Announcing the 38 winners of the World Bank Africa Blog4Dev 2021 competition

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Today, on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day , we are pleased to announce the winners of the Blog4Dev 2021 competition.

Launched in 2014 by the World Bank Kenya office, the Blog4Dev competition is an annual writing contest, inviting young people to weigh in on a topic critical to their country’s economic development. In 2019, it became a regional event. This year, we have asked young Africans to share their ideas on how young people could work with their government and civil society leaders to respond to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and build a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system.

We were eager to gain valuable insights and perspectives from African youth how they can contribute to a resilient recovery, in the context of COVID-19. The pandemic is exerting unprecedented social, economic and health pressures on Sub-Saharan African countries and is deepening social inequalities affecting the most vulnerable.

From the onset of the pandemic, the World Bank has responded with the fastest and largest crisis response in its history to support the countries in their crisis response. Up to $50 billion is gradually being allocated to support African governments in strengthening their health care systems, bolstering vaccine purchase and deployment; ensuring food security for local communities; scaling up social safety net programs for the most vulnerable and supporting the private sector in navigating the financial impact of the crisis.

With young Africans disproportionately at risk of reduced earnings, less disposable income, underemployment, and missed learning and job training opportunities, the stakes are high to ensure that future generations are positioned to succeed. As an institution, our efforts are focused on savings lives in Africa, protecting the poor, protecting, and creating jobs, and building back better.

This year, we received 1,266 entries, and the World Bank Country Offices were able to designate  winners from 38 countries. This number of entries is extremely heartening and demonstrates the energy that young Africans have to discuss the development challenges affecting them and their communities. This 2021 cohort will add their ideas and enthusiasm to the Youth Transforming Africa network that includes the winners of the 2019 and 2020 editions.

Among many proposed solutions, one recurrent idea is the creation of online platforms by governments to gather more quickly and efficiently the different proposals from youth and to frame a structured dialogue . Another suggestion is the request to support youth's skills for innovation, both in social and technological areas, that can be contribute to the building of a stronger post-COVID-19 economy and society. Young people can play a role in creating health equipment and kits using local raw materials, or in developing mentoring programs or educational software. Blog4Dev 2021 participants also suggested governmental programs promoting volunteerism and solidarity actions driven by young people in order to reach the most disadvantaged.  

The winners will very soon embark on a set of online activities. The awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. will be organized when travel is once again safe and possible.

On behalf of the World Bank’s Africa Regions, we heartily congratulate all of our Blog4Dev winners. They are the torchbearers to Africa’s development journey and serve as important voices in their respective countries. We are looking forward to seeing and hearing about their incredible contributions to the advancement of the continent in the months and years to come.

Please join us in congratulating #Blog4Dev’s 2021 winners:

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