About 73 million youth are unemployed in the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Bandar Hajjar has said.

His remarks came during a reception organised by the IDB as part of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, a media report said on Monday.

Hajjar said that of the 1.75 billion youth population, 500 million, the equivalent of 28.5 per cent, live in the OIC member states. He called on the OIC member states to cooperate in tackling poverty and youth unemployment.

He discussed ways to enhance the role of young people, especially through the development of social programmes to facilitate opportunities for economic empowerment, enhancing the quality of education and setting up business incubators to assist young people’s entrepreneurship ideas.

Hajjar also encouraged member countries to facilitate small and medium-sized enterprises financing and improve the overall business environment to integrate the youth in the development of states.

He highlighted the Islamic Development Bank’s role in implementing several initiatives for youth development, including the Youth Employment Support Programme, the Employment for Education Programme and the Vocational Literacy Programme.

First Published | 10 July 2017 10:57 PM
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