-- The forum focuses on increasing youth participation and economic diversification, considered the "Davos of the Middle East"
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hope Bryant, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE participated in a panel discussion at the Jeddah Economic Forum,considered the "Davos of the Middle East." Mr. Bryant spoke during the main panel discussion about "Enabling links between investors and business."
The three-day forum takes place at the Jeddah Hilton from March 18-20 with the theme "Growth through Youth." The goal is to find ways to enable economic growth and reduce youth unemployment levels with discussions centered on economic opportunities for young people, human capital and changes in the education curriculum, sustainability, long-term growth in job creation, and opportunities in the tourism and transportation industries.
Coinciding with the Global Money Week, a worldwide celebration for empowering youth, Mr. Bryant took the opportunity to highlight the importance of encouraging young people to be entrepreneurial and to take their place as full participants in the global economy.
"I think it is important we have substantive global forums and discussions like this, if for no other reason than to bring together key stakeholders and decision makers to discuss ways for empowering our youth," Mr. Bryant said. "Youth are literally the future of Saudi and the MENA region. The youth do not have to be seen as a problem in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region -- they can be seen through the lens of opportunity too. Saudi Arabia could simply decide to prioritize its youth population in a different way, a population which represents fully 60% of the country's total population. In so doing, they could in time become a model for the region. It is time for a positive movement in the region, and with that, to create an entirely new generation of entrepreneurs and jobs outside of government."