2002 Person of the Year: Interview [Archives:2003/01/Interview]

January 6 2003

The selection of Shawqi also comes in a time when Taiz is gaining greater attention and importance in cultural, economic and social aspects.
The Yemen Times would like to congratulate him with this award and given him and all citizens of Taiz best wishes for 2003.
Shawqi is head of the planning and development committee of the local council in Taiz. He also is an honorary president of five different clubs in Yemen.
He’s the executive head of Al-Saqr Sports Club (The Falcon) and is establishing a complete infrastructure of the club, along with establishing a Young Persons Development Centre for football.
He is married with four children, two boys and two girls, and has availed his bachelor in business administration from California University, USA.
As the name suggests, Shawqi is a member of the Hayel Saeed An’am family, and is currently the vice president of the supreme managerial board in Hayel Saeed An’am Group.
When told about being named as Yemen Times 2002 Man of the Year, he very modestly he said that there are more deserving people.
But the readers choice gives evidence to what he has given the country especially in the sports field.
Q: What are the reasons for your success both on the personal and practical levels? And what are the reasons behind the success the Hayel Saeed An’am Group enjoys?
A: To start with, I can’t really say that I am a successful person. That is relative and eventually is left to others to decide, not myself. But what I can say is that I work hard and honestly like the rest of my brothers and cousins by living up to the morals and principals we learnt from our grandfathers, fathers and uncles. Those people gave us the cream of their experiences and effort, and have become the ideal that was followed in our lives. And if there is success to be mentioned then the credit and thanks goes to God first and then to them.
As for the reasons behind the success of the Hayel Group, you can say ‘We apply moral and idealistic principles with strategic and scientific mechanisms in our work, and that is what makes the Hayel Group successful.’ Along with wise policy and mature management of the group’s administrative board, lead by Ali Mohammed Saeed An’am and Ahmed Hayel Saeed An’am chairperson and vice president of the board, and of course in cooperation with the remaining members, their brothers.
Q: Tell us about your daily routine and how you manage between work, sports or your other hobbies?
A: With a little time management one can mange all his activities. As for me, for example since the managing functions through a predefined controlled mechanism, I don’t struggle much in my private business. We have an organizational structure run by a set of honest and qualified personal. As for my work with the government at the local councils, I have dedicated the masterpiece of my time for that because it is a new experience for me, and because I head one of the most important sections, that is the planning and development and finance department.
Thanks to God, I have not encountered problems in this line, especially since I find support from the governor and general secretary of the local council in the Taiz who have helped me a lot, along with the rest of the committee members. As for my hobbies and sports, I find time not only to follow it but also to practice, as I like to swim, and watch football matches and basketball competitions.
Q: How do you view the sports scene in Yemen, and what do you think the factors of enhancement are?
A: The sports scene today is better than before and I feel it improving, especially after the achievement our young people has achieved in the last junior footballers competition.
Also other sports have proved their presence in the regional and international competitions, and have been provided funding from the state and attention from the public. Factors to improve the sports scene in my view are as follows:
– Establishing a complete infrastructure for Yemeni Sports, especially sports clubs.
– Proper scientific planning by sports unions to enhance and develop local competitions so that Yemen could be strongly represented on the international level.
– Rehabilitation of the national cadre working in the sports sector.
– Searching new sources to fund sports activities.
– Setting an effective strategy and an executing mechanism to care for the young and youth contests in various games.
Yemeni athletes have proved themselves in international competitions; we are working now on rehabilitation of the sports infrastructure Yemen.’
In this context, we are now working on establishing a development centre for the junior athletes in Taiz. This is in accordance with the Sports and Youth Ministry and the General Union for Football.
Q: What are the prominent achievements which you have accomplished while working in the local councils? And how do you evaluate your experience there?
A: The main focus in the beginning in this new experience was to understand the local authority law, to clarify the relationship between the local councils and the executive bureaus. Then to find the administration structure for the local councils and defining its incomes as stated in that law. This has taken a lot of time but we accomplished it. Now the local council in Taiz is functioning in a satisfactory way and has achieved many things.
We try to concentrate in our work on improving the structure of the essential services in the city and suburbs, such as the roads and transportation, drainage systems, electricity along with improving the services of health centers and educational institutes. You will notice efforts in reconstructing the streets and water supply and telephone systems, as well as organizing market places. We also have a grand strategic project concerning the second phase of protecting Taiz form flood disasters, on which work will start soon.
Through this experience, I have come to learn about the mechanisms used in the government sector and I have found there many excellent managerial skilled people. I also realized many things which I was not aware of before this. This experience has given me a lot on both the personal and general levels. I owe many thanks to all those who elected me for this position and I pray to god that I do not let them down.
Q: Through your work in the Hayel Group and in the Yemeni Industrial Community, how do you evaluate the present situation of the Yemeni industry? And could the ‘made in Yemen’ caption start becoming real?
A: I can not deny that the industrial scene in Yemen suffers from great complications, and that the industrial services are below the required level. More so, the investment atmosphere does not comply with the role which these services should be playing now.
Moreover, there is aggressive competition represented by the foreign products which are smuggled into the country. Still, in spite of all these obstacles, there is an improvement compared to what the situation was like years ago. Industries started using more advanced technology in their manufacturing and enhancing the standards of their products.
We hope that through the current international transformations and their reflection on the national industry that the concerned authorities start negotiating with the World Trade Organization to make use of the privileges that could be granted to our country considering the situation of the industry at present.
Industrial authorities should negotiate with the WTO to grant Yemen privileges that would enhance the trade situation in the country.
‘Made in Yemen’ is a patriotic theme that can not be reached unless all the concerned partied cooperated together in honesty and work on the government, private and public levels.
Q: While saying goodbye to a year and welcoming another, what are your personal and general wishes and dreams?
A: My personal ambitions do not differ from any other person’s ambitions. I want to achieve success in my work and self-improvement to my abilities and personal skills. On the general level I wish development and flourishing of my country and the Islamic world, and establishing security, stability and social peace under the wise leadership of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Born in al-Mudhaffar – Taiz on June 23, 1961
Obtained a Bachelor degree in business Administration and accounting from the University of California in the USA
Political and economic posts:
Member of Board of Directors of the Hayel Saeed Anaam Group of Companies
Vice GM of the Supreme Administration of the HSA Group of Companies
Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the Industrial Sector in Taiz
President of the Planning, Development, and Finance Committee in the local council of the Taiz Governorate
Member of Board of Directors of the Yemeni Industrialists Association
Member of the Supreme Health Council of Taiz
Member of the Local Council for Encouraging Small Projects
Member of Board of Directors of the Science and Technology University
Member of Taiz University Council
Member of the Trustees’ Council of Taiz governorate
Vice President of the Yemeni French Friendship Association
Head of the Economic Circle of the GPC in Taiz
Member of Board of Directors of the Local Water and Sanitation Establishment
President of the Al-Aghabira and Al-Arooq Charity Association’s Taiz Branch
Member of Board of the Social Security Fund
Chairman of the Saqr Sport and Culture Club
Honorary President of the sport clubs: Al-Talia, Shaab Hadramout, Taawun Baadan, Shabab Al-Baida, Hassan, and Abyan