Magazine article African Business

Norway Fund Will Finance Youth Development

Magazine article African Business

Norway Fund Will Finance Youth Development

Article excerpt

One of the most inspiring aspects of the Nanjing WUF was the unexpectedly large turnout for the youth section of the event. Young people from all countries of the world engaged seriously and articulately on urban issues, including youth delinquency, educational opportunities, or lack of them, employment and self-expression.

Most of the developing world is a young world with youth dominating the demographics. Tomorrow's world belongs to them and at this forum, they made it clear that they want to have input in how cities function.

They contributed a great deal of energy and creativity to the forum and showed that they are knowledgeable about major issues involved in urban centres.

Through film, music, live performances and discussion groups, we learnt how, for example, young people from Kibera, Kenya, probably the biggest slum in Africa, literally rose up from overflowing gutters to become international performance stars. We listened to the stories of former child soldiers who have somehow managed to find homes, families and occupations in the teeming slums of African cities.

Other young people told us about their projects aimed at supporting the youth in developing countries and programmes that teach young people the basics of business. We heard from young entrepreneurs how they had spotted opportunities in their markets and seized them.

The issues that worry youth across the world are similar--crime, violence, lack of opportunities and 'the soul-destroying' corruption of their elders, including national leaders. In African cities, the youth complained about the lack of sanitation and clean water and deplored the constant harassment many of them suffer at the hands of municipal authorities.

It was against this background that the launch of a groundbreaking $2m fund to finance youth-led development projects around the world was announced. …

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