Hear from Majid Suliman Al-Farsi, an actuary at the Ministry of Defense Pension Fund of Oman
Majid Suliman Al-Farsi was born and raised in Muscat, the capital of Oman. After graduating with a degree in management of information systems from a local university, he joined the Ministry of Defense Pension Fund.
Majid started as an IT specialist, but quickly switched paths. He got involved with the first actuarial review of the pension fund, and enjoyed the work.
"Actuarial studies combine knowledge and skills like statistics, mathematics, finance, and the core concepts of social insurance and pension systems," he said.
He went on to complete two degrees in actuarial science at Kent University in the United Kingdom.
"In Oman, the overall concept of social protection, in its current shape, is relatively new," he said. "Learning from other countries' experiences and build on that is invaluable for us."
In 2012, Majid attended a training course at the Turin Centre for the first time. So far, he has completed three courses on the topic of social protection.
"The courses run by the ITCILO provide participants with the skills and tools that help overcome country-specific challenges," he said. "Bringing together different experts from different parts of the world with a wide range of practices and experiences builds a deeper knowledge of the existing challenges and possible solutions."
Meeting people from different parts of the world is one reason Majid continues to train at the ITCILO.
"The Diploma for Social Protection Analysts equipped me with the skills and tools I needed to get a wider picture of social protection, from the overall concept as a human right to the country-specific social, demographic, and economic circumstances."
It's like a set of building blocks that enabled me to have an holistic view of social protection.
This year, the country launched an ambitious national plan in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Oman Vision 2040 prioritizes well-being and social protection, among other goals.
Oman faces challenges in securing the resources necessary to sustaining social protection systems, especially as the socio-economic context changes.
"As a specialist working in the field, I enjoy working hand-in-hand with my colleagues, using the knowledge acquired, to help identify risks and provide the best options to achieve our goals," he said.
When he's not working, Majid spends time with his family. He also likes reading, traveling, and sports like football and table tennis.
"Sports provide a conducive environment that allows us to expand our skills and competencies, such as leadership and team building," he said. "And, most important, it is also great fun!"
Caring for the most vulnerable ones is part of my country's cultural background. This is why I love to work on social protection policies.
The Diploma for Social Protection Analysts is a new learning initiative of the ITCILO in the field of social protection. The programme aims at training quantitative specialists to support the improvement in analytical aspects of the design, financial planning and governance of national social protection systems.
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