The National Program for Advanced Skills Discusses ‘Financial Literacy’ at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
H.E. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi:
  • The National Program for Advanced Skills offers a roadmap that enhances the potential of our local workforce to shape the future of the UAE.
  • Financial skills help individuals from all age groups achieve success in their personal, professional, and family life.

The National Program for Advanced Skills explored ‘Financial Literacy’ as part of the ‘Skills Cube’ initiative, during an event hosted by Youth Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The ‘Skills Cube’ initiative was designed to lead individuals on a journey of exploration in collaboration with various government institutions and entities across the UAE for 12 months. The event, which included the discussion, was held under the patronage and in the presence of His Excellency Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education, and H.E. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), along with employees from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

‘Financial Literacy’ is the skill adopted by the Advanced Skills Council for the month of July as part of the ‘My Skill 12x12’ campaign, in an effort to implement the Strategy for the National Program for Advanced Skills, promote lifelong learning, sharpen skill sets among individuals of all segments and life stages, including the academic and pre-employment period and continuing after retirement.

According to the Strategy for the National Program for Advanced Skills, Financial Literacy is among the foundational skills that allow individuals to make sound decisions in all levels and areas of their lives, given that people’s decisions often have a financial dimension. These skills include knowledge of income, expenses, profit, loss, the value of currencies, savings, and how to prepare basic budgets, in addition to financial and economic knowledge that improve entrepreneurship skills, such as return on investment, inflation, and corporate financial status, among others.

Partaking in the discussion, H.E. Dr. Ahmad AlFalasi and H.E. Ahmed Al Sayegh presented their views on ‘Financial Literacy,’ underlining its importance in people’s lives and the impact it has on their decisions.

“The National Program for Advanced Skills is the product of the forward-thinking vision of our wise leadership, which seeks to spark wide-reaching development that centres around people,” said H.E. Al Falasi. “Skill-building is an effective tool for enhancing individuals’ capabilities, equipping them with the necessary instruments, and inspiring them to adopt an unconventional thought process to find out-of-the-box solutions to challenges. This, in turn, stands to drastically improve performance at federal and local authorities, as well as the private sector.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the fifth stop on our ‘Skills Cube’ initiative itinerary. Today’s event offered us a platform to discuss ‘Financial Literacy’ and promote this culture among employees and the wider community,” H.E. added. “This skill is of great importance for us at the National Program for Advanced Skills and has become increasingly essential to acquire in light of the rapid developments taking place around the world. Financial skills help individuals from all age groups achieve success in their personal, professional, and family life.”

H.E. Al Falasi stressed that the acquisition of financial skills has become necessary for them to integrate into their community and play an active role in various government, semi-governmental, and private sector in the UAE.“This renders them qualified to venture into various sectors – especially entrepreneurship – and help drive an economic and social boom that enhances the UAE’s competitiveness and creates new opportunities to achieve the UAE Vision 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan,” H.E. concluded.

H.E. Ahmed Al Sayegh, Minister of State (UAE) and Chairman of ADGM, said: “A robust education platform and a robust talent management programme are key enablers and incubators for development and sustainable economic growth. An informed, innovative and knowledgeable economy not only brings forth sustainable growth, it generates opportunities and jobs for our community, companies and institutions that serve the UAE and wide region. Each of us plays a part in providing a dynamic, supportive and conducive environment that continuously nurtures and spurs today’s and tomorrow’s leaders.”

Drawing from his own experience as Chairman of ADGM, H.E Al Sayegh shared that it was his interest and research on how digitalisation could enhance business processes and minimise costs that led him to the insights and impact of financial technology (FinTech) on capital markets and the financial landscape in the UAE and globally.

H.E Al Sayegh also highlighted the importance of financial literacy with relevance to the economic diplomacy initiatives and projects led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. He said: “The UAE has formed multiple strategic economic collaborations and agreements, covering vast and comprehensive interests from double taxation agreements to protection of foreign investments, with countries and jurisdictions worldwide. Each agreement requires detailed follow-through, certain skill sets and analysis on data and updates accumulated for the Ministry to make more informed decisions for the state and economy.”

The ‘My Skill 12x12’ initiative tackles a dozen essential skills at a rate of one skill per month. The 12 skills on the list are scientific literacy, creativity, critical thinking/problem solving, leadership, empathy, tech literacy, financial literacy, collaboration, communication, adaptability, social and cultural awareness, and growth mindset.

Following the discussion, a session from the ‘Advanced Skills Talks’ series was conducted by Abdulnasser Al Shaali, Director of Economic and Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. With extensive financial expertise from his tenure as a financial manager in Jamal Al Shaali Group, Abdul Nasser oversees policy planning, research and content management, and other functions at the Ministry.

During the talk, Al Shaali noted that the importance of acquiring financial skills stems from their overlap with various economic sectors, as well as activities at federal and local government entities and private companies. He presented various approaches to investment, financial management, how to optimise consumption of financial resources, and how these mechanisms help individuals sustain their financial resources and better manage their lives.

The event concluded with a workshop conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which generated significant interaction on the part of the attendees, who expressed a determination to acquire more financial skills and knowledge, advance their studies in the financial field, and embark on a new stage in their professional and personal lives.