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20 Progressions in 2020

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The Kingdom of Bahrain celebrates its National Day on December 16th and 17th marking the anniversary of the establishment of the modern state of Bahrain as an Arab and Muslim country in 1783 by its founder Ahmed Al-Fateh, the 49th Anniversary of its accession to the UN as a full member and the Anniversary of HM the King’s Accession to the Throne.

Just as a valuable pearl gets formed by accepting a foreign body, the Kingdom of Bahrain stands as the home of tolerance and generosity to a wide-reaching global community. Aptly called as ‘The Pearl of Persian Gulf’, the year has witnessed the Kingdom’s determination to overcome adversities by keeping loyalty, integrity, and purity (as symbolized by a pure pearl) in our actions.

As the Kingdom celebrates its 49th National Day, here’s an overview of 20 progressive steps taken by the Kingdom in 2020.

His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has delivered Bahrain’s address to the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York via video call.

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His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued Royal Order 44 / 2020 on November 11th, 2020 appointing His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, as the Prime Minister.

HM the King’s Representative for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs, His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, has been granted the Honorary Leadership Personality of the Year Award in the donation field by the International Donor Service Centre- a member of the Regional Network for Social Responsibility (CSR).

The Kingdom of Bahrain celebrated the centennial of the first bank in the country on October 27. The banking sector has great importance in the kingdom for in addition to its historical depth which goes back as early as before the 1920s of the last century, the sector represents one of the pillars of Bahrain’s strategy to diversify sources of revenues and broaden the scope of economic activities.

A number of ministers including His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa took the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, as part of their keenness to support the national efforts aimed at confronting the pandemic and limiting its spread. The ministers expressed their deep appreciation for Team Bahrain, led by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, for the proactive efforts they have been taking before the detection of the first COVID-19 case in the Kingdom.

As a visionary step, Bahrain introduced robots for the assistance of COVID-19 patients. Ministry of Health detailed revolutionary use of medical robots in the Kingdom’s fight against coronavirus pandemic.

Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency (NSSA) has clinched first place in a training programme, entitled “Advanced Geoinformatics”, organised by the University of Twente, the Netherlands.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs won the Best Government Project for Youth Empowerment Award in the Arab World for its project “The Making of Elite” during the Arab Government Excellence Award which was organised under the umbrella of the Arab League, in partnership between the UAE Government and the Arab Organisation for Administrative Development.

Bahrain’s first official government delegation visited Israel as the two countries look to broaden cooperation after establishing formal ties in September in a U.S.-brokered accord. Bahrain and Israel said they would open embassies, establish online visa systems and launch weekly flights between the countries in a broadened cooperation promoted by Washington as an economic boon and means of isolating Iran.The Sept. 15 deal normalising relations spelled a warm peace that will deliver clear benefits to both countries.

The Kingdom of Bahrain clinched five awards within the Arab Government Excellence Award which is organised by the Arab League’s Arab Administrative Development Organisation (ARADO), in cooperation with the UAE government. 

Five ministries and governmental institutions won the awards. Health Ministry which won the Best Arab Government Project for Developing the Health Sector, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development which won the Best Arab Government Project for Community Development for its “Khatwa” programme for home projects;  the Interior Ministry’s Customs Directorate was honored with the Best Arab Government Development Initiative award for its Governance of Economic and Customs Information to Facilitate Trade (Ofoq); the Information and eGovernment Authority was picked up for the Best Arab Government Smart App award in recognition of its Tawasul App for the National Suggestion and Complaint system, and the Ministry of Youth and Sport Affairs was selected for its Elite Project which was chosen as the best Arab government project for empowering the youth. 

Bahrain has announced plans to give the public free coronavirus vaccines, as Saudi Arabia said it approved an inoculation by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech to fight the pandemic. A safe vaccine will be provided free of charge to all citizens and residents within the kingdom.

The Kingdom of Bahrain maintained its second place ranking among Arab countries in the eGovernment Development Index 2020 ranking it among the very high categories, which was formulated based on the results of a 2020 United Nations e-Government Survey. The index and its accompanying report, launched on Friday, 10th July, 2020 by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), also highly ranked the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman.

Bahrain’s Port Lions, owned by HH Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa made history as the winner of the first turf race ever run in Saudi Arabia. Bahrain completed a stunning back-to-back double at Riyadh when Dark Power also won the Sprint Cup.

The Kingdom, represented by the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), received the patrol warship, “RBNS Al-Zubara”, from the British BAE Systems Company.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Academy of the Bahrain Technical College (Bahrain Polytechnic) launched the first batch of 38 students.This came under the directives of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports (SCYS) and President of Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC).

The Kingdom hosted F1 Double Header as penultimate venue for 2020 season. Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) welcomed and honored the Kingdom’s highly appreciated frontline health workers, first responders and their families during the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020.

The second season of the Bahrain International Trophy at the Rashid Equestrian Horse racing Club (REHC)  on November 20th at Sakhir Racecourse attracted an accomplished international field, furthering the global reach of big-money wintertime racing in the Middle East.

An ad-hoc committee set up to manage the contributions made to “Feena Al Khair” campaign has coordinated with the education ministry and distributed 10,000 laptops to students from needy families.

Bahrain Bourse (BHB) announced achieving “Excellence in Customer Service Award” via the National Suggestions & Complaints System ‘Tawasul’, for its exceptional performance and efficient response via the National Suggestions & Complaints System ‘Tawasul’.

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba), the world’s largest aluminium smelter ex-China, has been honoured with two prestigious awards — Leading Corporate for Investor Relations in Bahrain and Best Investor Relations Professional – Bahrain — at the 2020 Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony that was held virtually on 22-23 September 2020.

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