World Bank hosts first annual African Youth Forum

2014.07.31 World Bank Youth Forum Africa

By Shane Lawlor, Global Youth Advocate

On July 31st, the World Bank hosted its inaugural Africa Youth Forum, where speakers included World Bank officials, government representatives and social entrepreneurs. Africa receives significant coverage on its large youth population as it currently claims the largest youth population in the world, with 200 million of its citizens between the ages of 15 and 24.

Up to 11 million of these young people will enter the labor market on an annual basis, therefore the issue of youth employment underpinned the forum with the areas of education, health, good governance and entrepreneurship coming under scrutiny, issues which feature among the top 5 priorities for young Africans in the MY world survey, a reference included on the forum website.

2014.07.31 World Bank Youth Forum Africa MYW

Education and data, amongst other areas, were singled out as vital in the poverty alleviation process. World Bank representatives emphasized youth inclusion as a key stepping stone for development on the continent, where youth participation in the decision making process and overall contribution to government policy was identified as a remedy. Participants focused on their personal areas of expertise, which allowed for education to be singled out as a prerequisite to poverty reduction and its absence was mentioned as perpetuating poverty due to employment opportunities being limited, resulting in low income jobs as the alternative.

The role of data in the poverty reduction process was highlighted by World Bank and ILO officials, specifically as a method of diagnosing, in detail, the root causes of poverty and unemployment. In addition, data was singled out as a method of measuring progress as well as a way of holding governments and institutions accountable.

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Citizens United to Promote Peace & Democracy in Liberia

CUPPADL, Liberia

Blog by: Prince Kreplah National Executive Director of CUPPADL (, +231886533015

Tuesday May 13, 2014: MY World’s Global Week of Action took place from from Monday, May 5th till Sunday May 11th, 2014. During this week, the United Nations teamed up with youth groups, the private sector, and NGO partners all over the world to launch MY World to gather 500,000 peoples’ opinions about the world they want after 2015. The MY World survey asks citizens everywhere about the issues that make the most difference to their lives.

In Liberia, the Citizens United to Promote Peace & Democracy (CUPPADL) led the initiative to collect votes in six poverty stricken communities in Monterrado County, Liberia. These communities included West Point, Clara Town, New Kru Town, Slipway, Doe Community etc. During the peak collection of votes from these communities, we mobilized the participation of over 400 citizens. The population voted for the six issues they believe needed to be prioritize in national and global development agendas in order to improve their lives and make Liberia a better place to live in.

We chose chose the communities previously mentioned because they have large populations with extreme poverty and poor access to social services despite the fact that they are so close to an urbanized capital. There are 40,000 inhabitants in the smallest community and 80,000 in the largest community.

The top priorities for the 400 voters were: “Better jobs opportunities”, “A good education”, “Better health care”, “Access to clean water and sanitation”, “Political freedoms”, “Better transport and roads”, “An honest and responsive government”, “Access to family planning” and “Reliable energy at home”. I believe the findings of the survey are not only relevant to global post-2015 development agenda, but are also relevant for Liberia in their national development planning.

The data will be useful to global leaders and will aid national development planning by painting an accurate global picture of the top six issues that impact peoples’ lives the most. The MY World survey is an unique opportunity to influence the global development agenda and CUPPADL is glad that Liberians have been heard through their votes.

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