Their voice comes in minor or major key – as rap, folk or pop. Boy, they do have a voice, and they are raising it, as a citizen voice and as a singing voice. On voices-against-corruption.org music bands from around the world are making the pitch, in different languages and different sounds: Congolese and Philippine pop singers, Macedonian and Senegalese rappers, and beautiful Zimbabwean choruses are amongst the many bands that come together to support a global youth anti-corruption network and to help break the silence that still surrounds this pressing challenge in many of their home countries.
|East Asia and Pacific countries have more university graduates than ever, yet employers say they don't find the skills to match their needs.|
Fragile states are those facing particularly severe development challenges: weak institutional capacity, poor governance, political instability, and often ongoing violence or the legacy of past conflict. About 600 million people currently live in countries affected by fragility and conflict. In these countries, building an effective state is both urgent and difficult. Everything is pressing and resources and skills are often scarce.
At a candid discussion yesterday with African ministers of education and a range of education experts from the public and private sectors, one thing was very clear – that higher education was recognized by everyone in the room as being critical for Africa’s development in the 21st century. All participants—from the Gambia’s education minister, who pointed out that his country went without a university for 30 years after independence and was facing a severe resource gap, to his counterpart in Senegal who wanted to catch up with Tunisia on the number of students enrolled in universities—agreed that higher education was key to diversifying Africa’s growing economies and reducing their dependence on natural resource extraction.
There’s another reason higher education is so important in Africa—the region has burgeoning numbers of young people, some 7 to 10 million of whom knock on the doors of the labor market every year. These young people constitute a huge opportunity for Africa. Yet of today’s unemployed in the region, a full 60 percent are youth. Good quality, relevant education that goes well beyond the primary stage will turn out the types of employable graduates and professionals that Africa so urgently needs. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers, and entrepreneurs—but also agriculturists and environmentalists. This morning’s news about intensifying drought in West Africa’s Sahel region, with 10 million people thought to be short of food, only underscores the great urgency to build human resource bases in each country that can help tackle the environmental and health issues that confront Africa.
I start a new job next week, so more riveting (I hope) field experiences to come. For now, I wanted to introduce a few projects, most “new” in the field, that have caught my eye.
Hey youth of the world! The next time a teacher or parent scolds you for bad behavior, here's a good excuse: "I can't help it, it's just the way my brain is wired."
According to a recent blog post by Emmanuel Jimenez, Human Development Director, in the World Bank’s East Asia Region:
Soccer (aka football) is more than just a fun, popular, international sport. Soccer plays a role in international development by funding global education, effecting positive social change and producing renewable energy. Yes, renewable energy.
Soccer and Society
Current rehabilitation and development rhetoric calls for listening to the Afghans and giving them the lead. Sadly, actions too often defy these wise words. The challenge is to make way for genuine in depth Afghan involvement at a time when the problems inherent in a lackluster government beset with corruption are so complex, and, particularly, when the aid-dispensing agencies so often disregard coordination and cooperation.
Politics within the prevailing environment of conflict imposes a sense of great urgency, no doubt, but many basic development principles are being set aside when they are most needed. Plans that rest on massive projects designed by outsiders lavishing too much money and demanding instant implementation are bound to be ineffective. Quick fixes never have worked. Throwing around money indiscriminately just compounds problems and raises new dilemmas. Sustained development, as has been established for decades, requires patient on the ground interactions over time.
At a recent discussion organized by the World Bank Institute, 7 panelists shared ideas about why it's so important for youth to be involved in development, and how everyone--young people, organizations, and governments--can work together to make this happen even more than it is already happening.