Thursday 26, May 2016

Manama – MENA Herald: On Tuesday, Pearl Initiative recognised Bahraini university students for their understanding of integrity in business at an award ceremony for winners of its Student Case Study Competition at Ahlia University in Manama. Pearl Initiative is the leading Gulf business-led not-for-profit organisation promoting a corporate culture of accountability and transparency as a key driver of competitiveness across the region today.
The competition aims to increase knowledge on corporate accountability, and engage and inspire students to understand real-life applications of ethical business. In addition, it better equips graduating students to enter the private sector by highlighting key issues in governance, risk management and compliance.
Salek Muyeen Akbar and Nawal El Tahir of Ahlia University won first place for their case study on anti-money laundering controls at National Bank of Bahrain. Alaa Matooq, Yusra Abu Odeh and Mariam Al Murbati of Bahrain Polytechnic University were awarded second place for their case study on Health and Safety Policy at ALBA. Fatima Khalifa Al Jar, Noora Ebrahim Bubshait and Kaltham Saleh Mubarak from University of Bahrain came in at third place for their assessment of code of conduct at ALBA.
In his keynote speech, Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE, KPMG’s Global Head of Corporate Citizenship, congratulated the winners and said: “Ethics and integrity are the foundation stones of any individual or organization, and should definitely be a key component of any course at universities and colleges. If we can instill this at a very young age amongst the future generation of leaders we will see a significant positive impact on issues such as corporate governance, transparency and accountability within the marketplace. The good news is that, there is a growing trend of global businesses, SMEs and family owned businesses that are making positive headway on these issues in this region, and it is important that quality and credibility are maintained in a structured and regulated way. The younger generation today show an impressive level of social and moral conviction and commitment, and this is further demonstrated by the students who have shared their knowledge and ideas through this case study competition organised by Pearl Initiative and Al Ahlia University.”
Imelda Dunlop, Executive Director, Pearl Initiative, said: “The Pearl Initiative Student Case Study Competition was previously held in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and received much recognition and interest from academic institutions in the region. We found that university students are in fact, keen to become well-versed in responsible business practices and emerge as effective leaders in a wide range of working environments. We now bring this successful competition to Bahrain, and are proud to say that the talent and potential here is remarkable. I congratulate all participants and winners for their hard work and creativity. We hope to see these youth bring their keen sense of leadership and corporate responsibility into tomorrow’s dynamic job market.”
Dr. Muneer Al Mubarak, Dean of the College of Business and Finance, Ahlia University, said: “Generating awareness is the first step towards creating positive impact. The Student Case Study Competition serves this very purpose. Students are given the chance to engage with established businesses, interact with leaders and entrepreneurs, and learn about critical yet often overlooked issues within an organisation or firm. As we move to build a more sustainable structure for the region’s businesses, we need to make sure that the youth are a vital part of this process. Such initiatives help bring important learnings to the forefront that will go a long way towards identifying best practices for the future.”
More than 30 student-authored case studies from three local institutions of higher studies – Ahlia University, Bahrain Polytechnic and University of Bahrain, were carefully reviewed and evaluated by an expert judging panel.
The participating teams provided insightful examples of fully implemented good practices within a Bahraini-based organisations. They specifically focused on integrity-related policies such as anti-corruption, third party due diligence, ethical labour practices and anti-money laundering. The winning case studies have already proven to be a useful starting point in understanding the internal efforts of various Bahraini companies in implementing corporate accountability and transparency measures.