Today is International Youth Day, a day created by the United Nations in 1999 to mark the important contribution youth make to the world. This year, International Youth Day focuses on youth migration and the rewards and risks associated with it.
According to a 2012 report by the UN Capital Development Fund, 85 percent of youth currently live in developing countries. Since many developing countries typically have high unemployment rates for young people, some youth turn to migration to pursue education and employment opportunities. While migration can open up a wealth of opportunities for young people from developing countries, it can also bring its own set of risks, including discrimination and exploitation. With more technological advances and better access to financing, youth in developing countries are continuously looking for proactive ways to better their lives as well as the economic situation of their home countries.
For example, members of the Kifaru Youth Group, a microfinance loan group based in the Nairobi suburb of Kawangware, have established savings, loans and emergency accounts with their local Equity Bank which they use to support their businesses. Increasingly, youth represent the next wave of new clients for financial services providers, with the population expected to grow by one billion over the next decade, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.