On the occasion of International Youth Day, the Diriyah Gate Development Authority has affirmed its commitment to this year’s theme of intergenerational solidarity, highlighting its achievements in bringing people of all ages together as the city moves into the future.
International Youth Day, designated by the UN, aims to draw attention to contemporary issues affecting today’s youth.
The goal of this year’s International Youth Day is to amplify the message that all generations need to take action to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Solidarity across generations is key for sustainable development, and Saudi Arabia’s major development projects address age-related barriers in order to “build back better” in a way that leverages the strengths, knowledge and experience of all age groups.
Ahlam Al-Thunayan, community engagement director at DGDA, said: “What we want to create within Diriyah is an environment where everyone can succeed, no matter their background or age. Diriyah was once a bastion of knowledge, understanding and cultural and commercial exchange. By capitalizing on the skills across generations here at DGDA and building a knowledge exchange program, we can empower the young people in our community and see this become a reality once again.
“Our youth have so much to give to our community, and we have so much to give them. Young people contribute an enormous amount to our project, and we want to see them thrive, whether that be through the provision of multiple career development opportunities or youth-focused community engagement initiatives. They are our nation’s pride, and we see them as the architects of the Kingdom’s future,” she added.
One of the ways DGDA is achieving this is through the implementation of its Community Engagement Strategy and Human Capital Development Strategy, which aim to discover, develop, transform and energize future leaders through the mentorship of the vast talent within the organization and broader community.
The strategy has paved the way for bright young people from the local community to join the authority through the graduate training program, engage in global events like Formula E, become cultural ambassadors at the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale or take Diriyah’s message to an international audience as tour guides at Saudi Arabia’s Expo 2020 Pavilion in Dubai.
The authority has also overseen the implementation of empowerment programs for Diriyah’s young residents, including Program Your Passion, to teach game development and animation to middle and high school students.
Sixty-seven percent of Saudi Arabia’s population is under 35, according to a 2020 study released by the General Authority for Statistics, with almost half of the Kingdom’s workforce (47 percent) falling into this young demographic.
The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy aims to unleash this young potential through new initiatives, investments and opportunities.