Blerta is the first girl in the Kosovo’s IT sector to ever win a grant to work on a computer application. Since then, she established Girls Coding Kosova in February 2014. Earlier this year, Girls Coding Kosova teamed up with Open Data Kosovo and USAID to develop #EcShlirë (meaning “walk freely” in Albanian), a mobile application for reporting sexual harassment in real time.
Standing in line to sign up for the Digital Youth Summit in Peshawar this May, I struck up a conversation with a young woman from Peshawar. I was pleasantly surprised by her level of interest and eagerness in participating at the tech conference. She was keen to develop an app that would allow her to sell home-based food products at a national level. She had already gathered a group of friends who would work with her on different aspects of task planning and implementation. Her enthusiasm was palpable and infectious.
Africa is the youngest continent with almost 200 million people in the age group of 15-24 years. The recent decades have seen entrepreneurial activity heating up across Africa leading to increasing number of youth from this age bracket taking the entrepreneurship plunge and moving from being job seekers to job creators. These youth entrepreneurs are exhibiting increasing risk propensity and heightened responsiveness to emerging entrepreneurship opportunities.
Today, a large part of your life occurs online. When you share photos on Instagram or via SnapChat, transfer money to your friends through mobile apps or shop online for a new pair of sneakers or jeans; it all happens digitally. With the world rapidly moving towards digitalization, new exciting opportunities are continually being created and become available to us all. Nevertheless, it is important that you know more about these new opportunities and are aware of the challenges they may bring.
While education has for years been at the forefront of the global development and social agendas, its place on the diplomatic agenda has arguably been less prominent. As such, ’Education Diplomacy’ is an idea whose time has come.
Education and work in the Middle East and North Africa region will determine the livelihoods of over 300 million people and drive growth and development for generations to come. As one of the youngest populations in the world, it is imperative that the region make adequate investments in education and learning that hold value in the labour market and prepare citizens for the world of tomorrow. In addition, as the global transformation of work unfolds in the region, policymakers, business leaders and workers must be prepared to proactively manage this period of transition.
With more than half of Africa’s population under the age of 25, many experts believes the continent’s greatest resource and potential competitive advantage could lie in the hands of its youth as they enter the workforce. However, economic growth on the continent has not yet translated into opportunities for young people to earn a sustainable livelihood — representing both missed potential and a societal risk as they could become alienated and marginalized.
According to the World Bank Development Report on Digital Dividends (2016), the rapid spread of digital technologies around the world is boosting economic growth and expands opportunities in many instances; but the benefits of technological changes are not evenly distributed to workers globally. For high-skilled workers, technology in most cases complements their skills, increases their productivity, and often leads to higher wages.