ROTA hosts EMPOWER 2012 Youth Conference Round Table | Press Releases

ROTA hosts EMPOWER 2012 Youth Conference Round Table
17 April 2012

  • Organisers outline plans for ‘best EMPOWER so far'

Organiser Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) today hosted a round table forum for local and international media to outline exciting plans for the 4th EMPOWER Youth Conference taking place at the La Cigale Hotel from 19-21 April.

In preparation for Qatar’s largest annual youth gathering, organisers of the landmark event known for ‘empowering Qatar’s youth’ said 350 youth between the ages of 14 and 24 have registered to participate at EMPOWER 2012.

“We look forward to meeting the region’s youth leaders, hearing their opinions and ideas for tackling the community, social and environmental issues that really matter to the young people of the world,” ROTA Director Mr. Essa Al Mannai told round table representatives.

Supported by a powerful programme focusing on Leadership, Service Learning and Global Citizenship, organisers will integrate Sports, Environment, Skills Development and the Arabic language as key themes of the EMPOWER 2012 programme.

The three day event features a combination of seminar panel discussion, keynote speeches, lectures, small group workshops, off-site visits, and a student public debate to be held at the start of EMPOWER 2012.

EMPOWER Innovation

EMPOWER will enhance its reputation as a platform for the leaders of the future with yet more new innovations for 2012. For the first time, the conference will create a regional network of youth activists by inviting GCC youth to participate at EMPOWER 2012. In addition, other regions have the opportunity to learn from EMPOWER’s best practices with the news that 10 spaces have been awarded to Japanese youth in support of the Qatar-Japan partnership.

Two key EMPOWER 2012 themes are Sports and the Environment, subjects close to the heart of all Qatari youth. As Qatar gains a worldwide reputation as a respected host for the biggest and best global sporting events, EMPOWER will focus on how sport can contribute to development and peace, bring people together, help them discover talents they never knew they had and teach important life lessons - strive to be the best you can be, benefit from teamwork, exhibit dignity and generosity in victory or defeat.

“The main aims of EMPOWER 2012 are to raise awareness and build knowledge and capacity to enable young people to take leadership roles in addressing local and international developmental issues of concern to them especially in the area of Sustainable Development and Sports” says ROTA Director Mr. Essa Al Mannai.

H.E. Dr. Sheikha Aisha bint Faleh bin Nasser Al-Thani, ROTA Board Member and Founder of Doha Academy, will inaugurate EMPOWER 2012 with a powerful speech designed to motivate delegates in support of the event’s key themes.

The conference starts with a youth debate organized by Qatar Debate in collaboration with ROTA with the debate motion carefully selected to align with EMPOWER 2012 environment theme.

Day 2 of EMPOWER 2012 features an exciting line-up of inspiring and informative keynote speeches, and a lunchtime exhibition followed by 14 creative and interactive skills- and knowledge-based workshops delivered by leading experts in the fields of youth development, leadership, service learning, global citizenship, environment and sports.

On Day 3, delegates have the opportunity to participate in sports and environmental service learning activities taking place at Qatar Sports Club, Education City, Rumailah Hospital Special Education Centre and Al Amina Plastic Factory organized by the ROTA Volunteer Department, before EMPOWER 2012 concludes with a series of cultural performances and an amazing youth-led Closing Ceremony.

EMPOWER 2012 also features ‘Road to Rio +20’, a two-part sustainable development seminar which aims to draft a declaration on youth voice in contributing to pressing issues of sustainable development and poverty eradication. This statement will be supporting the initiative of Road To Rio +20.

As ROTA strives hard to increase EMPOWER’s realm of influence by involving GCC and Asian youth for the first time, organisers are also taking the opportunity to celebrate two vital global initiatives happening during EMPOWER 2012 – Global Youth Service Day and Earth Day 2012.

“We’re thrilled to host the EMPOWER Youth Conference in 2012, an internationally recognized conference that shares Reach Out To Asia’s values in recognizing today’s youth as agents of change and the leaders of tomorrow.” says Essa Al Mannai.


Since the event’s inauguration in 2009, EMPOWER has gained a reputation for being the first youth led conference in Qatar to focus on equipping young people to take active roles in building their communities and having a voice on global issues.

Demonstrating the wisdom of ROTA’s decision to ensure EMPOWER remains a youth-led conference, EMPOWER 2012 has been organised in collaboration with a Planning Committee comprising 30 youth volunteers.

Since the EMPOWER Planning Committee began in 2010, ROTA has trained a total of 85 youths who have gained experience and knowledge in video making, public speaking, event management, facilitation skills, social media skills and organizing skills.

“The Planning Committee serves EMPOWER by assisting ROTA in planning, implementing and coordinating certain elements of the conference. Whilst the Planning Committee attend planning meetings as well as allocating time and resources to implement their tasks, ROTA commits to provide training, workshops and a learning experience for the 30 youths.” explained Vivien Looi, Learning and Capacity Building, ROTA.

“We expect EMPOWER 2012 to be the best EMPOWER so far as youth delegates discover their voice, realize their potential to make a positive contribution and develop their skills, knowledge and attitudes to take on active leadership roles within their communities.” added ROTA’s Abdulla Al Bikri.

For further information please contact:

Krikor Khatchikian
Group Account Director
Cohn&Wolfe Public Relations,
Doha, Qatar
Telephone: +974 4428 3177