Today the United Nations launches the International Year of Youth. An estimated 1.5 billion people worldwide are between the ages of 12 and 24, and 1.3 billion are in developing countries.
On International Youth Day we acknowledge the young people around the world who are greatly influencing the future of their nations. They are the hinge between generations - the juncture at which a society's knowledge and skills are reshaped, reframed and transmitted.
Last week I joined President Obama at the White House to celebrate 50 years of African independence and to meet young African leaders who are shaping the future of the continent. These young men and women-and the hundreds of millions of young people throughout the continent-will play a critical role in their countries' future stability, prosperity and development.
Today Mike Yates, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Economic Growth, Agriculture & Trade, is speaking at the UN on the importance of beginning a dialogue and building partnerships with youth around the world. Engaging youth is a critical component of development. USAID envisions a world that supports and empowers the optimism, energy, and natural innovation of the young. The challenges presented to youth are witnessed in the field by USAID staff daily, and we are committed to ensuring that they have access to the skills and opportunities to be active, effective agents of change.
Last updated: February 08, 2012