Growth without reform can never be achieved

Khaled Almaeena
Khaled Almaeena
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All over the world, we see huge movements of young men and women across all levels of society. They have made their mark and impact on education, politics, economics, banking and sports. Add to that the entertainment industry.

Achievers in various arenas are moving fearlessly and impacting lives and changing the course of history. There is a generational transformation. Ambitious, dedicated and qualified young people are entering the job market and pushing for change. Their unrestricted, unconventional philosophy and out-of-the-ordinary approach is helping society to change. This modernizing attitude and flair has also affected the bureaucracy.

All this is good and we should learn from societies that are far ahead of us and in a state of continuous development. However, to do that we should have a society based on the principles of education, employment and empowerment. As long as our educational institutions are churning out parrots we will not make any headway!

As long as we believe that we have the right to a job because of our nationality, the goal of producing and gaining will not materialize

Khaled Almaeena

As long as we do not have a meritocratic society and the love of excellence, we cannot progress. As long as we believe that we have the right to a job because of our nationality, the goal of producing and gaining will not materialize.

So how can we produce future leaders in all levels of society?

‘Support citizens’

The best way to build qualified future leaders is by providing a first-class education, focusing on quality and skills. Everyone should be judged according to merit and not according to wealth and status. There should be equal opportunities for every qualified and hard-working citizen. In order to encourage our youth to be more productive we need to provide incentives and show more appreciation for the ones who are productive and keen to serve their community. Progress without reform is never achieved. It is crucial to apply transparency and accountability to ensure and maintain a more progressive and advanced society.

In his recent speech to the nation, Saudi King Salman vowed to eradicate corruption and hold those responsible accountable. He called on both the security and economic councils to “support citizens,” and warned that he would not “accept any complacency in offering citizens a decent life.”

Indeed, every official and every citizen is called upon to contribute to nation-building. Our country is blessed with oil wealth, human resources, security and stability. We need to utilize these resources wisely to build a strong knowledge-based economy and a more prosperous future for our society. Failure to do so will leave us mired in misery and backwardness.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on March 15, 2015.

Khaled Almaeena is a veteran Saudi journalist, commentator, businessman and the editor-at-large of the Saudi Gazette. Almaeena has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for over thirty years, including CEO of a PR firm, Saudi Television news anchor, talk show host, radio announcer, lecturer and journalist. As a journalist, Almaeena has represented Saudi media at Arab summits in Baghdad, Morocco and elsewhere. In 1990, he was one of four journalists to cover the historic resumption of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Russia. He also traveled to China as part of this diplomatic mission. Almaeena's political and social columns appear regularly in Gulf News, Asharq al-Aswat, al-Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Times of Oman, Asian Age and The China Post. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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