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Executing a Clear Strategy to Provide a Supportive Environment for Sustainable Development

Bahrain aspires to achieve financial sustainability and economic development through Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, which has developed a clear strategy to provide a supportive environment of the sustainable development of every Bahraini citizen to provide a decent and secure life.

Sustainability in Infrastructure

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Sustainable Infrastructure

specialized training programs

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Enhance government employees leadership skills

Sustainability in Innovation

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Economic growth in the digital economy

Bahrain efforts in Sustainability

The Kingdom of Bahrain has taken several steps to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 after building on its experience and expertise in achieving the Millennium Development Goals ahead of its schedule in 2015. It paid great attention to these goals and was strongly committed to achieving them since their endorsements in 2000. The goals were translated into four national reports to monitor the progress of achieving them. The fourth and final report, prepared with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)   office and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA)   . The report reflected the progress achieved over the past decade to demonstrate the outcomes of the important steps Bahrain’s Government has taken to diversify its economy in order to assist in increasing productivity, raising living standards and creating job opportunities for citizens.

This decade has witnessed great leaps and achievements in the formation of numerous institutions that have supported citizens and provided systems for protection; social care and health care; development of education’s quality; addressed social inequality and supported vulnerable segments of the society as well as providing opportunities for economic empowerment for the younger generation. Others include the support of political and economic participation of the Bahraini women, the preservation of environmental resources, and ensuring the sustainability of the development path in Bahrain.

Events Held by the Kingdom related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • Participation of the delegation of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the High-level Political Forum in New York 2018
  • Bahrain hosted the 2nd Arab High-Level Forum on Sustainable Development
  • Bahrain, represented by the Information & eGovernment Authority   and Ministry of Foreign Affairs  , participated in the 1st GCC Statistical Forum to enhance statistical partnerships in order to support economic policies and sustainable development in the GCC region
  • The 9th International Youth Conference, held under the theme of ‘Give Back,' selected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 as the topic of the 2017 conference


The Kingdom of Bahrain received the following international recognition in the filed of sustainable development

  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) bestowed His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa with an award in recognition of his global role in delivering economic empowerment for youth and women along with his vision, strategy and development achievements.
  • HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa - the Prime Minister - awarded Minister of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Developments as well as Former Executive Director of UN-HABITAT Professor Anna Tibaijuka with his Sustainable Development Award 2016 for her outstanding contribution in supporting countries efforts in sustainable development.
  •  The International Telecommunication Union (ITU)   presented HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, with the 'ICT in Sustainable Development’ award in 2015 for the achievements Bahrain has made in advancing its telecommunication sector and harnessing ICT in the field of sustainable development.
  • The United Nations presented HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, with the Millennium Development Goals 2010 award in recognition of his commitment to the implementation of the MDGs and by turning them into a reality.

Sustainability in Leadership

Bahrain’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2017 was 0.846, positioning it at 43 out of 189 countries and territories. Between 1990 and 2017, Bahrain's HDI value increased from 0.746 to 0.846, an increase of 13.4 percent. In 2017, Bahrain was the leader in the MENA region in Human Capital Index (HCI), and the Kingdom's 2017 HDI of 0.846 is below the average of 0.894 for countries in the very high human development group and above the average of 0.699 for countries in the Arab States.

Bahrain is paying much attention to enhance the competencies and leadership skills of government employees, by providing several specialized training programs are provided  through the Institute of Public Administration   (BIPA) to suit the needs of the government and the aspirations of employees to improve their performance and to prepare leading cadres capable of meeting the challenges and realizing Bahrain's future vision for achieving government performance for sustainable development.

The Master of Public Management program   was designed to meet the needs of the public sector. It has been launched to reach the highest levels of quality in the delivery of government services. Since the launch of the program in 2016, four batches have shown outstanding performance.

Sustainability in Education

The educational system in Bahrain is based on nine years of basic education, which includes primary, intermediate, and another three years of secondary education. In Bahrain, education is compulsory for all children aged between 8 to 14 years, so Bahrain is working hard on enabling all the Bahrain people to get a proper education. Children of Bahrain can be enrolled either in private or public schools. Bahrain provides free education for Bahraini and non-Bahraini students, as well as free textbooks and materials at the beginning of each academic year. Children with disabilities are not left behind in education, they have to attend special institutions. Bahrain has one of the most developed educational systems in the region, and it has also made strong advances and development in the use of information technology in schools.

Bahrain believes in quality education and its very important role in sustainable development, that is why Bahrain pays special attention to education from primary schools until university stage. In 2004, Bahrain educational system has started using information and communication technology in schools by offering free internet access for students and their teachers.

The process of digital empowerment in education   has begun in the schools of the Kingdom of Bahrain after the success of His Majesty King Hamad's Al Khalifa project for future schools. The Digital empowerment in education program   (Arabic only) has been implemented in 2015 and aims to enable students, teachers, and workers in the educational sectors to prepare and train continuously to use information and communication technology in education, in order to build national capacities that can produce digital educational content.

Sustainability in Infrastructure

The Government Action Plan   reflects Bahrain’s strategic priorities over the next four years and focuses on delivering sustainable change in line with His Majesty King Hamad’s Development Program. Built upon the principles of sustainability, transparency, justice, and competitiveness, The Government Action Plan   seeks to capitalize on the Kingdom’s resources and capabilities to meet the needs of all Bahrainis.

The Government Action Plan is focusing on:

  • Improving the efficiency of resource and energy conservation.
  • Encouraging the production and use of renewable energy and invest in it.
  • Supporting green building applications and raising their efficiency standards.
  • Develop a strategy for the optimal use of water and conservation of water resources.

Bahrain is working to fulfill Bahrain's commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations, including the seventh goal of ensuring that all have access to clean, reliable, sustainable and affordable energy. Bahrain guarantees access to energy for all, with 100% of the population benefiting from electricity services in Bahrain.

National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP)

In October 2016, The Sustainable Energy Unit   (SEU) finalized the preparation of Bahrain’s first National Renewable Energy Action Plan   (NREAP). The Plan was endorsed by the Cabinet in January 2017. NREAP identifies feasible renewable energy options for Bahrain, sets the targets, and proposes policies and initiatives to achieve the targets. NREAP represents the Kingdom’s efforts to deliver the sustainable energy transition envisioned in the Economic Vision 2030. The Plan also represents the implementation of the Kingdom’s international commitments under the Paris Agreement, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the League of Arab States Renewable Energy Framework. The Plan sets a national renewable energy target of 5% by 2025 and 10% by 2035. The proposed renewable energy mix consists of solar, wind, and waste to energy technologies. NREAP was prepared by SEU through broad consultations with key government and private sector institutions.

The Sustainable Energy Unit   (SEU) was established in November 2014 as a joint initiative between the Office of the Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The key objectives of the Unit are to develop a cohesive and sustainable energy policy and to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Unit also works towards bridging the legal, institutional, and capacity gaps to ensure the Bahrain energy sector is capable of meeting future challenges.

Sustainability in Innovation

The Kingdom of Bahrain seeks to have a better and more sustainable future for all, so its efforts have focused on the economic growth in the digital economy. The Kingdom has made significant strides in investing in financial technology.

Bahrain's FinTech Bay   is the largest financial technology center in the Middle East and one of the Kingdom's most important initiatives that focus on investing in innovation by means of advanced laboratories, business accelerators, and various educational opportunities.

The Kingdom of Bahrain has always believed in strong institutions and partnerships to achieve sustainable community goals. So, the Kingdom established labor fund "Tamkeen  " in 2006 as the right arm of innovation investment in the Kingdom of Bahrain and the engine used to strengthen the Bahraini economy by supporting and developing the private sector.

Tamkeen  supports individuals by financing the training programs, professional certification and wage support, and financially supports companies in the process of establishing and emerging enterprises or even companies in the process of expansion. From its establishment until October 2018, Tamkeen supported more than 234,000 individuals and institutions, including 183,000 individuals and 51,000 organizations, launched 339 initiatives to support institutions and individuals and spent 130 million Dinars on subsidies in 2018.

The Economic Development Board   (EDB) main task is to attract investments to the Kingdom, support the private sector, develop the economy, provide suitable conditions for investment, and create job opportunity for the Bahraini youth. The EDB  allows ownership of 100% of foreign investment in most business sectors of the Kingdom of Bahrain. It has attracted investments of BHD 314,000,000 in 2018, which resulted in the development of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Bahrain also supports business incubators and accelerators through Bahrain Development Bank   (BDB), which established Bahrain Business Incubator Centre in 2003, which is the first diversified incubator in the region. Bahrain Development Bank   focuses on strengthening Bahraini women's capabilities through "Riyadat  " center, which aims at increasing the creativity of Bahraini women and filling the gender gap.

Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism   (MOIC) also encourages the private sector to invest in incubators and accelerators by launching business incubators and accelerators licenses. MOIC has issued terms and conditions and resolutions regulating incubators and accelerators activities.

The Kingdom of Bahrain contains +75 innovative startups and +34 accelerators  , incubators, and co-working spaces. All these efforts aim to grow the economy and increase the share of industry in GDP.

In 2019, The Global Entrepreneurship Network  , in collaboration with the Tamkeen, launched the 11th Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) 2019  , which was held for the first time in the Kingdom of Bahrain at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre from April 15 – 18 2019.  

Also, an annual award is being organized (Hackathon  ) in partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain   and Tamkeen, in conjunction with the effectiveness of innovation in the application of financial technology under the supervision of a specialized group of experts with the participation of university students to raise awareness of financial technology and its role in supporting the digital and knowledge economy.

Page Last Updated: 17 Jul, 2019