News - Afghanistan
The Asia Society has launched a programme to bring 15 young leaders together as part of a year-long fellowship to debate Afghanistan's major issues. They will advise the government and the international community on topics such as transition, peace talks and international co-operation.
In a two day forum held in Kabul to launch the initiative, The Asia Society's Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl said the programme aimed at bringing "some of the most outstanding next generation leaders from across Afghanistan to have a series of dialogues about the future of the country."
The young Afghans will "develop and share their ideas [about] where Afghanistan should be going in the future to work together on public service projects, including on leadership training programmes at universities across the country," Mr Metzl said.
The programme is part of a broader Asia-wide young leader initiative, called Asia 21.
The Asia Society is a US-headquartered non-government international organisation dedicated to strengthening the Asia Pacific community with various programmes in the region, according Mr Metzl.
Tamim Asey, 26, a senior policy advisor at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and one of the Afghan young leaders who attended the forum, said youth can play a critical role in Afghanistan since they make up more than half the population.
"We are in a transition process in many ways and the Afghan youth have to take more responsibility" Mr Asey said.
"We want to create a culture for youth to get together and discuss problems of their country and provide policy and advice for the government and the international community."
Another fellow, Zakia Soleiman, said she hoped that such programmes can help bring together the young people of Afghanistan and to encourage more dialogues in the country.
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