International Youth Day was established by the UN in 1999, to raise awareness of the importance of youth participation and investing in youth. The theme of the day for 2009 is Sustainability: Our Challenge. Our Future.
Highlights of the essay by Jean-Paul Brice Affana (Cameroon) who is one of the eight finalists of The World Bank Essay Competition 2009.
Highlights of the essay by Guillermo Recio Guajardo (Mexico) who is one of the eight finalists of The World Bank Essay Competition 2009.
Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico, is known for its enormous diversity of natural resources with over 7,000 plant species, or one fourth of all the botanical species in Mexico, that includes various species of forest resources, such as pine, fir, and ash forests.
Highlights of the essay by Kwasi Gyeabour (Ghana) who is one of the eight finalists of The World Bank Essay Competition 2009.
Experts on youth and employment from Ghana, Kenya, Mali, and Colombia met on Saturday as the Spring Meetings got underway to discuss the growing problem of youth unemployment in Africa. The high-level panel, chaired by Obiageli Ezekwesili, World Bank vice president for the Africa Region, agreed that there are no easy solutions to the problem.
“Youth in urban areas are looking for jobs alongside thousands of others from the same schools, while rural youth are flooding into the cities looking for work,” said Sanoussi Toure, the Minister of Finance of Mali. “This is a tragedy. Our policies favor investment in education and training, but this investment has not led to job creation.”
Key points that came out of the meeting included:
- There are no easy solutions to the problem of youth unemployment.
- Youth employment has to be part of the growth strategy of every African country.
- Employment policies need to favor investment in education and training.
The panel also included Mauricio Cárdenas, former Colombian Minister of Transport and Economic Planning. Cárdenas talked about the outcomes of two youth programs Colombia put in place during his country's economic crisis in the late 1990s, when external shocks drove unemployment from 10 to 20 percent, and youth unemployment to 30 percent.
It is clear that youth unemployment in Africa needs to be addressed from many entry points, Ezekwesili said in her concluding remarks.
“The profile of unemployed youth has to enter the way we think, just as gender has. Youth need to be effectively targeted in everything we do, so that they will have a stake in the future,” Ezekwesili said.
How is the financial crisis impacting youth around the world? Youthink!, the Bank’s website dedicated to kids and young adults, asked its cadre of youth bloggers from around the world to answer that question.
"Even if the situation ahead of us is really bad, what good would it do to stress about it? It’s more productive to focus on the good things and keep on working towards our goals as a society…" said contributing blogger María Rodríguez of Colombia.
Bringing together seven young bloggers from across the world, the Youthink! blog features posts about topics as wide-reaching but impactful as climate change to health in the developing world. Since launching in January 2009, Youthink! bloggers have managed to spark lively debates and discussions among the site’s audience.
The first batch of Youthink! bloggers are:
- Stacy Alcantara, Philippines – Youth Coordinator; Active Citizenship Research
- Christine Cassar, Malta – Director, People for Change Foundation
- Nicholas Lembo, USA – MA Candidate; International Development
- Nate Miller, Benin – World traveler and public health professional
- Saptarshi Pal, India – World Bank International Essay Winner, 2008
- María Rodríguez, Colombia – Director; Red de Generación de Oportunidades Sociales (Social Opportunities Generating Network)
- Joao Felipe Scarpelini, Brazil – Youth Activist; Peace Child
- Saadia Iqbal, USA – Youthink! Editor
A 2006 Webby Award winner, Youthink! aims to inform youth on development issues and inspire them to get involved. The site contains a section for educators, and most of the content is now available in French, Spanish, and Chinese.
The blog has been up and going for a few weeks now, but it was only this week that the Youthink! blog officially went live. It's definitely worth checking out.
The other day, someone told me Youthink! needs to be more optimistic. Well hey, it’s hard to be cheerful and witty about topics like poverty and disease…
To be fair, though, there’s often good news from the world of development. So, maybe she did have a point. I decided to try to highlight more of the positive from now on.
The South Asia Regional Development Marketplace is accepting proposals under the theme: “Family and Community Approaches to Improve Infant and Young Child Nutrition.” Proposals are welcomed from all South Asian countries including: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. See the call for proposals for further eligibility criteria.
Proposals are being accepted until March 31, 2009. About 70 of the most promising candidates will be invited to present their ideas at the South Asia Regional Marketplace event to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in August 4-6, 2009. Of these, up to 25 winners will be selected by a jury of distinguished nutrition and development experts, to receive awards of up to US$40,000.
For more information, visit their website at http://go.worldbank.org/OC44S3YCY0.
Once somebody asked me why we can’t eradicate malaria by treating every person in malaria-endemic countries with an effective ant-malarial drug at the same time. As long as they all stay on the drug for as long as it takes for the current generation of infected mosquitoes to die (1-2 weeks on average, maybe a month maximum), then the human reservoir will be eliminated, no new mosquitoes will become infected, and that would be the end of malaria.
There was a time when young people were the driving force of the economy, a time when middle-aged men with graying hair felt as though the world they knew had changed beyond comprehension.
And today - Where are young people? What is youth? Who are the youth?
Ask most policy makers and they may give an age bracket and a couple of sweeping statements on vulnerability… They follow this statement with one of two descriptions– either "poor youth – jobless, insufficiently skilled," or "druggies, always up for a drink, riots and violence." The victim-perpetrator trap…
My favorite part of Barack Obama’s inauguration speech was "We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its costs." Science and the scientific method – the process of making decisions based on observable, empirical and measurable evidence – have profoundly changed the way much of the human race (and even some of the luckier animals) live in this world.
[Originally posted at the Development Marketplace Blog]
|Photo © Planinternationalty|
We hear that climate changes – ongoing and those to come – are hitting the poor the hardest and the soonest. So what can we do about that?
Well, adapting to climate change is such an abstract and wide-reaching concept I find it sometimes hard to nail down. How do you actually adapt, especially if you are poor and struggling to put food on the table and send your children to school? I find myself wondering what are the ideas that can help poor people cope with harsh weather?
|Kiribati is the easternmost country in the world, and was the first country to enter into the year 2000.|