Snap Inc. Launches Family Center Content Controls for Snapchat

Snap Inc. has unveiled a new feature in Family Center that will enable parents to set limits on the type of content their teens can consume on Snapchat. Family Center was launched last year to support positive parental control and a safer digital future.

The feature will also allow teens to notify their parents when they report an account or a piece of content to Snap’s Trust and Safety team. This is coupled with the publishing of Snapchat’s new eligibility Content Guidelines, all of which seek to make Snapchat a better, safer place for Snapchatters.

Family Center aims to offer parents the tools to gain insight into who their teens are communicating with, in a way that simultaneously respects their teens’ autonomy. Snap will continue to roll out additional tools over time to help make Family Center more customized to the needs of individual teens as well as their parents.

Worth mentioning, Snapchat reaches more than 90% of 13-to 34-year-olds in the Kingdom and 71% of parents. As countries in the MENA region continue to adopt emerging technologies, safe online spaces for the region’s youth must be prioritized. In recent years, the UAE has emphasized the need to enhance digital well-being, providing a safe environment for everyone, especially teens and children. Snapchat realizes its responsibility towards its users and the wider community and is dedicated to remaining a safe, fun, and curated platform.



Minister of Planning: Women Represent 30% of Winners of Egypt Government Excellence Award

Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Hala El-Said, stated that the activities of the awards ceremony for the third round of the Egypt Award for Government Excellence witnessed the honoring of a number of state institutions and an elite group of distinguished Egyptian cadres who excelled at their work.

El-Said added, during her speech at the ceremony, that the honor comes as a culmination of efforts to improve work, raise the efficiency of institutions, and contribute to providing distinguished services that meet the aspirations and satisfaction of citizens, in a way that enhances the state’s efforts to achieve the broader, more comprehensive goal of improving the quality of life for the Egyptian citizen.

The minister pointed out that this year’s celebration coincides with the five years since the signing of the cooperation agreement in the field of developing government work between the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future in the United Arab Emirates.

She further explained that the signing of this agreement came to enhance the joint ties between the two countries and to develop procedures and strengthen institutional capacities through the exchange of expertise, experiences, and best practices in the areas of developing government services, institutional performance, and capacity building between the two countries.


Women-led Small Businesses in UAE to Shine on Xare Women’s Day

Global fintech platform, Xare, has announced a new initiative, “XareHerWins”, designed to promote and celebrate women-led businesses this Women’s Day. The program seeks to showcase small, women-run businesses on the Xare platform at no cost and provide marketing support to help them grow.

According to the Ministry of Economy, half of all SMEs in the UAE are women-owned, while 48% of women business owners are also the sole owners of their companies.

Moreover, it’s widely acknowledged that women entrepreneurs start businesses at a rate 1.5x higher than men, often taking on the toughest issues the world is facing and fostering technologies that will influence our future. Yet, female-led firms receive just 2 percent of all venture capital the world over.

As per Wamda, of the enterprises that raised capital in the UAE last month, 99% were led by men.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report 2022, it will take 132 years to close the gender gap worldwide. Despite the strides made over the last few years in achieving gender parity, women-backed enterprises do not get adequate opportunities to grow, especially small businesses.

Xare is on a mission to make finance accessible and equitable for everyone – including small businesses and women-owned enterprises. As a user-generated finance platform, it enables anyone to shop on the platform using a credit /debit card that was shared with them by someone. While Xare has partnerships with some of the biggest consumer brands in the UAE, like Barakat, SharafDG, Mumzworld, and Carrefour, users don’t often discover the incredible products offered by small, local businesses.

XareHerWins is open to all women-run small businesses across various industries, such as clothing, jewelry, home décor, and more. It will feature the businesses at no cost on Xare and provide marketing support aimed at helping them grow their customer base and increase sales.

AGDA Launches “Women in Diplomacy Index 2023” Report on International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA), the region’s leading center of excellence for the development and training of future diplomats and leaders, launched its Women in Diplomacy Index for 2023.

Following the launch, the Academy will host an interactive virtual panel discussion with leading diplomats and speakers from the UAE and around the world on the topic of gender equality in foreign affairs and diplomacy.

The new and expanded 2023 index now tracks the percentage share of women ambassadors across all 193 United Nations (UN) member states.

The 2023 Index shows that women remain underrepresented in ambassadorship positions across the world, as only 20.54%of all ambassadors are women. The data also shows that Canada takes the lead in having appointed the highest share of women ambassadors and permanent representatives, with 51% of its ambassadorial posts being held by women.

Andorra, the Maldives, and Monaco’s share of women ambassadors stand at a close 50%, while Finland, Ghana, Nicaragua, Sweden, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and the United States (US) all have percentage shares of women ambassadors ranging between 41% (for the US) and 49.5% (for Finland).

Taken together; these countries constitute the top 12 countries where gender equality in their diplomatic corps has been achieved or is within close reach.

Progress toward gender equality in diplomacy overall has been slow and uneven. For the countries of the G20, their average share of women ambassadors increased to 21% in 2023, compared to 17% in 2018, which is commendable.

When looking at a larger dataset of 40 countries, the average share of women ambassadors increased by just 1% since 2022 and stands at 23% in 2023, indicating a slow rise in the number of women in top diplomatic posts.

The Women in Diplomacy Index 2023 also underscores how active the UAE has been in advancing women’s leadership in diplomacy becoming one of the top four performers for the MENA region. Since 2018, the UAE has had a 5.5% increase in its appointments of women ambassadors, placing them in key cities around the world, such as Paris, Washington DC, and the UN in New York.

ADGA continues to be a strong advocate and ally for gender equality, women’s empowerment, and women’s rights. In 2022, a notable 55% of AGDA’s workforce was comprised of Emirati women, and a significant 60% of its graduating classes since 2016 have been female.


First Official Dubai Fashion Week Kicks Off in Dubai Design District

The first official Dubai Fashion Week (DFW), founded by Dubai Design District (d3), a member of TECOM Group PJSC, and the Arab Fashion Council (AFC), is set to make its debut, kicking off this week in d3 as well as in other exciting new venues and locations across Dubai.

The official Dubai Fashion Week, launched at an intimate event last month attended by dignitaries, government officials, and fashion and culture media, becomes the region’s definitive fashion fixture.

This first edition will see new spaces and locations used for catwalk shows and city-wide engagements comprising worldwide brands and homegrown regional talents, fortifying Dubai’s presence as a global fashion hub and international reference for the entire industry.

Dubai Fashion Week evolves from the successful legacy of Arab Fashion Week. Running from Friday, 10 March to Wednesday, 15 March 2023, the new official fashion event is set to draw international collaborators, design-makers, and visitors, with an extensive gathering of media and buyers arriving in Dubai following Paris Fashion Week, to view the Autumn Winter 2023/24 collections.

The event underscores TECOM Group’s commitment to cementing Dubai as a global creative capital and builds on the Emirate’s status as a global hub for business growth and investment.


UAE Takes Part in WMO 76th Executive Council Session in Geneva

Geneva- Switzerland – As Part of UAE’s broad climate action efforts, a delegation headed by H.E. Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director General of the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), and President of the Regional Association II (Asia), participated in the Seventy-sixth Session of the Executive Council (EC-76) of World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which ran from 27 February to 3 March 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The meeting’s agenda included a discussion on Executive Council members’ recommendations on WMO’s draft Strategic Plan for 2024-2027, designating new acting Executive Council members, and confirming the date of the next WMO Congress from 22 May to 2 June, and the Seventy-seven Session of the Executive Council (EC-77) from 5-6 June 2023.

The session also discussed the proposal of the WMO Secretary-General to incur the maximum expenditure of the organization for the upcoming financial period, as well as the recommendations of the WMO’s new technical commissions including the Commission for Weather, Climate, Water, and Related Environmental Services and Applications (SERCOM) and the Commission for Observation, Infrastructure and Information Systems (INFCOM) based on the organization’s long-term goals.

On the sidelines of EC-76, Her Excellency Lubna Qassim, Deputy Permanent Representative of UAE Permanent Mission to United Nations in Geneva, introduced His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al Mandous and his candidacy for WMO’s 2023-2027 presidency and held bilateral meetings with Permanent Representatives of the UN Mission in Geneva for Germany, France, Canada Jamaica, China, India, USA, Turkey, Finland, Australia, South Africa, and the European Union. During these meetings, Dr. Al Mandous shared with them his future vision, plans, and priorities to develop WMO’s work mechanisms, bolster global water security, and set up early warning systems to protect vulnerable communities which were well received by the Permanent Representatives who expressed their best wishes to Dr. A Mandous as the UAE’s official candidate for WMO presidency election.

During his participation in EC-76 sessions, Dr. Al Mandous presented his Presidential Report that included the 2024-27 regional priorities of the Asian region which was well up-taken into the Organization strategy. He also nominated Mr. Obayashi Masanori from Japan as the acting EC Member from RAII ASIA.

Dr. Al Mandous also highlighted the key achievements and upcoming plans of RAII and presented the outcomes of the recent RAII Management Group held in Abu Dhabi, which included the approval of the updated RAII Operating Plan and RAII Regional Partnership Strategy, as well as the submission of its regional priorities for 2024-27 and Research and Innovation priorities for 2023-2027.

Dr. Al Mandous said: “The EC sessions offer an ideal opportunity to promote coordination among WMO regions and to discuss the ongoing progress in implementing WMO’s strategic goals and plans given the regional and international developments in meteorology and related topics. Furthermore, the event allows us to take a comprehensive account of our regional and international priorities in tackling the extreme climate phenomena while reiterating our shared commitment to advancing the science of meteorology and weather forecasting to support global efforts towards climate change mitigation.”

Al Mandous also revealed that the next Regional Technical Conference (RECO) will take place from March 13 to 16 in Abu Dhabi and the conference agenda will include a High-Level Segment on the opening day followed by technical and research sessions. Invitations will be sent to all Ambassadors of the region to attend the High-level Segment, which will be an excellent opportunity to present the UN Call on Early Warning for All to the Governments and policymakers to build support and mobilize resources.

As President of the Regional Association II (Asia), Dr. Al Mandous shares his extensive knowledge and expertise in meteorology and regularly participates in EC sessions to present the views of the Association to the WMO Congress and Executive Council on regional challenges and priorities in the implementation of meteorological activities. He also offers valuable insight and ideas on addressing important topics related to meteorology, including climate change, weather forecasting, and the sustainable use of natural resources.

Earlier, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) named His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to WMO and the Regional Association II (Asia) President, as its official candidate for the WMO’s 2023 – 2027 Presidency.

As part of his election campaign, Al Mandous aims to accelerate an internationally coordinated action to achieve the UN Secretary-General’s request to ensure that “every person on Earth is protected by Early Warning Systems in the next five years” by working together with WMO’s key stakeholders and taking a five-pillar approach to deliver on WMO’s vision to promote resilience to the socioeconomic consequences of extreme weather, climate, water, and other environmental events. This approach focuses on supporting the role of Regional Associations’ Presidents and Permanent Representatives, making ‘Early Warnings for All’ a reality, advancing high-resolution climate computing research, recognizing WMO by the global society, and taking proactive steps in water security and renewable energy research.


Mubadala Energy’s Salma Al Hajeri Shares Her Success Story, Insights with Top 50 Women Forum

Mubadala Energy’s Salma Al Hajeri Shares Her Success Story, Insights with Top 50 Women Forum

By Nada El-Margoushy

In an exclusive interview with Top 50 Women Forum, on the sidelines of EGYPS 2023, UAE’s Salma Al Hajeri, Regional Vice President of Mubadala Energy, answers some questions and shares her success story in a selfless attempt to inspire young girls everywhere and bestow her knowledge and experience on the upcoming generation.

What attracted you to this particular field, especially since not many Arab women are interested in joining the energy domain, and how did you start?

I’ll be frank and completely transparent with you, we come from an oil and gas country, and because these recent technologies and diversification of the economy weren’t introduced back then, my options were kind of limited. This sector was dominating the gulf region, so it was only natural for me to take the practical route and join the industry, and I was lucky enough to go in blindly and I wasn’t aware of all the challenges, or else I might have gotten scared.

As to how I began, it’s actually a funny story; I graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, expecting to have an IT or computer-related career. However, when I first joined “Adnoc”, the national oil company, I was told I’ll be working in reservoir engineering, which is more or less petroleum.

Honestly, I had doubts as I didn’t have much experience in that area, and I was the first female employee in the company to have an engineering background, which meant no female role models to draw inspiration from, but my managers said they are going to coach me and give me all the resources I need to do my job. And yes, normally I would be pressured, but since I loved math and science and problem-solving, in addition to taking the lead throughout different stages of my life, I decided to take it as a new challenge, which gave me the motivation I needed to get to where I am today.

Which obstacles stood in your way before assuming this high-level position, and how did you overcome them?

Well, let me give you a brief background about my upbringing. I was raised in a very small town called Sweihan, located literally in the middle of the desert, 70 km northwest of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain Region. During my early years, I lived in this small secluded town and went to its school.

At that time, in the late 70s – early 80s, my father was not quite convinced of moving to the city. People were not yet adjusted to the new lifestyle and it was very hard to change their minds.

The first time I told my family I wanted to join the field was not easy, especially since I had to leave my family behind and move to the city full-time.

However, my father’s mindset was still ahead of his time, as he showered me with his constant support until I became the first girl in my town to join and graduate from a university at a time when women’s education was limited to high school. Moreover, as a kid, my dad used to drive me to school and everywhere, and through his support, I was also the first girl to get a driving license.

Even as an adult and as a woman in this male-dominated sector, I still go through a lot of obstacles. Nevertheless, my approach is always to look on the bright side, do your best to prove yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help either from your managers or older colleagues, learn to work alone and in a team, be patient, and never stop learning. Self-learning is a major key to success, as it builds confidence, real-life experience, personal growth, and the ability to improve on your own instead of just waiting for everybody to feed you the information and tell you what to do all the time.

How do you plan to approach the upcoming generations and encourage them to join the field, especially young girls? And what piece of advice can you offer them?

My message to this young generation is to not be intimidated to join the industry, as it’s not only lucrative and high profile, but it’s also fulfilling and important, especially now with all these global movements to promote clean energy, digitization, and sustainability.

We can’t transform the entire oil and gas industry overnight, in the end, all sectors must work together to come up with a holistic solution.

I also believe we must take part in finding effective solutions for climate change and other global crises, and the energy sector is in deep need of fresh minds, energy, and new perspectives.

Moreover, if you’re like me and love to take risks and gain knowledge, this is the place for you and it’s where you’ll be able to grow and prove yourselves in this mixed-portfolio sector. The industry is a huge spectrum with endless job possibilities and is not limited to certain people, so take the leap and be part of the solution!

What are Mubadala Energy’s future plans? And how would you expand your company in Egypt?

Okay, let’s back up several years, so you can see the whole picture. Mubadala Energy entered Egypt in 2018 when the company acquired 10% of Egypt’s Zohr giant gas field offshore Egypt, the most high-profile and strategic project in the country and the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean region. The Egyptian government often describes it as a game-changer in the field.

After that, we acquired 20% of the Noor block and another 27% of block 4 in the Red Sea. So, in conclusion, we have several projects in different locations in Egypt but we are always on the hunt to further expand our business in the country.

As for my personal plans, I was recently appointed Regional Vice President of the company a few months ago. My job is to monitor Mubadala’s business in Egypt and I intend to do my best to grow the company’s business here. We can already tell Egypt has become a hub that attracts major oil and gas companies worldwide.

And we can see the role the state plays, under the supervision of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the support of Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla to bring all countries together for the greater good, and we definitely want to be part of that journey.

In 2023, our theme is to grow, and for that reason, we have our own booth in the EGYPS 2023’s exhibition to highlight our ambitions to take this route, God’s willing.

And on that note, we ended our interview with the inspiring Salma Al Hageri.

On our part at the Top 50 Women Forum, we wish Salma further success and the best of luck.

COP27 gave new hope for international cooperation on climate action: Mohieldin

COP27 gave new hope for international cooperation on climate action: Mohieldin

According to Ahram Online, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for Egypt Mahmoud Mohieldin said the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh exceeded expectations, giving new hope for international cooperation on climate action.

Mohieldin made his remarks during a video conference on Friday during the RAISINA Dialogue 2022 event, which was organized by the Observer Research Foundation in India. He is also the UN special envoy on financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

The UAE, which is preparing to host next year’s climate summit, confirmed its commitment to building on the outcomes of COP27 in preparing its climate action roadmap, according to Mohieldin.

The multiple ongoing crises the world is going through should not be ignored when evaluating the outcomes of COP27 or when predicting the results of COP28, Mohieldin said.

He explained that COP27 did well by concentrating on enforcing pledges made at previous COPs. He also advocated for a practical approach to integrating climate action with the goals of inclusive economic growth and long-term development.

The outcomes of COP27 included measures and initiatives that built on the base established by the 2015 Paris agreement and COPs since Mohieldin added.

The most important outcome of the conference was the creation of a loss and damage fund, which was an unprecedented success that will always be associated with Sharm El-Sheikh conference.

The fund will be established from the beginning of the new year until the start of COP28 in Dubai in November when a 24-member provisional committee representing developing and developed countries will make recommendations on activating and managing the fund.

Among the other achievements of COP27, Mohieldin listed “the launching of Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda that covers food and agriculture, water and nature, coasts and oceans, human settlements and infrastructure.”

The agenda includes the establishment of a global early warning system to deal with the effects of the climate crisis, the release of a high-level expert report under the direction of the UN Secretary-General, emphasizing the importance of implementing its ten recommendations to deal with NetZero pledge criteria and procedures, avoiding greenwashing, and regulating sustainable financing markets for a sustainable economy.

The climate champion noted that the need for a just energy transition was highlighted during COP27 through common investments to draw down fossil energy, increase investment in renewables and deal with the economic and social impacts of the transition process.

This was announced alongside the announcement of several just energy transition programs, including a $20 million project funded by the program partners. This was quickly followed by another $15.5 billion project in Vietnam involving both the government and the private sector.

“In general, in the light of dynamics and ramifications of war in Ukraine, the Sharm El-Sheikh conference was keen to confirm the non-retreat from previous COP commitments regarding emissions reduction, and the completion of mitigation programs according to Glasgow climate alliance outcomes,” Mohieldin stated.

He also mentioned financing, investment, and project development initiatives, such as the launch of the Africa Carbon Markets initiative. Participants at the conference established its regulatory framework, mechanisms, and pricing, as well as discussed ways to reduce debt in developing countries by exchanging it for climate investments, drawing on the experiences of Seychelles, Belize, and Barbados.

Fintech Galaxy acquires Egypt’s Underlie as it expands regional Open Finance footprint

Underlie’s local expertise in building Open Banking APIs will help Fintech Galaxy speed up market penetration in Egypt

  • Egypt’s 100 million population and large financial sector present an opportunity for fast-tracking Open Finance implementation
  • Open Finance market in Egypt is expected to grow by 25% annually during the next 5 years

Dubai, UAE: UAE-based Fintech Galaxy, the first Central Bank-regulated Open Finance platform in the Middle East, announced the acquisition of Underlie, an Egypt-based Open Banking platform offering APIs to banks and businesses. The deal will help to set FTG’s Open Finance and Open Banking wheels in full motion across the region, develop and launch new digital solutions and push financial inclusion forward.

Open Banking and Open Finance – are the key engines behind the digital transformation in Egypt. The country is quickly becoming a flourishing FinTech hub bolstered by 230% growth in cashless payments and the local Open Finance market that is expected to grow by 25% annually during the next 5 years. Egypt has almost 39 banks nationwide, and it presents an opportunity for fast-tracking the implementation of the Open API standard, positioning the country as an important landmark in Fintech Galaxy’s strategic Open Banking/Open Finance roadmap.

Underlie’s Open Banking platform and expertise, including strong API connectivity and payment capabilities, has shown significant growth in the Egyptian market, offering custom-fitted products to consumers. Underlie’s customer-centric approach and ambition to understand the FIs’ needs and pain points to provide them with new proposed revenue streams and tailored products and services, complements Fintech Galaxy’s vision, existing distribution channels, technology, data practices, and relentless focus on quality.

“Underlie’s expertise in building Open Banking APIs and knowledge of the local market will help us speed up our Egypt market penetration, boost the expansion in the region and

release countless opportunities to create new Open Banking/Open Finance-enabled use cases,” said Riyadh Al Zamil, Chairman of Fintech Galaxy’s Board of Directors and Investors. Al Zamil added that all Underlie’s current employees have been retained and warmly welcomed to the Fintech Galaxy Egypt operations.

According to Mirna Sleiman, CEO, and Founder of Fintech Galaxy, “The acquisition of Underlie anchors our Open Banking/Open Finance efforts and enables us to succeed in providing enhanced, seamless, and enjoyable financial experiences, expanding, and consolidating our position across the MENA markets. Cross-border collaboration is key to moving the needle on financial inclusion in Egypt and beyond.”

“This acquisition is a testament to the positive impact Underlie has achieved so far”, said Akram Abdou, Founder of Underlie. “We are delighted to join forces with FTG and succeed on the broader regional Open Finance mission.”

Present in the UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon and Moldova, Fintech Galaxy continues to broaden its offering for banks, financial institutions, merchants, and FinTechs as it pursues its ambition to build the most secure, reliable, and developer-friendly Open Finance platform across the MENA region and beyond.

PM stresses depth of historical ties between Egypt, UAE Satu

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli Saturday 03/12/2022 asserted strength and depth of historical relations binding Egypt and the UAE.

That came in remarks by the premier, delivered on his behalf by Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker during celebrations which were held by the UAE Embassy to Egypt on the 51st UAE Union Day.

Madbouli conveyed greetings of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the 51st UAE National Day.

The premier affirmed that participation in the celebrations reflects depth and strength of brotherly and profound relations between the Egyptian and UAE leaders and great and strategic relations between the two countries in the political and economic domains.

Madbouli commended positions of UAE that support Egypt in all fronts.

Egypt and UAE are scaling up cooperation in electricity and renewable energy, he said, adding several projects were carried out with the objective of boosting development process in Egypt and meeting requirements of economic and social development, in addition to raising living standards of people, according to him

For her part, UAE Ambassador in Cairo Mariam Khalifa Al Kaabi said Egypt- UAE relations eyed great development in all areas to become an ideal example for Arab-Arab relations, which are capable of facing all challenges.

Egypt and the UAE were able to build strong economic ties, based on developmental, trade and investment cooperation and development of successful partnerships at both the government and private sector levels, added Kaabi.

The diplomat said Egypt is a strategic trade partner to the UAE in the region and the UAE is a most important commercial partner to Egypt.

Shifting to investments, Kaabi said the UAE tops a list of countries investing in Egypt.

She, meanwhile, congratulated Egypt for greater success it made while chairing COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh and the agreement on setting up a fund for damage and loss, noting that the UAE will host COP28.

Egypt’s playing host to COP27 offers an important chance for fostering bilateral cooperation in climate action and environment in addition to backing plans of the two countries to achieve sustainable development, according to her.