THE World Bank yesterday launched a writing competition in which young Tanzanians aged between 18 and 28 years and living in the country stand a chance to win trips to Washington D.C., the Bank’s headquarters in October.
The newly launched #Blog4Dev Contest for Tanzania, Malawi, Somalia and Burundi, is derived from a similar contest that the Bank has been running in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, and is one of several initiatives that the Bank is taking to promote the integration of youth in the national and regional development dialogue.
“We have been motivated to scale up the competition to more countries because we have seen that it is an excellent way of helping to get young women and men to engage deeply in development issues in their respective countries in their attempt to win the contest prize,” said Bella Bird, the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Somalia and Burundi.
“Initiatives like this, as well as the debate tournament which we recently supported at the University of Dar es Salaam, are important for building the capability of future leaders,” she said.
With the topic ‘How to Create Job Opportunities for A Brighter Future for Young People’, the contest will accept submissions up to July 31 and selection will be based on originality, creativity, clarity and applicability, after which interviews will be held for 10 shortlisted candidates.
Two winners from Tanzania would join those from Malawi, Somalia and Burundi in Washington D.C., the Bank’s global headquarters, where they would participate in the Annual Meetings which take place in October of each year. Two more winners would get two-week attachments to the respective World Bank offices in their countries where they would learn more about Bank-supported operations in their country and about project development and implementation processes.
The Annual and Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group each year bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, civil society, and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, global financial stability, poverty eradication, jobs and growth, economic development, and aid effectiveness.
In 40 countries across Africa, including Tanzania, over 50 per cent of the population is under 20 years of age. A recent World Bank study shows that the number of working-age Tanzanians has been growing faster than the number of jobs in the economy, with approximately 800,000 new entrants in the domestic labour market every year.
“We strongly believe this competition is a good way to generate youth-led solutions to development issues especially those related to youth skills and unemployment, which are some of the major concerns across the region,” said Bird.To enter the competition, Tanzanians have the choice to submit their entries of 500 words in either English or Kiswahili. Entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges once the contest closes on July 31, and winners are expected to be announced before the end of August.