Shaza Fatima Khawaja, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Youth Affairs, described Pakistan’s youth as one of the nation’s strengths, noting that they make up roughly 68% of the country’s population, or nearly two-thirds of all residents.
Speaking at the Next Generation Research Report 2023 launch event in London, the SAPM stated that the current administration was fully aware of the issues that young people were facing and was doing everything in its power to help them through various initiatives. The SAPM added that the government and the British Council had been collaborating in a dependable and long-term partnership since 1948 with the aim of forging bilateral ties.
“The Next Generation Report is a timely resource for all stakeholders in Pakistan to formulate policies to address the multiple crises facing Pakistan,” she added.
She said that aiming at empowering the youth of the country, the Prime Minister’s Youth Program was facilitating youth through various initiatives which include Prime Minister’s Youth Business and Agriculture Loan Scheme, laptop scheme, Skills and Qualifications through, Sports Focused Engagement Programs through the Higher Education Commission, and climate change initiatives.
She informed that all these initiatives were under the Public Sector Development Fund and linked to development goals which ultimately serve the objective of youth development.
The British Council and the government of Pakistan also have collaborated in the higher education sector, such as the Pakistan Education Gateway, gym clubs, collaboration with TVET departments, and promotion of local schools, she added.
She said that Covid-19 Pandemic has increased marginalization in our society while the recent floods directly affected about 33 million people.
She further said the government was keen to work with the British Council and stakeholders to provide opportunities and technical assistance to address these major challenges facing our youth.
She also thanked the British Council and its partners, for producing a report containing very important research, which will help the government and all key stakeholders to determine the way forward to benefit from Pakistan’s demographic dividend.