Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And the Winner is....

So it seems China's about to beat Russia to the finish line for Nigeria's oil reserves, at a whopping $30bn+... And all this without the consent/ buy-in of the Nigerian people. God bless our country! Skeptics (of which there are many) doubt the benefits of this new deal with CNOOC will trickle down to the populace, and wonder whether this new regime of oil miners will be better than the last (given the Chinese' notoriety of importing their own staff into any venture they undertake). While Libya and Angola are currently pushing back on China's plans to take over more oil reserves in their countries, it is important to note that "more than $10 billion of contracts with Nigeria signed in 2006 -- including renovation of a railway, the refurbishment a refinery and the launch of a satellite -- didn't produce results." In the meantime, it looks like MEND is voicing its vote against the alleged deal.

So, what say you?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Y2Y Global Youth Conference 2009 Essay Competition

ESSAY: Youth Entrepreneurship in times of crisis
DEADLINE - September 22nd, 2009

Young people worldwide face difficult labor market prospects. Depending on the region, youth unemployment is easily 2-3 times higher than for adults. Especially in developing countries, the school-to-work transition can be a long and tedious process, during which young people leave school, become jobless and spend time moving between unemployment, inactivity and informal employment. In fact, youth have often been found to effectively act as a "buffer," absorbing shocks is proportionately during negative business cycles, but not benefiting accordingly during economic booms.

In the quest for strategies to boost employment for young people, entrepreneurship is often seen as an important means and a useful alternative for income generation. With most of the overall job creation usually stemming from small enterprises, supporting youth entrepreneurship is now often regarded as an additional way of integrating youth into the labor market and overcoming poverty. However, while it is recognized that the youth years are essential for generating ideas and acquiring the necessary experience to become a successful entrepreneur, young people themselves only make up a small share of all entrepreneurs.

The Y2Y Global Youth Conference 2009 Essay Competition invites youth to share ideas on:

What are the constraints to youth entrepreneurship in your country? Has the global crisis changed the dynamics? How can governments help young entrepreneurs to create and further develop their social and productive ventures?

Please try to answer the following questions in one consistent essay:

1. What impedes young people in your country or community to start their own business or organization? Think about the constraints in terms of socioeconomic conditions, culture, education & experience, access to finance & infrastructure, contacts & networks, and regulations. In how far are these constraints specific to youth compared to adults?

2. Did the global financial crisis reinforce some of these constraints? If yes, what are the dynamics?

3. What do you think governments can/should do to strengthen youth entrepreneurship in your country, town or local community? Think about the solutions in terms of the constraints identified above.

The Contest

Answer the question above in an essay of no more than 1500 words.

1) Winner will receive a $1,000 laptop sponsored by LAC Development Marketplace and the opportunity to be published in a World Bank working paper.

2) 2 runners-up will each receive a Y2Y bag and a copy of the film being showcased at the conference this year.

3) The best three submissions will be published on the World Bank Y2Y website.

Open to participants globally aged 18-30 (winners will need to provide proof of age)
- Essays must be submitted in English only