On the occasion of National Youth Day celebrated on November 01, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Grameenphone joined up to establish an alliance called "Future Nation" for realizing the full potential of the demographic dividend of the youth population of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is uniquely positioned to potentially benefit from a demographic dividend, as more than 33 per cent of the total population are aged between 18-35 years (Ministry of Youth and Sports, 2017). But reaping the benefits of a demographic dividend is not guaranteed unless there are sufficient, stable employment opportunities for the youth.
Future Nation, an alliance of the private, public and development sectors, is created to accelerate the Nation's future economic growth by enhancing the skills and potential of youth by identifying opportunities for development, employment, entrepreneurship, and investment in the post-pandemic situation.
Sudipto Mukerjee, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh and Yasir Azman, Chief Executive Officer of Grameenphone, inked the partnership on behalf of their respective organizations.
"The private, public and development sectors have to work hand in hand and invest in the youth for Bangladesh to achieve the national goal of becoming a developed nation by 2041," Sudipto Mukerjee said at the signing ceremony.
"The world is changing very fast, and the youth must be prepared for the new reality presented by the fast-paced economic and technological evolutions coupled with the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic," he added.
Sudipto further added, "As Bangladesh adapts to Covid-19, this collaboration with Grameenphone will support the youth of Bangladesh to recover from the pandemic and accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030."
Yasir Azman, Grameenphone CEO said," Bangladesh has achieved remarkable success over the last 50 years. And now, to unleash the potential ahead of us and to overcome the challenges posed by the C19 pandemic, we must collaborate and help our youth acquire future-ready skills for creating opportunities in the digital space – the need has been accelerated further due to COVID. These thoughts are precisely the objective of the partnership with UNDP."
Azman further stretched, "I believe the right skillsets and mindset will allow youths to have freedom of career choices, and the wide range of opportunities will surely benefit the country in realizing its youth dividend and development ambition."
With an ambition of creating a million economic opportunities over the next three and a half years, "Future Nation" will help endow the youth with employable skills, and it will do so through innovation and partnerships between the various development actors from the public, private and international development sectors and is fully aligned with the 8th Five Year Plan.
Senior officials from UNDP and GP were present at the signing ceremony.