The major challenges that the world’s youths currently face range from climate change and security to job creation. How these can be tackled are on the agenda of the World Youth Forum taking place in Egypt, a four-day meeting that runs until December 17.

Sponsored by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the gathering brings together 7,000 young men and women from across the Arab World.

Now in its third year, the 2019 edition is focusing on the challenges that young people – face when it comes to climate change, food security, and extremist ideology. The region’s youths hope to speak directly to the governments of the Middle East in the hope that the region’s power brokers learn to better address certain global challenges.

El Sisi has said this year’s meeting is ‘‘an opportunity to hear diverse views from experts on one issue and from the youths, themselves, on the most important issues they face’’.

On the first day of the Forum, the participants, representatives of the EU, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the Arab League, and other groups al discussed how extremist groups are more present online and how cybersecurity needs to be improved. 

The forum also discussed youth unemployment in the Middle East and ways to improve the region’s job market by supporting young entrepreneurs and providing better support to start-ups in Egypt.

Food security, women’s empowerment, blockchain, greater co-operation between North Africa and Europe, and the digital economy will also be on the agenda before the conference comes to a close.

El Sisi noted that instability is a crucial factor that prevents the Arab World’s governments fro addressing the concerns of the youth challenges.

With 60% of Egypt’s 98 million people under the age of 30, the Arab world’s most populated country has been widely affected by the high unemployment rate that continues to cripple the Middle East’s development and drive young people to embrace radical forms of Islam.