since we are part of this world, influencing it and are influenced by it.”
“We will also accord full attention and support to develop a comprehensive national framework of recruitment, considering it one of the fundamental pillars of the national economy.”
An observer of the Omani renaissance would perceive that it has been established with youthful hands. This is evidenced by the speeches of the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour, who said that youth are the backbone of the nation.
The tangible accomplishments made in every spot in the Sultanate in the north, the south, the east and the west of the country—and in the plains, the mountains, the cities and everywhere.
His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham Al Said, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, gave a speech on the occasion of Omani Youth Day during which he stressed the Sultanate’s firm belief in the role of youth in carrying forward the banner of the renewable renaissance. “The government has accorded great attention to youth since the beginning of the renaissance and empowered them to shoulder their responsibilities in the nation-building process.
Omani youth proved that they command a high sense of national responsibility. They comprehended the prerequisites of progress and proceeded to achieve it through a clear-cut vision based on partnership in promoting the renewable renaissance while at the same time interacting with the outside world and its culture for the sake of coexistence in a climate of love and peace,” HH Sayyid Theyazin said.
He added that, in pursuance of the Royal directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik to accord full attention to youth and empower them, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth has been established as an overarching institution that accommodates the aspirations of youth, their innovations and their aspirations. The role of youth has been underscored through their participation in formulating Oman Vision 2040, which affirms that the government depends on youth in promoting the development process. Therefore, the government embarked on developing the skills of youth and incorporated their projects and initiatives in the streamline of domestic development, keeping pace with global advancement spearheaded by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the emergence of new economic activities.
According to Census 2020, the number of Omani youth stood at 549,969 and some of them contributed directly to the formulating Oman Vision 2040.
The vision lays the foundations of an empowered youth community whose individuals espouse innovation and take pride in their culture, values of citizenship and a decent life of sustainable welfare, health and productivity. A comprehensive, lifelong education is an inseparable part of this system through which Omani youth can develop their skills to be able to contribute to a better future in a country whose institutions enjoy a sense of flexibility and responsibility. An example of this is the fact that the media is in close contact with youth, so that it could open channels of dialogue with them.
Oman Vision 2040 underlines the need to upgrade the quality of education and develop educational programmes to enable educated youth to compete at the local and international markets and utilize their skills to promote high levels of productivity needed for building a vibrant economy.
Oman Vision 2040 inches closer to youth every day, not only by developing educational establishments, but also by applying international standards for modern, technical education, scientific research and innovation.
The strong bonds between academic and research institutions and the private sector played a great role in spreading awareness among individuals and society. This mandates commitment to values of performance linked to productivity, as well as the establishment of a national order to take care of talented youth and utilize their innovative ideas in the best possible manner.
Omani youth excelled on many occasions. Over the past five years, more than 1,000 youths took part in a number of activities under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth. The activities included Oman Quizzes, the Youth Excellence Award, Omani Youth Day, the Omani Researcher, the Young Author.
By 2020, 360 innovation initiatives saw the participation of 67,410 youths.
More than 260 Omani researchers took part in different local programmes and competitions, among them the Falling Walls Lab, Marathon of Biodiversity Ideas, OCCI Innovation Award, programmes of transforming 4IR graduation projects into small enterprises, Smart Applications on Covid-19 Control, London Youth International Youth Science Forum and Lindau Nobel Laureates Forum.
More than 300 Omani youths took part in 2020 scientific research and innovation events.
Qais Salim Al Maqrahsi, CEO of Sada Youth, said, “Omani youth always strive to contribute to Oman Vision 2040 and hope that their contribution will promote the priorities of the vision.” He calls for more involvement of youth in shaping programmes and projects that will respond to their aspirations.
Marwa Abdullah Al Rawahi, Project Specialist at Royat Al Shabab (youth vision) company, said Omani youth have received a good share of empowerment and that various establishments have been set up to look after their needs. “This has resulted in tangible results over the past few years.”
Oman Vision 2040 played a major role in achieving the ambitions of youth in technical, literary, sports and other areas, she said, adding that youth have also influenced the vision in many ways.
Eng. Abdullah Hamad Al Kalbani, Sales Engineer at Seven Seas Petroleum company, said that the 26th of October, Omani Youth Day, was designated by the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimour. He added that “Omani Youth Day rekindles in us the enthusiasm to do more for the sake of our dear country.”
Al Kalbani urged Omani youth to work hard in developing their skills and capabilities, bearing in mind the significance of technology, notably the advancements of the 4IR, for the achievement of goals of Oman Vision 2040.
Malak Khamis Al Alawi, CEO of Tamkeen company, said that Omani Youth Day is a remarkable occasion that proves young people’s ability to adapt to address difficulties and make change. She affirmed that Oman Vision 2040 responds to the aspirations of youth and focuses on their needs. In this respect, she quoted the numerous projects and initiatives developed during this period to promote youth welfare.
Rahma Darwish Al Shaqsi, Head of Service Development at Oman Post, said that Royal speech always accords attention to youth, who constitute the cornerstone of renewable renaissance, as stated in the Royal speech of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik. She said, “His Majesty the Sultan made us, youth, partners in Oman Vision 2040 and allocated certain institutions to look after our needs and our potential to contribute to the nation-building process in the upcoming period.”