Wed, Oct

Afghan youth critical for economic progress and peace



Empowering young Afghans remains crucial for the country’s development, according to a United Nations report released in Kabul today.

“Investing in Youth,” a new United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report, focuses on the social integration of young Afghans and how they can effectively contribute to economic progress, peace and stability in the country.With 63 per cent of its population under 25 years, Afghanistan already has one of the youngest populations in the world, according to UNFPA. Relying on population projections from census and survey data, the report charts the social impact of those demographics as they are expected to shift in the upcoming decade. “Today we have the opportunity to invest in our youth, particularly in girls, to ensure they are productively integrated in society and achieve their full potential,” said Annette Sachs Robertson, Afghanistan’s UNFPA Representative, during a press conference to launch the report. “The demographic dividend provides a window of opportunity for Afghanistan to accelerate socioeconomic development.”At the Kabul event, the Afghan Minister for Information and Culture, Bari Jahani, called young people the backbone of Afghanistan and said that empowering them would make the country more self-reliant. “The young generation needs to be guided in the right direction by providing them a safe environment and suitable resources,” Mr. Jahani added.Young people in Afghanistan and around the world will celebrate International Youth Day on 12 August under the theme “Youth Civic Engagement,” which is designed to help to raise awareness about the importance of social involvement and its benefits, including for sustainable development.