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Leaders Call for More Investment in Education to Empower Women

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Canada is doubling its contribution to the Global Partnership for Education to $180 million a year, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, told participants at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.

Trudeau said that for any society to prosper, everyone has to be given the chance to succeed and to realize their dreams. Education is central to providing that chance.

The Global Partnership for Education is an international organization focused on getting all children into school for a quality education in the world’s poorest countries.

Emphasizing the particular importance of educating girls and women, Trudeau said: “Educate and empower women and the debate changes, the concerns change and the type of decisions made change – all for the better.” He added that Canada has adopted a “global feminist development policy”, with all initiatives looked at “through a gender lens”. This was “the most effective way of making a lasting difference in the world,” he said.

Trudeau also strongly backs an educational focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), saying a thorough understanding of science method and skills such as coding will help people adapt to the rapidly changing nature of work. “Even symphonic composers and filmmakers will need to be powerful users of technology,” he said.

He called on men to be protagonists in the empowerment of women: “Men must have the courage to be feminists and the integrity to be allies.”

Sharing the platform with Trudeau was Malala Yousafzai, Girls’ Education Activist and Co-Founder of the Malala Fund in the United Kingdom. She urged the world’s business sector to contribute far higher levels of funding to girls’ education than they do at present.

“With investment in women, the returns are very high and the opportunity costs very low,” she said. “Educated, skilled women lift economic growth, help reduce poverty, change perceptions and eradicate evils like child labour. But we must make a first step and start funding for learning.”

Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), said she is a proponent of a diverse education to form well-rounded citizens. “As a scientist, I would say that my early studies in the humanities have contributed as much to me as a person as physics has,” she added.

The world is wasting vast human potential by failing to properly educate young people, said Orit Gadiesh, Chairman of Bain & Company. She added that a basic education is no longer sufficient to last a person a lifetime. “We need to inspire people to continue to seek out new knowledge, to learn new jobs – jobs that don’t exist today. Young people need to believe that they can continue learning.”

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Meet the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2018

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Bas van Abel, Fairphone

Twelve social entrepreneurs at the helm of 11 organizations from around the world have been recognized by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship as the 2018 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year.

Among this year’s honourees is the first Muslim woman from Kenya’s Marsabit region to receive a law degree, which she is using to help create more resilient and peaceful communities in the drought- and conflict-prone region; a Dutch phone manufacturer who is changing the way smartphones are made; and a Brazilian man who created a prisoner rehabilitation programme that has successfully decreased recidivism rates from 85% to 30%.

Social Entrepreneurs leverage the power of market forces and business principles to solve social problems in ways that benefit the marginalized and the poor,” said Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “Their work is often carried out in areas where government and the private sector are unable to achieve meaningful outcomes and involves considerable creativity coupled with pragmatism.”

The winners of the 2018 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year Award are:

Urvashi Sahni, Study Hall Education Foundation, India: The organization runs a network of nine types of schools and programmes, catering to girls, disabled children, rural youth and children outside the formal school system. To date, the foundation has worked with more than 900 government schools and trained 5,000 government teachers, reaching an estimated 500,000 children.

Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI), Kenya: HODI works to create peaceful, resilient communities in the extremely poor and drought-prone Horn of Africa through advocacy, education, conflict resolution, and the promotion of decent livelihoods. Its four flagship programmes span 300 villages, reaching 10,000 youth, 13 schools including 1,500 girls, and 14,700 households. HODI’s Breaking the Silence programme aims to end the shame and suffering in silence prevalent among victims of sexual violence by creating a school-based peer network for adolescent girls to give and receive support.

Valdeci Ferreira, The Brazilian Fraternity of Assistance to Convicts (FBAC) Brazil/Latin America: The FBAC has developed a prisoner recovery methodology based on 12 principles, including community participation, work, merit and family. FBAC operates in five Brazilian states and has facilitated the adoption of its methodology in 23 countries. Brazilian convicts who serve their sentence at a FBAC-run facility have a 30% recidivism rate, compared to the national average of 85%.

Bas van Abel, Fairphone, Netherlands: Fairphone drives change in the electronics industry by making smartphones in a way that puts social and environmental values first. It has implemented a long-lasting modular design to limit waste, source conflict-free material, provide its workers with good working conditions, and supports recycling efforts to move closer to a circular economy. To date, it has sold 160,000 smartphones.

Bruktawit Tigabu, Whiz Kids Workshop, Ethiopia: Whiz Kids uses the reach of television, radio and print media to disseminate educational messages in seven local languages with an emphasis on early childhood education, healthy behaviour, literacy and gender equality. Its flagship international award-winning programme, Tsehai Loves Learning, reaches up to 5 million television viewers every week and an estimated 10 million radio listeners.

Sasha Chanoff and Amy Slaughter, RefugePoint, Africa/Middle East: This organization finds lasting solutions for the world’s most-at-risk refugees by improving their integration into the countries to which they flee thanks to a self-reliance programme. Partnering with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Africa, South-East Asia and the Middle East, RefugePoint has directly helped more than 54,000 refugees access resettlement and created the conditions that provide access for thousands more.

Mike Quinn, Zoona, Zambia/Malawi: Zoona has established a technology platform and network of franchises, which provide accessible financial services. Since its launch in 2009, the organization has grown to service an active customer base of 2 million consumers and 3,000 agent outlets in three countries, has processed $2 billion in transactions and raised more than $25 million in investment.

Zack Rosenburg, SBP, USA: The organization reduces the time between disaster and recovery by ensuring that citizens and communities have access to the information and support they need before and after a disaster occurs. It rebuilds homes in an average of 61 days, at 40% of the cost of market rate contractors, and has rebuilt 1,420 houses to date. Additionally, it has open-sourced its rebuilding model and offered training to NGOs to encourage widespread adoption.

Tulin Akin, Tabit, Turkey: Tabit has pioneered an SMS-based system that is free and accessible via any basic mobile phone, revolutionizing the way in which small-scale farmers receive vital agricultural information, including weather forecasts, market prices and financing options. In 2017, 50% of Turkey’s 3 million rural farmers used Tabit’s mobile-based services.

David Yeung, Green Monday, Hong Kong: Green Monday aims to tackle climate change, global food insecurity and public health issues. It offers schools, catering companies and restaurant chains a vegetarian meal once a week and aims to change dietary habits. Its once-a-week plant-based meal philosophy is practiced by more than 1.6 million people in Hong Kong, and has spread to more than 30 countries.

Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Akhuwat, Pakistan/Uganda/Kenya: Akhuwat has disbursed around $600 million in loans among the poor, 98% of which have been used to launch or expand small businesses. Designed to be compatible with Islamic finance, Akhuwat is currently the world’s largest interest-free microfinance programme.

The 11 organizations and 12 individuals honoured in 2018 become part of the broader Schwab Foundation community of 350 outstanding social entrepreneurs from around the world. The work of the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs is integrated into the World Economic Forum’s events and initiatives aimed at scaling-up market-based solutions for global challenges

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Enhancing global partnerships for IDDA III – Key for successful implementation of AfCFTA

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To further foster the implementation of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa(IDDA III), a high-level event will be held in New York on the margins of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Placed under the theme “Enhancing global partnerships for IDDA III – Key for successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”, the event is organized by UNIDO together with the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

UNIDO Director General LI Yong will introduce the event, followed by a key message of the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Ms. Amina J. Mohammed and remarks by H.E. Paul Kagame President of Rwanda in his capacity as the current AUC Chairperson.

Interactive discussions will be held around two themes: “Ushering in a new era of intra-African trade: Challenges and opportunities for African industrial growth” and “Strengthening the involvement of the international community in African industrialization following the launch of the AfCFTA”.

The interventions will focus on how inclusive and sustainable industrial development and the IDDA III initiative can support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area through enhanced competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level, while providing a platform to reflect on innovative ways of leveraging global partnerships and mobilizing financial and non-financial resources for trade capacity building in Africa.

The high-level event is expected to bring together more than 100 high-level stakeholders, including Heads of States and high-level government representatives, representatives of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), development financing institutions, UN agencies, bilateral partners, private sector, NGOs and academia.

Key points

In the next few decades, Africa will become the youngest and most populous continent in the world with a working age population expected to grow by 450 million people – around 70 percent – by 2035.

Job creation in Africa has not kept pace with the growing workforce, and the rural population, the urban poor, women and youth have not yet benefited from economic growth. Africa has a great opportunity to reduce poverty and inequality and create jobs for young people.

The AfCFTA provides a chance for African countries to move away from resource-dependence and transform into dynamically diversified economies and competitive industrial production locations.

AfCFTA has the potential to be the world’s largest free trade area with a market covering 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of over USD 3.5 trillion.

Intra-African trade as a share of total African trade was 15.3 per cent in 2015, whereas, for example, trade among developing economies in Eastern Asia as a share of the total was 32.1 per cent. Eliminating import duties can boost intra-African trade by an estimated 53.2 per cent by 2020, which could also be doubled if non-tariff barriers are reduced.

Following the launch of the AfCFTA, Africa’s industrial development will depend on effective partnerships. Governments, investors, the United Nations family, development finance institutions, the private sector and civil society must redouble efforts to work together for Africa’s industrialization.

The Programme for Country Partnership (PCP)is a multi-stakeholder partnership model led by the respective governments and aligned with their own development agenda, synchronizing development efforts and interventions by governments and partners, and mobilizes large-scale resources to accelerate industrialization and achieve greater development impact.

UNIDO has developed a comprehensive programme to help developing countries and economies in transition to overcome the shortcomings of their standards and conformity infrastructure.

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Special Course on “China’s Foreign Policy” Launched in Armenia

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The “China-Eurasia” Council for Political and Strategic Research in cooperation with the Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Oriental Studies, ISEC, NAS, started the “Rethinking China’s Foreign Policy-2018” Special Course, supported also by Diplomatic Foundation of Armenia, which will last till 25 of September at the Institute of Oriental Studies.

The main aim of this special course is to introduce China’s Foreign Policy to those who are interested in China and its politics, providing them with solid knowledge and information about this rising Superpower, which increases its economic and political influence on a Global Stage.

The special program conducted by Armenian and foreign scholars, who cooperate with the “China-Eurasia Council for Political and Strategic Research, Foundation and have solid professional background of doing research on issues related to China’s foreign policy.

As a result of competition only 21 specialists won the opportunity to be invited to participate as a students in this prestigious course.

With special invitation of Organizing committee Mr. Zhou Hongyou, Advisor of PRC Ambassador to Armenia had a welcoming speech during the opening ceremony. He encouraged attendees to continue their research on China. He spoke about current situation of Sino-Armenian relations and stressed the importance of further developing friendly relations between China and Armenia․

During the opening ceremony of Special Course, heads of Organizing Committee Dr. Mher Sahakyan and Dr. Robert Ghazaryan welcomed attendees.

Dr. Mher Sahakyan (Head, “China-Eurasia” Council for Political and Strategic Research), founder of this annual course mentioned, “Nowdays China has great influence in political and economic developments on a global level. In short it is a rising superpower; thus, it is very important, that Armenian researchers and future decision makers  deepen their knowledge on China’s foreign policy. I hope that Special Course “Rethinking China’s Foreign policy” will help to give solid knowledge to attendees and they will use it for improving Sino-Armenian relations.”

In Turn, Dr. Robert Ghazaryan (Vice Director, Institute of Oriental Studies, NAS, Head, Department of Oriental Studies, ISEC, NAS) noted, “I want to congratulate all participants for starting this important course. It is worth mentioning that research and analyze of China’s modern history have very important political, economic, scientific meanings for Armenian decision makers, academicians and researchers.

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