Nadia Al Sakkaf, editor of Yemen Times receives award. Photo: Caroline Lensinghebben / UNDP
Inspirational female editor of Yemen’s first independent English language newspaper, receives the Business for Peace Award in Oslo
The award is given to leaders in the private sector, who have demonstrated transformative and positive change through ethical business practices. The Honoree is chosen by winners of the Nobel Prizes in Peace and in Economics and is supported by the UNDP, Business for Peace Foundation and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). With the award comes a provision of up to seven doctoral scholarships awarded annually in the winner’s name to students pursuing doctoral research in this area.
Nadia Al Sakkaf, editor of the IMS-supported Yemen Times, the first independent English newspaper in Yemen, beat other nominees from over 50 countries. The Business for Peace Award is considered to be the highest distinction given to a businessperson for outstanding business worthy accomplishments.
Nadia Al Sakkaf is an inspirational example for conducting responsible business in a fragile environment, contributing to peace and woman empowerment in Yemen. She heads Yemen Times established in 1991 to promote freedom, human rights and democracy. With “Radio Yemen Times”, an FM radio station launched in 2012 with equipment and technical advice from IMS, she also created the first free public platform for expression. The station broadcasts 10 hours daily to the general public and provides an important alternative to the state-monopolised broadcast media. Its programmes focus on everyday issues such as health, traffic, education and environment.
Ensuring women in journalism
Ms. Al Sakkaf has also successfully recruited female journalists, who presently represent half of the staff, a gender balance which is an unusual achievement in Yemeni establishments. Nadia has pioneered internship programmes in Yemen and today Yemen Times is one of the few organisations in Yemen which opts for annual financial and administrative auditing as part of its commitment to transparency. Under the leadership of Nadia Al Sakkaf, the Yement Times establishment has been an icon in Yemen community development both through its civil society projects and through the various internship programmes it provides to young Yemenis. The legacy Yemen Times years has touched the hearts and minds of many Yemenis whose attitudes have dramatically changed when it comes to women’s situation, democracy, even truth finding and standing up for minorities.
About the award
The Business for Peace Award is a new opportunity to engage more strategically with the private sector in fragile environments. A constructive relationship between business and society is crucial to foster conditions that lead to peace and stability instead of conflict, important in a country such as Yemen which continues to find itself in an unstable political and economic situation.Yemen Times is an environment friendly organisation that encourages preservation of energy and recycling, and also participates in community development through charity and development programmes such as campaigning against injustices from political detainees to early marriage, mobilising the local community to help the poor through organisation donations of clothes or food, encouraging volunteerism and social responsibility through youth based programmes.