A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Aqdar - the Khalifa Empowerment Program for Students - and Nissan, representing a partnership that focuses on raising awareness of road safety issues among the youth, particularly the students’ community in the UAE.
The MoU was signed by Colonel Expert Dr. Ibrahim Mohammad AlDabal, General Coordinator of the Khalifa Empowerment Program for Students, and Samir Cherfan, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East, at a special ceremony in the presence of Thomas Edelmann, Founder and Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE.
Stressing the importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors, Colonel Expert Dr. Ibrahim Mohammad AlDabal said: "This distinguished partnership is considered a strategic move, representing the direction of H.H. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, toward developing constructive relationships between the public and private sectors, while also strengthening our roles and responsibilities in raising road safety awareness among youth in the UAE. We can all learn a great deal from one another and to have a global company such as Nissan helping Aqdar, the Khalifa Empowerment Program for Students, to achieve its goals is an excellent development. As part of UAE Vision 2021 we have already seen many improvements in road safety and a reduction in fatalities but we intend to do more.
"The UAE always looks to the future, as well as building on past achievements. And to safeguard our future we need to actively support and develop our young citizens. Among many things, Aqdar exists to help consolidate the values of citizenship and belonging in the minds of students, and part of that has to be keeping safe on the roads. The MoU we have signed today is a positive step in the education and empowerment of brilliant young minds in matters relating to road safety."
UAE Vision 2021 is an initiative that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the closing of a Cabinet meeting in 2010. The Vision aims to make the UAE among the best countries in the world by the Golden Jubilee of the Union, in 2021. Education, healthcare, the environment, societal identity and public safety are all things that UAE Vision 2021 has been set up to improve, with road safety being a top priority.
Aqdar is an awareness and empowerment program that seeks to unify national efforts, in order to build conscious generations of students who are self-immune and able to cope with present and future challenges. It develops personal and leadership skills among students and raises the levels of positive awareness of national, cultural, religious and health issues.
"To be involved with Aqdar in this important programme is an honour," says Samir Cherfan. "I am delighted that Nissan is joining forces with such a prestigious organisation. At Nissan we take our global social responsibility very seriously. We operate in a great many countries all over the world and do whatever we can to assist in the growth and education of communities, having a positive impact. Road safety is an area where we know much more needs to be done, in order to reduce and eventually eradicate road fatalities, and Nissan has been at the forefront of vehicle safety for decades. I know we have much to offer and look forward to a positive and fruitful partnership with Aqdar."
Nissan’s ‘Blue Citizenship’ Corporate Social Responsibility program is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to its customers, employees and shareholders and, crucially, the communities within which it operates. Built on the three pillars of Mobility, Community and Sustainability, in the Middle East it leverages on Nissan’s global CSR initiative to enable effective engagement with local communities, contributing towards the development of safe and sustainable societies.
"The students of today will be the lawmakers and the government officials of tomorrow," concludes Cherfan, "meaning the time is right to educate the youth and help them to feel that they are an important part of our futures. With them on side, actively promoting safety on our roads, we can look forward to greater awareness and understanding, while assisting the initiatives launched by the UAE’s government in reducing road casualties."