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Youth Unemployment Empowering Solutions through Innovation and Inclusion Focus on SOUTH ASIA. Kalpana Kochhar Chief Economist, South Asia Region Global Youth Conference, March 2012. South Asia is undergoing a massive demographic transition.

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youth unemployment empowering solutions through innovation and inclusion focus on south asia

Youth UnemploymentEmpowering Solutions through Innovation and InclusionFocus on SOUTH ASIA

KalpanaKochhar

Chief Economist, South Asia Region

Global Youth Conference, March 2012

south asia is undergoing a massive demographic transition
South Asia is undergoing a massive demographic transition

The region will contribute nearly 40 percent of the growth in the world’s working age (15—64) population over the next several decades.

south asia has the opportunity to reap a large demographic dividend provided policies are conducive
South Asia has the opportunity to reap a large demographic dividend provided policies are conducive.

The ratio of nonworking age population to the working age population is called the dependency ratio. This ratio is falling in South Asia and will continue to fall until 2040. This creates the potential for harnessing the resources that would otherwise have been spent on dependents into investments to help create jobs.

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South Asia has had a good record of creating jobs so far—reflected in the relative low youth unemployment
in conclusion
In conclusion…
  • South Asia has grown rapidly and has created more, mostly better jobs.
  • Youth in South Asia face many challenges during their transition into adulthood including malnutrition, gender inequality and lack of access to quality education.
  • The coming demographic transition can yield a dividend or become a curse—depending on whether government adopt policies aimed at creating an environment for productive jobs.
  • A multisectoral approach is needed—focused on relieving the deep infrastructure constraints, dealing with early childhood development, raising job related skills including for females, broadening the revenue base, tackling corruption, and encouraging regional cooperation and trade for more rapid job creation.
  • The good news is that all countries in South Asia have democratically elected governments and the progress of the last decade has raised aspirations of youth. Governments will have to respond to these aspirations.