The Duke was given a warm welcome at Kuwait International Airport by HE Sheikh Fawaz Khaled Al-Mubarek Al-Sabah, Governor of Ahmedi and HH The Amir’s personal representative during the visit. For his first engagement, HRH then called on HH The Amir and HH The Crown Prince at the Seif Palace.
The Duke next met the Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, HE Sheikh Sabah Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, to discuss how the UK and Kuwait can continue to increase their co-operation across a range of areas, including infrastructure, education, and healthcare projects.
Later, HRH visited the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS), where he met Dr Adnan Sihab-Eldrin and other key representatives of the Foundation. They discussed some of the 543 research projects being undertaken at KFAS, including The Dosman Diabetes Institute, as well as plans to work with partners to provide Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Arabic. The Duke commented: “it is important to encourage discovery with minimal intervention.. discovery in science is all about the pathway, and through that process what you discover might not be what you expected.”
HRH then met winners of the KFAS eContent Awards, who have developed new digital content for Kuwait, addressing public health and environmental issues. The Duke shared examples of UK based initiatives in the same field, including Code Club and the recently launched Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) award, which seeks to equip young people with the technical and entrepreneurial skills. HRH also met Kuwaiti innovators who are bringing their products to market with the support of KFAS. These included an Automatic Fire Extinguisher, which can be thrown directly at a fire.
After being received for lunch by HH The Amir and members his Cabinet, The Duke met Mr Bader Al-Sa’ad, Managing Director of the Kuwaiti Investment Agency, one of the largest investors in the UK.
In the evening, HRH held a wide-ranging discussion with Sheikha Al-Zain Sabah Nasser Al-Saud Al-Sabah, Undersecretary of the Ministry Youth – a new government department which seeks to create opportunities for young people in Kuwait. The Duke heard from officials and young Kuwaitis about their aspirations and the projects they are involved in; and shared his relevant experience from the UK, including the work of Peter Jones Foundation, Gazelle Colleges and the iDEA initiative.