Our Tomorrow: South Asian Youth

Guest Post by Tahmina Shafique, WB-SAES Youth Delegate from Bangladesh

Approximately, about one fifth of the population in South Asia is between the ages of 15 and 24. India alone has approximately about 200 million youth population. In Bangladesh, in approximately 160 million people, about 45% are youth under the age of 30.

This is perhaps the largest number of young people ever to transition into adulthood, both in South Asia and in the world as a whole.

For these young population, one may, the sky is the limit. But who connects them to the opportunity to reach this limit?

It is becoming increasingly evident that focus on youth is an integral part for economic development to this thriving region. In each of the plenary session, specifically in sessions “Youth Bulge” and “Working for Growth”, the issue of looking at youth employment opportunities, investments in education and skills came out clearly. While such discussions do come in the forefront, perhaps attempts need to made to engage more youth in such discussions, and have their voices come through.

Our tomorrow is our Youth- they are the drivers. And if South Asia is to move forward. Move forward from the traditional mindset of closed doors to open doors, to engage youth, to give them that ownership.

In planning and policies, every step of the way, investments on youth must be made. The time is now.