Kuwait has always taken measures to enable youth to utilize their creative energy, promoting their civic engagement and enhancing their voice in decision-making. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah reiterated in several occasions that “the true wealth of our country lies in its youth, who are the core and the pillar of future prosperity.”
His Highness the Amir, translating his undivided support to the youth into deeds via signing a decree establishing the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs in 2013, which was also in compliance with the recommendations of the national conference on youth, dubbed “Kuwait hears.” At its inception, the Ministry worked with ministries and state bodies to follow up the implementation of the recommendations of the national document that was produced by the conference.
In a statement to KUNA, Assistant Undersecretary for the Youth Projects’ Sector at the Ministry of Youth Affairs Shafiq Ahmad Al-Sayed Omar said that the follow-up of the implementation of the recommendations was divided into two stages and distributed over 22 government bodies.
He said the first phase was completed. It included the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and the National fund for supporting small and medium-sized enterprises. He pointed out that the government bodies implemented 80 percent of the recommendations. Al-Sayed Omar He added that the National Assembly, in cooperation with the government, approved a law to establish the National Fund for the Welfare of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Development.
The fund’s purpose is to provide financial assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), empower young entrepreneurs, and bolster private-sector activity. Moreover, a system, called the single window, was established to allow traders complete all paperwork and permits related to various state institutions and ministries through one state body and within three days, Al-Sayed Omar added.
With regard to the Ministry of Education, Al-Sayed Omar said that the ministry has implemented many of its recommendations by activating programs aiming at instilling national values at various stages of the educational system. He added that Kuwait made a huge improvement on The Commonwealth Youth Development Index (YDI), jumping to the 56th spot in 2016 from the 110th in a report issued in 2013. He pointed out that the index depends on several criteria, including developments in education, health and well-being, employment and opportunity, as well as civic and political participation.
Al-Sayed Omar attributed this success to the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs’ efforts to implement the recommendations of “Kuwait hears” conference. For his part, Director of Public Relations and Information at The Ministry of State for Youth Affairs Nasser Al-Arfaj told KUNA that the national document includes 20 recommendations aiming at establishing a database of qualified Kuwaiti youth in different academic and professional fields. Undersecretary of Kuwait’s Ministry of State for Youth Affairs Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah had confirmed the ministry’s readiness to cooperate with all parties in the society to follow up the recommendations, as the main governmental body responsible for youth in Kuwait.