NNA – This is the speech delivered today by Prime Minister Saad Hariri during the opening of the Outreach and Leadership Academy (OLA) in Beirut downtown, at the invitation of the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development.
“I am very pleased today to attend the opening ceremony of the Outreach and Leadership Academy (OLA) in the heart of Beirut.
First, I would like to congratulate the Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development, MP Bahia Hariri, the Lebanese American University and Dr. Joseph Jabra for this successful project for the development of the skills and capabilities of our young men and women.
The events and activities dearest to my heart are the ones aiming to educate and empower the youth and increase their capabilities.
Not just because Rafic Hariri loved them the most and believed that our human capital is our greatest asset, but also because I am convinced that learning and acquiring knowledge are the only ways to build human capabilities, to achieve a significant leap in the great potential of our economy and to maintain our preferential advantages in the region and the world.
This project is a pioneer model of the real partnership between civil society and the private sector.
Moreover, I believe that one of the most important responsibilities of the state now is to improve employment opportunities for young men and women in Lebanon, and to create a climate of confidence and hope for the younger generation, which is the future of our country.
The importance of this center we are opening today is that it is a model for a project that did not wait for the state and took an initiative based on the cooperation between civil society and the private sector.
A project that kills two birds with one stone!
Because this project gives the youth, at their schools, universities, and professions the skills and abilities that increase their chances in getting a job after graduation, or the chances to succeed in the individual initiative in their profession, and at the same time, it renews their hope to achieve their dreams and ambitions.
And I feel even more proud today that the Center is being launched in Beirut specifically, because our goal is to restore the role of our capital as an incubator of the ambition and creativity of its sons and daughters and all the Lebanese.
At the end of my speech, and because I do not always express publicly my love and appreciation for my aunt Bahia, I would like to thank her, not just for her essential role in the parliamentary and political life, but also because she carried over the years the torch of Rafic Hariri to achieve sustainable development.
Allow me to praise her efforts, and the efforts of all those in charge of this project that proved its success in Saida and we hope it will spread over all the Lebanese territory.
This is the real message of Lebanon, and you are the real ambassadors of this message.