How can young people go beyond protesting on the streets to demand for change? For the past two years CIPE and Atlas Corps have supported energetic advocates from Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, and other countries in transition to become effective policy-leaders in their communities through the Think Tank LINKS Fellowship program. And we’re inviting young researchers from around the world again to apply to this opportunity to gain new leadership and research skills!
Think Tank LINKS Fellows will shadow researchers and experts at leading U.S. think tanks for 6 months (January to July 2015), and will gain valuable insights and skills to improve their advocacy and leadership skills.
This is a fantastic opportunity that you don’t want to miss!
Watch the promotional video about the fellowship to learn more, or read about fellows’ experiences on CIPE’s blog.
The deadline is August 15, 2014 so don’t wait until the last minute to apply!
By Aksa Bilal, honorable mention in the CIPE 2013 Blog Competition. Read the rest of the winning entries here.
I remember it was just 6 years ago, when boys and girls of merely 16 or 17 years of age wore a black cloth on their arms as a sign of defiance against our very own, our very recent, 4th dictator and former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. They wanted what is the right of the 7 billion people of this planet. They wanted democracy, a free and fair system, a truly representative government.
Now some wore the black sign of defiance not because of their sudden political awakening or out of their spirit of democracy, but because defiance seemed oh-so-cool and I admit – all the cool kids were doing it. When they talked, you could hear the father’s and uncle’s last-night dinner conversation, with angst driven knives and forks waving in the air. You could imagine furrowed eyebrows and big mustaches while the kid reminisced very verbally, for too long, only to forget it as soon as the black cloth was no longer “in.”
Then there were those who took to the streets for the judiciary and for the restoration of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and stood their ground against dictatorship with such zeal and zest that these became monumental achievements in the history of the country. They were the theatrical productions of the power of the common man, of the power of masses. With sadness I confess that I was amongst neither of these people. I was among the indifferent, too occupied with the next exam, too ignorant of what was not happening within the kilometers between my home and my high school.
Through high-level discussions of democracy, development, and free trade, the 2014 Doha Forum held from May 12 to 14 sought to find solutions to key economic challenges facing the Middle East through international collaboration and entrepreneurship. Among those key challenges is job creation.
Co-hosted by Qatar and UCLA’s Center for Middle East Development, the theme of this year’s forum was “Enriching the Middle East’s Economic Future.” CIPE’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Abdulwahab Alkebsi and a group of CIPE’s partners participated in the forum.
With 30 percent of the Middle East’s population between the ages of 15 and 29, creating employment opportunities for young people remains a top economic priority for the region. CIPE and its partner organizations highlighted the many ways in which the private sector can address this challenge and enrich the Middle East’s economic future.
In early April, I attended the launch event for a report entitled The Global Youth Wellbeing Index, at the Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS). According to the report, there are 1.8 billion people between the ages of 15-25 in the world today. The report surveyed Nepal’s neighbor to the south, India, and profiled several practices from which Nepal can learn.
This report is the first of its kind to measure the well being of young people in various domains and suggest critical paths to improve the situation of young people’s role in changing society. More than 80 percent of the youth represented in the index have very low levels of well being, lack economic opportunities, and face various challenges and limitations.
Youth is a vital asset for every country`s progress. Pakistan has incredible youth but due to issues like shortage of funds, political unrest, and the lack of recognition and platforms to share ideas, they become helpless. According to the International Labor Organization’s recently published Global Employment Trends Report, Pakistan’s current unemployment rate of 5.17 percent will likely rise to 5.29 percent in 2014. The true unemployment rate for youth is much higher still.
The government has recently begun he process of offering special loans worth Rs. 3.7 billion ($37 million) to help and empower the country`s youth. This was the first round of applications for the Business Youth Loan Programme which the premier announced last year.
What will the benefits of this program be? The question has no answer at this time because under the present strict conditions of screening and filing the loan application, young people are disappointed and reluctant to apply. 38,000 applications have been filed across the country: 28,000 from Punjab, 600 from Islamabad, 3,500 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 100 from Gilgit Baltistan, 500 from Azad Kashmir, and 3,000 from Sindh. Out of these 38,000 applications, only 6,217 (16 percent) were approved for balloting and 5,399 applicants found their names in balloting.
By Chinonso Onah, honorable mention in the CIPE 2013 Blog Competition. Read the rest of the winning entries here.
India, Singapore, Indonesia, and Korea were poor countries like Nigeria some decades ago. But today they are major players in world politics, economic heavyweights, technological hubs, and advanced countries while Nigeria is still dwindling deeper into collapse amidst plenty of resources. If these were our contemporaries, how did they move above board? And most importantly, what was the role of their youths in such a rapid democratic and economic metamorphosis?
This last question is very important as it forms the focus of our discussion henceforth.
“Scientists have discovered an enormous energy source for the world…located in the poorest countries in the world,” announced Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) President John Hamre recently. “If we tap it, this energy source will double or triple GDP growth in those countries.”
The resource Hamre was discussing is not a fossil fuel like coal or oil and is not a new form of renewable energy. His remarks were a reference to the 1.8 billion young people in the world between the ages of 10 and 24. This youth population is the largest the world has ever seen and their contributions to society have drastic implications for the development of emerging markets and fragile states. If youth become productive civic and economic participants in their communities, the benefits are immense. However, when young people are forced to the fringes of society and do not have sufficient opportunities to participate in society the consequences can be devastating.
In order to help policy, society, and business leaders better understand how to ensure that young people are best positioned to be drivers of growth and development, CSIS recently developed the Global Youth Wellbeing Index in partnership with the International Youth Foundation and Hilton Worldwide.