NNA - Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri sponsored today at the Grand Serail the closing ceremony of the second edition of “Summer of Innovation” in cooperation with IDEAS, an independent non-governmental organization, in the presence of the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers Fouad Fleifel, Hariri's Advisor for Development Fadi Fawaz and the head of Business Environment and Innovation at the Prime Minister's Office Yasmina Khoury Rafael.
Mrs. Khoury thanked Prime Minister Hariri for his encouragement and sponsorship of this initiative and strongly praised the youth and innovators and their ability to transform our economy, adding that in its second edition, Summer of Innovation project expanded to include not only youth activities but a variety of activities for all age groups all over Lebanon.
Prime Minister Hariri then addressed the audience: “Welcome to the Serail. Last year we had 2200 students, this year we reached 4700. I think the driving force behind this is you. You have the initiatives, the brain, the smartness and the energy that makes me work with you and makes me wants to achieve what you want to achieve and have a platform for the Lebanese people all over Lebanon to be able to work, understand and study what real technology is all about.
We are behind, as a country, but we are picking up, we are working all together very quickly and very hard. I hope that Summer of innovation will always be here, a hub for technology.
Forming the government is taking longer than expected but we will get there. I wish you all the luck and I am proud of what has been done. You reached 4700 people, this is something big, and hopefully next year we will reach 10000 and more.
Thank you all and we will always be by your side. We passed some laws, we are working on new laws to introduce to the government and parliament and you will see that the new government will be working much faster. I think the first few laws took some time because it was the beginning but now all is fine and with your efforts, we are able to reach these goals and I hope to work with you in the future”.
In a discussion with the audience, he said: “My energy comes from you. When I come to an event like this and see the youth feeling so energetic, or when they win an election in AUB or other universities, it energizes me. This country is worth it, my father believed in it and believe in it. People abroad look for natural resources while our main natural resource is the Lebanese people. We have huge energy, we are all over the world, and we just need to understand how to work together and I think that we are reaching this point, slowly maybe but surely”.
Asked how the youth can help the government become an innovator as other governments or companies around the world, Hariri said: “The way we are going, the way we are receiving your ideas and recommending them in every sector of technology, and changing the laws, this is what we need. Sometimes it takes time in Lebanon, but we should not give up. My economic and technology teams is larger now, we have more people and more expertise, and every day we learn more. The job of the government is to develop a platform for you. This is why we worked on fiber optics, 5G and others”.
At the end of the ceremony, Hariri distributed certificates to students.