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Saturday, April 22, 2000

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah meets with the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences

The Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences (AABFS), a pioneering institute in the region offering technical and academic training in banking and financial services, has launched its Ph.D. program, the first of its kind in the Arab World.

The Ph.D. program in banking and financial services is set to begin in the fall academic term. With affiliate offices across the Arab World, the Amman-based Academy has offered a Masters Degree program in banking and financial services since 1990.

The Academy's Board of Trustees, which consists of 20 members from across the Arab World with distinguished experience and service in the banking and financial fields, has also established a fund-raising committee to gather funds for a new building for the AABFS. The Jordanian government has provided the Academy with 20 dunums of land in Shafa Badran.

Queen Rania, Honorary President of the Academy, was briefed on the AABFS's latest developments during a meeting with the Board of Trustees earlier this week.

Calling it a pioneering initiative in the Arab World, the Queen commended the Academy for offering the Ph.D. program in Banking and Financial Services. Queen Rania also backed the Academy's decision to form a fund-raising committee for a new building for the AABFS and said the next phase is to focus efforts on obtaining these funds.

During the meeting, President of the Academy Mustafa Hodieb also briefed the Queen on the recent signing of an agreement between the AABFS and the American Banker's Association (ABA) for the certification of Arab bankers world-wide. The certification exam will be offered in both Arabic and English.

Currently, there is no standardized certification for bankers in the Arab World. This agreement is the first of its kind for the ABA, which is an exclusively American-oriented association in its scope of work. The AABFS is the exclusive representative of the ABA in the Arab World.

During the meeting, the Queen and the board members also discussed the importance of keeping abreast of the latest developments in the Information Technology field, as banking and financial services is highly contingent on technological advances.

A non-governmental, non-profit organization, the AABFS was established in 1988 by the General Assembly of Arab Banks, an offshoot of the League of Arab States. The academy acts as a service institute to Arab banks, financial institutions and markets, universities and companies operating in various sectors in all the Arab countries.

"The work of the Academy is unique in bringing the Arab world together, away from politics," said the Queen during the meeting. "This is the future of the Arab World - to concentrate on economics rather than on politics," continued the Queen, reflecting His Majesty King AbdullahÕs firm belief in the importance of economics for Jordan and the region.

AABFS enhances human resources by teaching and training individuals to assume leadership and managerial positions. Those that were trained in 1999 exceeded 9000 people.

Last October, the Queen graduated the 10th batch of the academy, which included 300 graduates from the Arab World, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Sudan.