The youth of today’s world have the potential to change the world by creating new and dynamic ways to drive and transform their economies. Where some societies have stagnated in terms of innovation, youth participation and engagement can renew and refresh policy and ideals. Specifically, they have a lot to offer in the fields of education and technology, as they are the generation that has the most to gain from advances in those areas. A lot is to be said on the influence of social media, the youth are realising they can play a big part in helping and shaping their communities through sharing their individual stories and experiences, with the intention of providing hope and inspiration to those around them.
Dr Ahmed Al Jibouri firmly believes in empowering the youth and unlocking their potentials through funding and by opening a dialogue; giving them a voice, free from judgment and criticism; encouraging them to use their talents and passions for the benefit of society; and he strongly believes in allowing them take charge of their lives by properly educating them and by giving them the skills they need to pursue careers. Most importantly, he intends to provide them with these opportunities through humanitarian programs, projects and initiatives.
A real issue in today’s world, youth unemployment has a very negative impact on society, and directly affects the economic health of the community. It can lead to an economic downturn that affects the labour market, as well as stagnate growth, productivity and innovation. Moreover, posing a more humanitarian threat, it has a negative impact in terms of both material and mental well-being that will be felt by society for years to come. Unemployed youth have no human capital and no aspirations. This will lead to weaker skillsets and even lower levels of productivity, carrying many fears for the future.
Al Jibouri has identified that solutions for the lack of youth participation in the economy are centred around funding. The current lack of resources is the main barrier for the youth to actively take an interest in bettering their lives and their communities. A multi-step approach is needed to equip the youth with the right attitude, behaviour and mindset towards their lives and future business careers. Firstly, their education needs to be funded, from basic education for the younger ages up to further education for young adults – without a solid educational foundation, no further steps can take place. Secondly, they need to be given a safe space for their ideas to be incubated and developed, with strong encouragement so that they can feel motivated to explore their creativity. Finally, there needs to be the creation of initiatives to fund their innovative ideas and further help develop them. Overall, there needs to be an environmental shift. There needs to be an environment that gives hope to the youth and motivates them to participate in the economy.
Conclusively, Al Jibouri believes in investing in our youth, with a focus on the most marginalised and disadvantaged. This is done through educational initiatives, economic engagement, and by teaching them to become critical thinkers and problem solvers. He wants to give them the tools and the skills they need to create opportunities for themselves, and have respectable careers. He wants to give them a sense of identity and belonging so that they can aspire to positively affect their communities, not abandon them. This will give them the power and ability to grow their economy, and one day compete in the global economy.