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'More than 80% of youth in rural areas don't have access to available systems'

By unknown | Feb 01, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Investing in young people is critical to developing the world economy, particularly under-developed countries, but governments might not be prepared to provide the necessary support system.

This is according to the World Bank's yearly World Development Report "Development and the Next Generation", released yesterday.

"One of the most disturbing pieces of information was that more than 80percent of young people in rural communities don't have access to the systems that are available," said World Bank director of human development and lead author of the report Emmanuel Jimenez.

Jimenez said that young people between the ages of 12 and 24 were in a better position than any past generations to contribute to global economies, but had very different challenges to deal with.

This age group makes up 1,3billion out of an approximate 6,5billion world population, and is the easiest and cheapest group to educate, according to the report.

"However, they now have to face different questions to past generations, such as will they find places in high school and tertiary institutions," he said.

Obstacles such as lack of effective human investment, the state of education and skills development of graduates were cited as some of the things that could be easily corrected by all governments.

Nelson Mandela Children's Fund chief executive Sibongile Mkhabela said that the biggest problem facing governments worldwide was the lack of coordination between various bodies.

"It's not so much a question of good or bad policies, but rather how they are implemented. We have often found that youth development programmes are implemented without even consulting the communities who will be affected," she said.

Junior Achievement South Africa executive director Linda McClure said that there was also a lack of coordination within some government programmes.


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