Bangladesh has failed to utilise its huge demographic dividend, says the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM), blaming the failure on the lack of employment generating opportunities for the youth.
According to the private think tank, technical skills and quality education are the major challenges in tapping the opportunity in the country that has more than 65 percent working age people – aged in between 15 to 64.
Around 30 percent educated youths are unemployed while the rate stands at only 4 percent for uneducated youths, said Research Associate of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Kazi Golam Tashfique at a national dialogue.
The programme styled “Realising the Demographic Dividend: Investment on Young People” was held at the BRAC Centre Inn in the city on Tuesday.
Shedding light on youth-oriented policies, Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury Nowfel said, “Power politics has ended. Now it is time for policy-based politics.”
Reiterating the government’s “balanced development” policy, he said: “We have no plan to hire foreigners to teach our teachers, but we will train them up.”
Dr Shamsul Alam, member of the General Economics Division of the Planning Commission, suggested not to be heavily dependent on the government.
“Dependency on the government in everything cannot solve all issues. Rather everyone has to have responsibility,” he said.
Urging entrepreneurs to step forward, Dr Shamsul said the private sector has to come forward to solve the country’s issues.
In his concluding remarks, SANEM Executive Director Prof Selim Raihan said the country is moving forward with some challenges to implement the SDGs.
“A challenging time is waiting for the country’s economy,” he noted cautiously.
Action Aid Country Director Farah Kabir chaired the event.