10 November 2017

Africa: Somali Youths Win World Bank Blog Contest

press release

Mogadishu — Two Somali youths have been selected as winners of the #Blog4Dev competition launched earlier this year by the World Bank. Along with two runner-ups and over 100 submissions, the blog contestants addressed job creation for youth in Somalia.

Abdishakur Ahmed and Awil Osman, the two winners of the competition, will travel to Washington D.C. to participate in the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in April 2018, along with other #Blog4Dev winners from across Africa. Abdishakur wrote about clean energy as a strong means for job creation, whereas Awil emphasized digital innovation and access to information.

"Blog4Dev is a great opportunity to present homegrown solutions that affect my peers and I on a daily basis," said Awil Osman, the co-founder of iRise, the only digital hub in Somalia. "The path for digital economic growth lies in collaboration, and I am grateful to the World Bank for providing that platform".

"Youth employment needs to be addressed holistically," said Abdishakur Ahmed, founder of SomLite, a renewable energy company in Somaliland. "We should be able to tackle both youth unemployment and climate change reduce rural poverty, increase productivity and curb unsafe migration".

Many submissions placed great emphasis on clean energy, IT, innovation, education and improvements in the supply-chain as methods of boosting youth employment in Somalia.

"There were hundreds of strong submissions from men and women across Somalia," said Hugh Riddell, World Bank Country Representative for Somalia. "The competition is a testament to the drive and vast potential Somali youth have. The World Bank is happy to provide a platform to inspire more youth to get involved in job creation and economic growth."

The blog contest, which ran from June 15 to July 31, 2017, targeted Somalis aged between 18 and 28 years who live in the country. Participants were required to send 500-word original essays in either Somali or English on how to boost opportunities for youth in the country.

The two runner-ups will receive a smartphone and an internet dongle. They are Mowliid Ahmed Hassan, a financial journalist, and Mohamed Maqadin, an educator. All four participants will have their winning blogs published and promoted on World Bank Group online platforms.

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