Queen Rania attends Next Generation Conference

Meets "Kafa" youth ambassadors Queen highlights education, traffic awareness

April 30, 2008

(Jordan Times - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania on Tuesday highlighted youth unemployment and traffic accidents in the Kingdom, and urged for solutions to tackle these endemic problems.

“So that the unemployment rate in Jordan will not get any higher, we should create 80,000 work opportunities annually, that is, a job every seven minutes,” Queen Rania said yesterday during the Next Generation Conference (NGC), a gathering which examines solutions for common challenges facing youths in the Arab World.

Addressing the conference, Queen Rania underlined the importance of improvements in the field of education to meet the requirements of competitive global labour markets.

The Queen described the Kingdom’s youth employment outlook compared to the international level.

The Queen said a creative and diversified labour force is needed to grow alongside future generations, noting that the 70 per cent of the Kingdom’s population is under the age of 30.

“If we want to create new jobs, we have to begin with education,” the Queen said, referring to a recent World Bank report on development in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Expressing pride in the Kingdom’s educational achievements, and thanking the Education Ministry for its efforts, the Queen added: “We have to move on.”

“This quantative leap has to be matched with another qualitative leap,” the Queen told the attendees, emphasising the need for the country’s children to be prepared for the competitive world labour market.

The Queen also reiterated the need to improve the educational environment, referring to the recently launched Royal initiative “Madrasati” .

“Any leader, adventurer or pioneer will confirm that change is not easy,” the Queen said, explaining that Madrasati is a bold initiative to bring about changes in the education sector.

Also on Tuesday, Queen Rania, who chairs the board of trustees of the Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS), launched an RHAS campaign on traffic awareness, entitled “kafaa”, or enough.

The Queen met with young persons from different governorates who are participating in the campaign. The young representatives told the Queen about their experiences and activities to raise awareness on traffic issues in their respective communities, in cooperation with the public and private sectors, and civil society organisations.

Expressing appreciation of young people’s role and their ability to persuade their peers and families to adhere to traffic safety regulations, the Queen reiterated that traffic problems are of grave concern to the Kingdom.

More than 7,000 citizens have been killed and 175,000 injured due to traffic accidents over the past 10 years, according to the Public Security Department.

The campaign, to be carried out through various messages on traffic awareness via different Jordanian media outlets, seeks to raise awareness on traffic issues.

The NGC is a private sector-led initiative driven by a group of Arab business leaders who believe that challenges confronting Arab youth today must be addressed through building bridges between businesses, governments and non- governmental organisations.