President Al Jasser: “We need to Improve Education Policies and Adopt Demand-driven Approaches”

Washington, United States, 12 October 2022 – Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President and Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, says to influence youth employability, education policies need to be improved and demand-driven approaches should be adopted.

He made the remarks during a panel discussion at the World Bank Group Capital Flagship Event on Youth, Skills, and Jobs which was held in Washington in conjunction with the ongoing 2022 IMF and World Bank Group Annual Meetings.

Dr. Al Jasser also underlined the need to be able to predict the future and the skills required to create a future-proof generation so that up-skilling the youth would replace the need for re-skilling them. “We also need to assist our member countries in growing their economies by investing heavily in broadband connectivity as digital technology has the potential to create new jobs and help boost the productivity of existing ones and this will primarily benefit women and youth,” he added.

Elaborating on the question of turning crises like the COVID-19 pandemic into opportunities for economic growth and increased employment, the IsDB President explained how the Bank has updated its strategy to align with the member countries’ needs, especially under the current situation. “We focus on boosting post-pandemic recovery, driving economic growth and building resilience, as well as fighting poverty. Additionally, digital inclusion is one of the flagship initiatives of our realigned strategy,” he asserted.  

Elsewhere during the discussion, the IsDB Group Chairman touched upon the significance of enhancing private sector inclusion in business environment, infrastructure investments, and supportive trade policies by the governments as in developing countries nearly o out of 10 jobs are provided by the private sector.  “Governments can work with the private sector to provide affordable training and reach out to disadvantaged youth, which the private sector may find profitable, especially when blended with development or philanthropic capital,” he stated.

“We should invest in transforming education systems. They should be rewired to keep pace with the dynamics of emerging economies to tackle the skills gap. Access to finance initiatives aimed at youth should focus on creating good quality work and long-term economic resilience where youth can create jobs for other youth,” Dr. Al Jasser said.

In 2019, IsDB raised the first-ever AAA-rated Green Sukuk, raising €1 billion and US$1.5 billion in 2020 to tackle the impact of COVID-19. The Bank also raised the largest Sustainability Sukuk issued ever, raising US$2.5 billion to finance green (10%) and social development projects (90%), contributing to building more resilient infrastructure and increased human capital development.