An international group of young professionals, entrepreneurs, social activists, and student leaders showcased the role of youth in global development through forums at the World Bank forums on youth service and entrepreneurship.
"Without the involvement of young people in areas that affect them it will be difficult for countries to move forward," said Evans Musonde from Zambia. He represented the Africa Peace Service Corps that is working to integrate the societies on east and southern Africa through cross-border youth service exchanges.
Karen Scheuerer of the U.S. Peace Corps said, "We see youth as change makers." She noted the Peace Corps efforts to promote youth entrepreneurship. About three-quarters of the people the Peace Corps works with are youth.
H.E. Olive Wonekha, Uganda's ambassador to the U.S., said that countries like hers needed a shift from donor aid to more international trade and investment. Uganda needed to develop a core of young entrepreneurs to facilitate this development.
Speakers also stressed the importance of international exchanges and fellowships in developing the skills of young entrepreneurs and leaders in the developing world.
The forums are part of the 4th International Young Leaders Assembly that brings together 800 young leaders from over 60 countries for programs in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York at the U.N. from August 11-20.