#WorldGovSummit: 7 initiatives for highly effective Arab youth

 

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Arab Youth Strategy discussion, with youth representatives from different Arab countries.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Arab Youth Strategy discussion, with youth representatives from different Arab countries.

Dubai - It is the youth's responsibility to work on their strategies and initiatives.

By Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Tue 14 Feb 2017, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Feb 2017, 12:03 AM

 As part of the National Arab Youth Strategy, the Dubai government will launch seven initiatives to empower the youth of the Arab World, it was announced during the closing session of the World Government summit that concluded on Tuesday.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, said the initiatives are the part of the government's responsibility to assist the youth of the Arab World in achieving their ambitions. The Arab Youth Strategy was initiated among 150 young men and women from 22 Arab countries who gathered to discuss different ideas and initiatives during the summit's Arab Youth Forum chaired by HE Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs.
"It is the youth's responsibility to work on their strategies and initiatives. The future is in the hands of the youth and our children see [the leadership] as role models. Therefore, it is our responsibility as Arab governments to create hope and open doors of opportunities for them," said Sheikh Mansour as he addressed a crowd of leaders and delegates.
Displayed behind them on a big screen was a number that went beyond 108 million, which Sheikh Mansour described as the number of youth segment in the Arab World. "This number is not the number of victims of war or the number of losses in the oil sector nor figures fluctuating in the stock market or number of terrorist attacks. This number refers to the increase in the most important sector, which is the Arab youth." He said that the government's focus on Arab youth goes years back when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was appointed the youngest minister in the world. He repeated the same legacy with Shamma Al Mazrui who was named the Youth Minister last year at the age of 22.
What the youth want
Young people spoke about different ideas to be implemented as part of the Arab Youth Strategy.
Among them was Ayman Al Musbah, a Sudanese social entrepreneur whose work involves youth empowerment. "The most important part is to take the initiative. Many times, we see great initiatives started with excitement in the Arab World, but they soon go down the drain and we never hear of them," he said.
Syrian Mohammed Saeed Al Ghabra said he struggled to follow his dream of going to university. He said it's necessary to work towards retaining the Arab world's glory by establishing top educational institutions that would compete internationally and highlighted the importance of adopting volunteerism as a lifestyle among young people.
"We need to be proud of our Arab identify and culture. Despite the degrees and positions we hold, what unites us is our pride of Arab cultures and values."
The seven initiatives announced are:
> Centre that works directly with Arab Youth, led by young people and their vision across the region.
> Holding of the second Arab Youth Forum to give young Arabs with a platform for dialogue.
> Establishing a youth opportunity platform for capacity-building programmes.
> An annual Arab Youth Report that sheds light on young citizens' dreams and aspirations.
> A set of student exchange programmes for Arab Youth to study at universities worldwide.
> Establishing youth circles held across the entire Arab World, for 22 Arab countries.
> A platform for Arab Youth to work on the economy and use crowdsourcing as a future model.
sherouk@khaleejtimes.com


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