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Submitted by Noor Aftab on
I would like to extend my congrats to Dr. Akhtar for beautifully bringing out the most workable solutions eloquently. What is true for the Arab nations is true for Asia and the emerging economies. We are living in interesting times where a nation crushed by 30 years of dictatorship can bring freedom in less than 18 years through media, social media and "tribes" (groups of people with similar vision who have gotten together for one common point). I saw this amazing awakening in the Arab World at Abraaj's Celebration of Entrepreneurship in Nov 2010 in Dubai. Little did I know those early sparks would ignite a revolution that would change the world we live in. It's also amazing how the leaders world wide are thinking along similar lines and understanding the modern engines of growth are the untapped segments of women and youth. Through the floods of 2010 in Pakistan and the 8 months that followed afterward, through our NGO Shahina Aftab Foundation, three critical lessons we learnt that are game changers for any sector and more so for development sector are this: 1) For lasting change we need to invest in youth through education, technology and skilled training 2) Women are an integral part of the society. The word for them is "interdependent". Don't make them too dependent on male folks: you would be unable to use their potential towards economic, social and community development. Don't make them too empowered and independent, they would not be able to blend in their communities, look after their families or contribute their best. 3) Social media and technology are an absolute must for brining about long lasting change. The reforms that used to take hundreds of years, due to social media, online sharing and technology take less than 100 days. Once again thanks for a great article. Much needed!