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Egypt’s World Youth Forum: the Good and the Bad

November 19, 2018

Egypt hosted the second edition of the World Youth Forum (WYF) earlier this month. More than 230,000 people from around the world applied to attend the four day conference in Egypt’s sunny Sharm El-Sheikh and discuss topics relating to peace, development and creativity. While the second edition of the forum saw a marked improvement in technology use, information availability, marketing, and venue facilities, there were significant setbacks that held the WYF back. The Bad: Minimal Youth Engagement Among the WYF’s key aims is an aim to build a platform that “engages youth from around the globe in [an] enriching set-up, allowing them to exchange views and recommend initiatives to decision-makers and influential figures…[providing] a chance to engage with top policymakers”. According to organizers, the second edition of the WYF saw the participation of 345 speakers across 43 sessions. Though anyone could apply to be a speaker, the majority of the speakers (at least in the main/bigger sessions that were routinely attended by Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi) appeared to have been invited separate from the registration procedure and were not youth. This meant that the only opportunity for many of the…

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