CAIRO - 13 February 2022: Under the theme of "Back Together," Egypt launched the fourth edition of the World Youth Forum (WYF) in Sharm El-Sheikh City in South Sinai Governorate during January 2022.
The forum which was held for four days aimed to bring together the world's youth in order to promote dialogue and discuss development issues, and to send a message of peace and prosperity from Egypt to the world.
The WYF is an annual global event held under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi. It was launched in three editions in the past years 2017, 2018, and 2019, where it hosted more than 15,000 young men and women from 160 countries over the course of these three editions.
The United Nations Commission for Social Development has adopted the three previous editions of the World Youth Forum in Egypt as an international platform for discussing youth issues.
The outcomes of this four-day forum are not only related to the social, political, and cultural aspects, but it has a direct impact on the economy as well.
The economic returns of the forum included tourism activity in Sharm El-Sheikh during the forum period, marketing for the touristic places by the participants, in addition to promoting the field of conference industry, which is currently witnessing popularity.
Undersecretary of the Economic Committee of the Congress Party, Karim Adel, said that over the course of seven years and during the previous three editions of the World Youth Forum, the Egyptian state succeeded in using one of its soft power tools at the political level and practicing economic diplomacy at the economic level through the activities of those forums and the sessions they include and workshops.
Adel pointed out that the returns from this forum are not limited to the political, social, educational and health aspects of the issues and topics that are discussed and decisions that are held, and youth participation in sessions and workshops and expressing opinions and proposals to reach recommendations, since the launch of this forum in its first version and has a great impact on all economic aspects of the Egyptian state.
He added that these conferences and forums have become one of the factors that affect the economy and benefit the various sectors, as they are characterized by their direct impact on the economies of sectors, regions and citizens as a result of the increase in the tourism movement and the demand for services provided to the participating delegations.
“In addition to their contribution to the marketing of heritage and agricultural products and the promotion of activities, crafts, handicrafts and other industries that characterize the Egyptian state, and the promotion of investment opportunities, in addition to its contribution to providing job opportunities for a large segment of young people as well as residents of the governorates in which these conferences are held,” Adel added.
Conference Industry Market
According to Adel, there is no doubt that the conference tourism market represents the most important pillars of tourism promotion, especially in light of the changes in the global tourism markets. The growth of the conference industry constitutes a great impetus for the tourism sector by increasing the number of visitors and businessmen, which raises the occupancy rates of hotels, public tourist destinations, and commercial and economic destinations.
The Congress Party's economic undersecretary expected that this industry would witness great growth, especially in light of the investment efforts employed by the Egyptian state in its public and private sectors to improve the level of its tourism products, especially since the conference industry is a smokeless industry that increases opportunities for growth, development and progress of the economy.
Adel emphasized that the Egyptian state succeeded, through these conferences and forums, to top the list of destinations for conferences, exhibitions and economic, media, social and industrial events. The Egyptian state is shifting to a green economy and reliance on clean energy, which supports its conference tourism and tourism in general that those conferences and forums promote.
Professor of Economics Karim El-Omda agreed that there are economic benefits for the Egyptian state to establish the World Youth Forum, as this contributes to stimulating a new type of tourism, namely conference and exhibition tourism, and Egypt is preparing this year to hold the World Climate Conference.
He added in a TV interview that the good organization of the opening of the World Youth Forum reflects an impressive image of Egypt in front of the participating youth from all over the world.
He added that despite the financial pressures faced by the Egyptian state, based on data from the International Monetary Fund, Egypt was able to achieve a good economic growth rate.
For his part, Economist Ashraf Ghorab, Vice-president of the Arab Union for Social Development in the Arab Labor System in the League of Arab States, said that the World Youth Forum brings economic benefits to Egypt, the most important of which is the tourism promotion of Sharm el-Sheikh and the tourist and cultural places in Egypt, through the youth who are invited to the forum from different cultures.
"Convening the forum despite the spread of the pandemic and its changes that affect all countries, confirms that Egypt is able to overcome the crisis and recover economically from it, in addition to the security stability that Egypt enjoys, and this leads to an invitation to tourist delegations in all countries of the world to visit Egypt, assuring investors that Egypt is safe and stable, its economic climate is stable, and it has achieved high and rapid growth rates, according to the testimony of international economic institutions, which contributes to attracting foreign investments,” Ghorab added.
Ghorab added that the forum empowers youth politically and economically, according to the praise of the United Nations Human Rights Council, as the World Youth Forum, which is being held in Egypt, works on adopting initiatives aimed at developing poor and developing countries, through developing youth ideas to build a young leader and pioneer by giving him the maximum level of experience during his participation, and encouraging youth to entrepreneurship and stimulating the economy of start-ups, for the participation of young entrepreneurs in the forum, enabling them to advance the wheel of comprehensive development forward.
Ghorab explained that the forum is an education for the soft powers of the world's youth and instilling confidence in them to raise new generations capable of working and building the future.
On another note, the forum will contribute significantly to not closing industrial and commercial facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic, because Egypt will use during this forum modern technologies in dealing and discovering this damned virus that can be expanded and benefited from by restarting with full power, Vice-President of the Egyptian Workers Union, Magdy El-Badawy stated.
Badwy stressed that this forum is also concerned with development through its discussion of issues of the future of energy, sustainability of water security, global peace and reconstruction.
WYF final recommendations
Egypt’s fourth edition of the World Youth Forum [WYF] has announced its recommendations at the end of the four-day event.
The recommendations included the following:
Calling for the establishment of the African Enterprise Business Council, which brings together young entrepreneurs and businessmen with the aim of linking the youth’s ideas and innovations to offer opportunities and financing initiatives
Calling on the World Health Organization (WHO) to adopt an initiative for mutual recognition of vaccines, and the localization of water desalination technology in all countries of the world that suffer from water poverty in order to produce water at a lower cost and ensure maximum benefit from it
Calling for holding a global summit that includes all international financial institutions and donor countries to discuss the best ways and mechanisms to help poor and poorest communities
The recommendations also included the necessity of involving young people in climate change discussions and working to disseminate and define climate goals at the regional and international levels
In addition, the call for realizing the ‘regulating issue of the uses of transboundary water resources’ at the top of the global agenda through reaching a global model of governance in the management of shared water resources based on stable and sustainable rules of international law
Calling for the unification of international efforts to establish a unified platform of the United Nations concerned with ensuring the necessary funding for the reconstruction process and coordinating multiple policies between all parties.
Launching an international strategy aimed at strengthening human and social solidarity and creating opportunities and more space to support international peace and security after the COVID-19 pandemic.