Actions and Voices from Youth Delegates at the World Youth Development Forum

From October 30 to November 1, 2023, the 2023 World Youth Development Forum and the Youth Digital Development Forumtook place in Beijing, and 15 youth-led projects recommended by the International Labor Organization (ILO) through the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth were selected as the first batch of 100 model projects of the Action Plan for Global Youth Development. With the theme of "Youth Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development", Youth Employment experts from ILO, experts from the KAB (Know About Business) programs of various countries, and young leaders discussed how to utilize innovation and entrepreneurship to empower youth development.

The Action Plan for Global Youth Development is one of the outcomes of the World Youth Development Forum 2022, which promotes exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and foreign young people by selecting, promoting, and supporting excellent projects initiated and implemented by youths to help realize the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The International Labour Organization has always been committed to promoting youth development and has supported and recommended a series of youth-led projects. Among the first 100 model projects selected for the Global Youth Development Action Plan, the project themes covered topics such as youth employment and entrepreneurship, fair and high-quality education, digital technologies for sustainable development, and the promotion of green development. The following introduction features some of the selected youth-led projects:

[Selected Youth Development Projects]

Employment Entrepreneurship and Skills for Social Impact

[Kenya, Isirika Youth]

"Enhancing Civil Engagement and Social Impact through Economic Empowerment."

In East Africa, there is a significant population of young people unemployed, underemployed, or lack the financial and technical resources to start and grow their businesses. The idea of the program is to leverage digital technologies to address youth unemployment while promoting political participation to achieve social impact. Currently, the program shares information about resources, opportunities, and initiatives that young people can benefit from on platforms popular among young people. The program successfully mobilized young people in fundraising, designing, and settling a community library in Mombasa’s biggest slum and offered a free safe space for over 200 children. Meanwhile, they led a youth elections observation team and launched the Kenya Coalition on Youth, Peace, and Security.

[Selected Youth Development Projects]

Youth Employment Pathway Development Initiative

[Ghana, Talents in Africa Limited]

"Tailor-made TVET skills training to empower youth."

The project aims to address the career development of youth in three main areas: hands-on job readiness, tailored vocational skills training, and internship/apprenticeship programs, respectively. The project not only emphasizes equipping young people with technical skills, but also teaches them remote working, entrepreneurial and relocatable skills, and helps young people prepare for long-term employment or entrepreneurship through apprenticeships or internships. Since 2016, the program has trained more than 10 cohorts, totaling more than 500 youth trainees, who have found jobs after receiving training. This year, as of the third quarter, the program has trained 224 people.

"The World Youth Development Forum was fantastic, at the forum, I was able to meet people from hundreds of different countries and network with attendees from all over the world. I believe platforms like this are crucial for youth and entrepreneurship."

- Joseph Zotoo, Project Backbone, Youth Employment Pathways Development Initiative, Ghana

[Selected Youth Development Projects]

Entrepreneurship education and business skills training for young refugees

[Uganda, Stand for Change and Unity]

"Supporting young refugees by lightening up their way to start-up."

In Uganda, the refugee problem has been prominent for a long time, and it is extremely difficult for young refugees to find employment. The Entrepreneurship Education and Business Skills Training for Young Refugees (EEBYR) project is dedicated to solving this problem. The project works closely with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to provide young refugees with customized training courses aimed at improving their skill levels and innovation. The project not only provides refugees with learning and training opportunities but also supports them in starting their own businesses and finding jobs. Since the launch of the project, more than 530 young people have participated with encouraging results, with 65 percent of the participants having found jobs or started their own businesses, and with a significant increase in their average monthly income.

[Selected Youth Development Projects]

Bridging the Gap - Giving Access to Planning

[Pakistan, Flare of MASHAL (Making Society Healthier and Lively)]

Focusing on the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mashaal Light Pakistan develops solutions to issues such as Reproductive Health Birth Control, and HIV Prevention, and promotes Community Participation, engaging young people through digital media, training programs, and theatre performances. The project developed Pakistan's first reproductive health app, Bridging the Gap, which provides access to male and female contraceptive and HIV prevention methods, geo-tagged searches of more than 2,500 free family birth control clinics, more than 20 toll-free helplines in public hospitals, and bilingual life-skills education curriculum manuals. bilingual life skills education program manuals.

To date, the project has trained more than 15,000 young men and women and reached 400,000 youth through digital media. WHO cited the "Bridging the Gap" project as a success story for 2022 on its learning portal.

"We should continue to ensure youth participation so that when they have the relevant skills, they can successfully upgrade and transform their skills."

-Laleb Abid, Project Backbone, Bridging the Gap Program, Pakistan


  • International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • All China Youth Federation

  • KAB China Office


Published Date

21 November 2023