Archive for March, 2012

It is an honor to provide you with a brief highlight about the upcoming Youth Assembly. Foruther information can be found at

The World Urban Youth Forum is undergoing a transformation, and it will now be called the World Urban Youth Assembly. This change is expected to help the youth to be better placed to meet the needs of an ever changing urban world.

This development follows the successful World Urban Youth Forums held in Vancouver Canada in 2006 and in Nanjing, China in 2008, where the forum bagged a number of achievements, including the adoption by the UN-HABITAT Governing Council of decisions important to the youth, such as resolution 21/6 which facilitated the establishment of a special fund for Urban Youth-Led Development and resolution 22/4, which provided for the Youth Forum to be an integral part of the World Urban Forum.

Although the Youth Forum will now be referred to as the World Urban Youth Assembly, it shall remain an integral part of the World Urban Forum as was agreed by Governments at the 22nd session of the Governing Council of UN-HABITAT.

The World Urban Youth Assembly will be launched on March 19, 2010 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, three days prior to the beginning of the Fifth session of the World Urban Forum. It is hoped that in its new format and name, the Forum will not only be more informative and maintain its status as the premier urban youth platform, but be more attuned to the needs of urban youth worldwide.

World Urban Youth Assembly

As in previous years, the World Urban Youth Assembly will be held from the 19 – 20 March 2010, three days prior to the main Forum. This format provides youth with the opportunity to discuss and debate issues important to them, particularly, so that they are able to make meaningful contributions to the larger forum. This format was adopted following a request by youth attending the Second session of the World Urban Forum in Barcelona, Spain, in 2004,that UN-HABITAT involves youth more meaningfully in the proceedings.

Since then, the World Urban Youth Assembly has become the leading global platform for youth to deliberate on urban issues. At the World Urban Forum in Vancouver, youth requested the establishment of a special fund to support youth-led initiatives in pursuance of the Habitat Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals. At the 21st Session of the Governing Council in 2007, Governments passed Resolution 21/6 that established the Opportunities Fund for Urban Youth-Led Development. The fund targets the young people most in need of assistance and in particular the vulnerable youth in urban slums.

At the World Urban Forum in Nanjing, youth strongly emphasized that they wished to both be recognized for their work and expertise in local and international development, and to be included in policy development. Resolution 22/4, which was passed by Governments at the 22nd Session of the Governing Council, encourages governments to give priority and support to youth-led development initiatives and invites multilateral agencies, governments, the private sector and civil society to listen to youth and develop policies on their development based on participatory processes. The resolution further requests the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, to provide the necessary mechanisms for the World Urban Youth Assembly to be recognized as an integral part of the World Urban Forum.


The World Urban Youth Assembly from 19 – 20 March 2010 comes at a key time for both urban youth and the global urban population. Cities have become the primary and fastest growing human settlements with over half of humanity living in cities and more notably, one out of every three city dwellers living in a slum. The world is facing an economic, environmental and social crisis not seen in almost a century. The World Urban Youth Assembly is ideally placed to facilitate the meaningful participation of youth in deliberating and determining key actions and policies on such issues as the increase in urban poverty, the growth of slums, unemployment, economic and natural disasters and climate change.

The World Urban Youth Assembly in Rio de Janeiro will continue the momentum brought about by UN-HABITAT and its partners’ work in the area of youth led development. UN-HABITAT has had great success both at the normative and programmatic level in regards to youth, with the successful establishment of the One Stop Youth Resource and We are the Future Centre model pilot projects, and the launch of the multi-year Opportunities Fund for Urban Youth-Led Development. These projects have both improved the lives of the youth involved as well as given local authorities, national governments and Habitat agenda partners tested models of urban youth development.

The World Urban Youth Assembly in Rio de Janeiro will focus on strategic goals including; becoming the platform for youth to discuss lessons learned from UN-HABITAT and partners’programs in the area of urban youth led development; profiling and disseminating models of urban youth led development developed by UN-HABITAT and its partners; and, becoming a platform for experts and practitioners to deliberate on research, policy and practice as well as lessons learnt on urban youth issues.

By using these goals as a starting point and participating in other World Urban Youth Assembly activities, youth delegates will be better placed to provide input into the discussions and address the World Urban Forum 5 theme of The Right to the City ” Bridging the Urban Divide.

Other youth focused activities during the Fifth session of the World Urban Forum will include: A youth roundtable, a meeting of young councillors, Youth Main-stage (Global Hip-Hop Summit), meeting of the Youth Advisory Board and various networking events.


Tanzania’s young entrepreneur Mohammed Dewji has been announced by the World Economic Forum as a 2012 Young Global Leader.


Mr. Dewji (pictured) who is famously known as MO is the CEO of one of the largest business corporation in Tanzania, MeTL Group and a member of parliament for Singida urban constituency.
The honour bestowed each year by the Forum, recognizes and acknowledges up to 200 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.
The Selection Committee, chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, chose Mohammed after carefully screening the profiles of thousands of young leaders from every region of the world and from a myriad of disciplines and sectors.
His nomination is in recognition of his record of professional accomplishments, his commitment to society and his potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world through his inspiring leadership.
Mohammed Dewji was born in 1975 in rural area of Singida, Tanzania. He received his early education at the International School of Tanganyika and then, in 1992, moved to the US for his High School diploma. It was Saddlebrook High School in Florida where he first exhibited signs of leadership by becoming the School President. They endearingly called him Mo, and the nickname has since stuck.
Mo then moved on to Georgetown University in Washington DC. He balanced this material academic pursuit majoring in International Business and Finance and a minor in Theology. Georgetown University’s ethos of pursuing excellence and embracing the community affected him in a momentous way. He grew determined to find a meaningful way forward by blending what Georgetown was giving him with what his motherland Tanzania needed.
He thereafter charted a careful course for his life. In 1998 it began with the family business where he rose to the key leadership role within two years. Under his leadership MeTL Group took shape as a conglomerate that grew 12 folds in less than a decade: That, incidentally, contributes to nearly 3% of the country’s GDP and employing 24,000 people. 
Mo applied the same aim-organize-achieve mantra to Tanzanian football and he is recognized as the key driver in the national team’s successes.
In Tanzania’s third multi party elections in 2005, Mo contested and won the Singida parliamentary seat with an overwhelming majority of 90 percent of the total votes and was sworn in as a member of parliament on the 29th of December 2005. In 2007, CCM (the ruling party) elected him to a seat on the elite National Executive Committee. He was re-elected as a member of parliament for Singida urban constituency for the period of 2010 to 2015.
The 2012 YGL honorees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that currently comprises 866 outstanding individuals. The YGLs convene at an annual summit, which will be held this year in Mexico on 14-18 April. Young Global Leaders are actively engaged in the community, integrating into events organized by the WEF and organizing events of their own as well as launching and leading a number of innovative initiatives and task forces.
Posted by Manase Kavishe