Queen Rania Rallies Support for Global Education from Mobile Phone Industry Leaders

February 15, 2010

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – Barcelona) - During a working visit to Barcelona, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, on Monday, met with CEOs from different mobile operators around the world, to rally support for the 1GOAL global education campaign.

During a reception hosted by the GSMA, the mobile industry’s leading institution, Queen Rania addressed CEOs and mobile industry executives, re-affirming her commitment to the 1GOAL campaign and the importance of getting as many people as possible to sign up to the virtual petition, which asks world leaders to place global education at the top of their global agendas on behalf of the 72 million children who are shut outside school gates and cannot even sign their names.

“Your world, the mobile phone industry, and my world, global education, might not be, at first glance, an obvious partnership, but I’m here because our worlds overlap and intersect more than you may realize,” Queen Rania told industry leaders today.

“Not going to school or receiving a poor education means fewer customers and fewer talented recruits. It costs businesses around the world billions of dollars in lost trade, revenue, innovations, and efficiencies,” added Queen Rania.

The current lack of education in developing countries, continued the Queen, affects the telecommunications industry- a unique market looking for optimum penetration in every country of the world. With pressure on local staff to reach new customers with new products, quality education is vital in ensuring a new pool of talent and initiative.

That’s why, Her Majesty stated, the mobile industry has a vested interest in making sure as many children as possible receive an education.

Further underscoring the importance of raising awareness around the issue, Queen Rania noted that education goals are not being held back due to a lack of funds or resources. Rather, the issue lies in a lack of political will and unwillingness to find $16 billion a year- a sum equivalent to half of what mobile music, games, videos and ringtones generated in 2009.

The 1GOAL campaign, which aims to make education for all a reality was co-founded by Her Majesty Queen Rania last August, in partnership with FIFA, the 2010 World Cup and the Global Campaign for Education.

1GOAL reaches out to the 72 million children locked out of learning because of poverty, prejudice, and place of birth which often make it impossible for children to ever meet a teacher, read a book, or even enter a classroom.

In the run-up to the World Cup held in South Africa, 1GOAL aims to recruit tens of millions of supporters through a mass sign-up campaign at www.join1goal.org which petitions Governments to stand by their current education pledges.

Several high-level executives and GSMA Board Members attended the reception, including GSMA Chairman and Groupwide VimpelCom CEO, Alexander Izosimov, Qualcomm CEO, Paul Jacobs, Vodafone CEO and GSMA Board Member, Terry Kramer, and Orange Executive Vice President and GSMA Board Member, Anne Bouverot.