UAE, April 05, 2015 – His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed bin Ateyatalla Al Khalifa, Minister for Follow-Up in the Bahrain Royal Court, was presented with an ‘Alumni Achievement Award’ by his alma mater, the University of Salford, UK, on Tuesday 16 March 2015.
At the same time, His Excellency accepted the prestigious title of ‘University Patron’, which will see Sheikh Ahmed become the University’s most senior honorary representative in the Kingdom of Bahrain. As Patron, His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed is associated with the University’s aim to work closely with partners across the Kingdom to help deliver impact in development and education.
A delegation from the University presented His Excellency with the prestigious Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his work since graduating from Salford in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. The University boasts 150,000 graduates worldwide. Each year, it presents a very small number of awards to graduates who have achieved particular distinction in their fields. This is the first time that the University has awarded its prestigious Alumni Achievement Award in Bahrain.
Speaking of the award, Sheikh Ahmed said: “I am delighted to receive this award from my University. I have fond memories of my time in Salford. I am also pleased that the University of Salford, building on many years’ of activity across the region, has recently created a Hub Office to serve the educational and development needs of the GCC, and I look forward to supporting its growth for the benefit of the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
Following completion of his education in 1988, His Excellency returned to the Kingdom of Bahrain, where the talent and hard work he undoubtedly displayed as a student has seen him enjoy a varied career working in government for the benefit of the Bahraini people.
For more than 20 years, Sheikh Ahmed worked in the Central Informatics Organisation (CIO), during which he managed a number of important projects including the Government Data Network project, the National Y2K project, the National Smartcard project, the National GIS Project and the National Census project.
The award was presented to His Excellency by Colin McCallum, Executive Director of Advancement at the University of Salford. He said:
“It was a great privilege to present His Excellency with the Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of his work since graduating from the University of Salford. The University would like to express our gratitude to His Excellency for agreeing to become the University’s Patron in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and also for the hospitality and warm welcome we received during our visit.
“We are confident that this visit signals the start of a fruitful relationship and we look forward to working closely with His Excellency in the future.”
Whilst working for the CIO, Sheikh Ahmed was also a key figure in the referendum to gain approval of the national Action Charter of Bahrain, which led to the re-establishment of constitutional rule and paved the way for a more peaceful future for the country. He was also Executive Director for the Census 2001 project, as well as the municipal council elections and parliament elections projects.
Sheikh Ahmed’s dedication, experience and the outstanding contribution he had made to the CIO was recognised in 2004 when he was made President. Further recognition of his talents followed, when His Excellency was assigned the seat of Minister of Cabinet Affairs in September 2005. In 2011, His Excellency was appointed Minister for Follow-Up in the Royal Court.
The University of Salford delegation visit to Bahrain follows the opening of the University’s first ‘Global Hub’ in Abu Dhabi in May 2014. The University is committed to building long-term partnerships in the Kingdom, as well as the development of a new range of academic and professional development courses, new educational and industrial partnerships, and collaborative research projects in close consultation with industry and government.
During the visit, the delegation from the University was welcomed to the University of Bahrain by its President, Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi. After a successful meeting, it is hoped the two organisations will now work closely together on a number of projects and, in the near future, will sign a
Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the new relationship. The delegation also visited and exchanged information with the Ministry for Education Higher Education Council, the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance and met with Darwish Ahmed Abdulla Almannai, member of the Shura Council and Chairman of the Mannai Group and his family, all alumni of the University of Salford. The University and the British Embassy held a reception at the Majestic Rotana Hotel, in the presence of Her Majesty’s Ambassador Iain Lyndsey.