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The Financial Express

Youths discuss policy issues

Shanjida Hossain | Published: January 16, 2020 00:44:57 | Updated: January 23, 2020 00:23:07


The organisers of Youth Policy Forum during a pre-event meeting The organisers of Youth Policy Forum during a pre-event meeting

As Bangladesh is heading towards 49th year of independence, the nation is bound to shine rays of joy, victory and unity while commemorating the gruesome days and heroic acts of the freedom fighters of 1971. But as a developing nation, is Bangladesh fulfilling the promises that were once made by the great leaders of this country?

This is where Youth Policy Forum (YPF) steps in. Zuhrat Mahfuza Inam and Tarannum Sarwat Sahar, two contributors of YPF, shared about the vision behind Youth Policy Forum and the upcoming annual event "YPF Future of Our State Conference."

YPF is an online platform, established by Bangladeshi students and young professionals, where people pursue interdisciplinary discussion and dialogue, learn about various policy issues transpiring in the country and around the world. Zuhrat, studying International Development at the London School of Economics (LSE), added, "The idea is to create an intellectual pool of people who are able to discuss, criticise, and provide alternatives to various policies that are being undertaken in the national and global levels. The YPF platform is open to everyone and invites people from diverse backgrounds and ideologies to contribute in a respectful manner."

The inaugural "Future of Our State Conference" organised by the Youth Policy Forum (YPF) will unfold in Praasad Trade Centre in Banani for two days-- January 31 and February 01, 2020. The conference will look back on the foundations of Bangladesh and discuss salient issues in various policy labs. The theme of the conference is "Equality of Opportunities" with an ambition to address existing inequalities in the political, economic and social spheres of our society. Policy makers and researchers who have worked extensively on the Liberation War, professionals who are currently working in several public and private sectors, and the students will discuss, debate, and learn about the most pressing policy challenges that the country and the world face today.

"As a nation, we lost much to achieve our independence forty eight years ago. The leaders of that time led by the Father of the Nation promised the nation of a country which would usher in a time of prosperity and equality rooted in social justice. Although the country has become successful when it comes to economic growth, there is still a long way to go when it comes to establishing social justice and ensuring equality," said Aamer Mostaque Ahmed, deputy manager of Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IIDFC) Limited, and a contributor of YPF.

On the first day of the conference, the focus will be on brain-storming ideas about various policies. On the second day, an expert panel will demonstrate and deliver a holistic approach about how the future of Bangladesh can be shaped properly.

After brainstorming the key problems and an interactive question and answer session with the audience, the participants will deliver a thorough presentation of their ideas in front of the expert panellists. 

Tarannum, a student of Cornell University, expressed what YPF aims to achieve. She said, "We expect this conference to be the first of many, where the young generation of Bangladesh gets a platform to address and discuss what is currently happening in the country -- politically, socially, and economically. It is an opportunity for all of us to look back on the policy measures that were undertaken during the foundation of our country so that we can ascertain where we stand today and how to shape the future of our nation as we move forward."

The writer is a second year student of the BBA programme at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka. She can be reached at

shanjida7f@gmail.com

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