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The Youngest Minister in the World

The world’s youngest government minister talks about overcoming challenges faced by young people in the UAE and beyond.

With over 100 million young people making up the largest proportion of the Arab world, it is a stratum of society whose needs and aspirations cannot be ignored. Yet in 2015, according to the Financial Times, unemployment for those under 25 in the Gulf was at 25%, while more than two-thirds of the region’s youth would prefer a government job to the private sector, as the Arab Youth Survey found.

In 2010, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched a program for socioeconomic development aimed at creating a healthier, more sustainable future. From investing in health and education, like the initiative to combat diabetes among children, the government is fostering the next generation of Emiratis who will help bring Vision 2021 to fruition. The country’s current youth bulge—15-34 year-olds make up over 40% of the population, some 400,000—has made the creation of the Youth Empowerment Strategy a key to the national vision’s success.

In 2016, Shamma Al Mazrui, a 22-year-old Oxford graduate, became the world’s youngest politician when she took over the post of the UAE’s youth minister.

In this video, she talks about her aspirations and the challenges ahead not only for young people of the UAE, but anywhere in the world.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.

Photo Credit: Ashtraus