The demographic dividend has been touted as a potential source of growth for the African continent and its relatively young population. In the same vein, it comes with the challenge of employment creation that can absorb the large cohort of youth that is set to enter sub-Saharan
Africa’s labor markets in the approaching decades. Less positively, however, countries that fail to plan accordingly might miss these potential opportunities or the resulting youth bulge could increase the risk of social tension and other risks arising from high youth unemployment rates.
Emerging economies within fragile environments hinge upon youth having the right kinds of technical and work readiness skills to secure meaningful, well-paid work and in turn contribute to family livelihoods. Throughout the world, EDC’s youth programs have helped young people succeed in jobs, entrepreneurship, and on-going career learning through programs that connect young people with skills training and employers.
There was silence in the room. No one seemed to want to speak up. I asked again: “what are the most important challenges that you face every day?” Suba, a young woman in her early 20s living in Tripoli, one of the regions with the highest poverty levels and concentration of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, finally raised her hand and said: “We are unemployed and have no access to basic services. We are sympathetic to the Syrian refugee cause. However, they are taking our jobs.
Jordan is hosting one of the largest populations of Syrians in the region – more than 650,000 people, of which 28% are between the ages of 11 and 25. This refugee population faces severe challenges. A staggering 93% of refugees living outside the camps are under the Jordanian poverty line. Most are living in host communities absent strong family and social networks. Syrians also face tensions with Jordanians in host communities that are competing for scarce resources ranging from access to water, jobs and education.
The Mali Out of School Youth Project (PAJE-Nieta) served remote areas like Timbuktu, providing entrepreneurship training and civic engagement to youth amid government instability. More than 88% of participants started micro businesses, most of which are still running today. Join us for a panel discussion about unique challenges and successes during the life of these projects.
Mercy Corps, International Rescue Committee, Plan International
This presentation focused on how engaging young women in conflict and post-conflict environments, as well as unpredictable economies, requires tailored and nuanced interventions. Each panelist shared transferable guidance on how young women can find safe and steady economic opportunities in these economies.
Citizen Diplomacy Network, Center for Citizen Diplomacy
Jun 23, 2014 (03:00pm to 04:00pm)
Exchanging Understanding: How Citizen Exchange and Economic Opportunity Are Shaping the Future of Eastern Europe
The perspective of Ukraine's youth has been significantly shaped by citizen exchange programs, such as those made possible by Fulbright, Muskie, and the Soros Foundation, which have offered a glimpse of the brighter future of a democratic European state.