Year of Youth. What did this mean to Tajikistan?

H.E. Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan
H.E. Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan

Tajikistan is a remote mountainous country in Central Asia, where a Plane takes six hours to fly from the center of Europe. The transformational processes taking place in this post-Soviet country are, in many respects, similar to the events that take place in the south of the former Soviet Union.

Of the eight and a half million inhabitants of this country, more than half are young people. Indeed, Tajikistan faces similar problems and difficulties that occur in the neighboring countries of the region, however, it takes measures to channel this young energy into creative activities.

Therefore, it is no coincidence that 2017 was declared the year of youth in the country.

Nowadays, in order to effectively implement the state youth policy, taking into account inspiring examples and implementation of the state youth policy at the regional and international levels, the main priorities of Tajikistan’s youth policy are: participation of youth in political processes of the country; youth employment; healthy lifestyle; a decent education; social security for young people (Tajikistan itself is a social country and, definitely so much has been done for the benefit of social development of the population. The purpose of this priority is to strengthen the system of accessible and decent youth services for the categories of vulnerable, disabled, orphans, homeless and becoming victims in securing a pension, medical and psychological assistance, education and housing, developing a system of social and consulting services for young people, encouraging entrepreneurs in charitable activities, modernization of the system of registration of unemployed, vacant places and labor resources, including the expansion of Internet access network, raising the education level of unemployed youth on the basis of the labor market demand); ensuring the rights and interests of young people; economic independence of youth; patriotism of youth; decent behavior and culture of youth; institutional and scientific-practical aspects of the state youth policy.

Consequently, the above-mentioned priorities of the state youth policy are defined by the setting in the current situation with regard to youth, the needs of young people, interdependence and interconnection among societies themselves, state, and youth.

On the initiative of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan in 1998, May 23 was declared the Day of Youth of Tajikistan. To this end, various cultural, educational, scientific-educational and mass-physical events are held for the purpose of mass involvement of youth and increase of self-awareness, titled “Youth Week”, “Ten Days of Youth”, “Month of Youth”, where more than a thousand young citizens, young talents, young scientists, singers, writers, and poets take an active part.

At the further stages of our national statehood development, concrete steps and measures have been taken to promote the state youth policy and create favorable conditions for the development of the field.

The National Council for Youth Affairs under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan has been established in the country. The aim to create this Council, chaired by the President of the country, is to address issues related to the implementation of the state youth policy and to involve youth in important state and public affairs, to put into practice more effective methods of cooperation and coordination of activities of central and local authorities with youth associations and organizations.

During this time:

-a state authorized body for youth affairs with vertical management, that is, its structure on the ground, has been founded;

-a network of youth cultural, informational, educational and resource centers has been set up;

-youth volunteer and initiative groups have been created, running education activities “peer-to-peer” and friendly youth services;

-assistance has been provided in the creation of youth public organizations, today the number of which is more than 143 (Association of Youth Organizations of Tajikistan – AYOT);

-the President’s International Scholarship – “Durakhshandagon” has been instituted for young people to study abroad;

-300 Presidential scholarships and about 3100 scholarships of province, city and district chairmen for talented youth have been established;

-the Presidential quota for admission of youth, particularly for young girls from remote areas of the country has been put in place;

-the I. Somoni Prize was awarded for young scientists and inventors in the amount of $ 1000.00 per work (12 prizes annually);

-the Prize of the Committee for Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan has been brought into being for young talents in the field of art, journalism, architecture, and programming;

-the scholarship of the Committee for Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism has been established for talented youth (university students);

-a grant has been established by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan for public organizations in the field of patriotic education of youth (10 grants).

The State youth policy contains an active innovative and productive character, reflecting the creative and labor potential of young people.

As part of the Action Plan for 2016-2017 on the implementation of the Strategy of International Youth Cooperation, in June-August 2016 the Republic of Tajikistan conducted an International Mountaineering Expedition to climb the peaks of the Pamirs, where more than 158 athletes from 16 countries took part.

Also, on March 29, 2017, Tajikistan held an international youth friendship forum, which was attended by youth from 12 countries.

Within the framework of this creative policy, the development of sports in the country has reached a new level.

During the independence period, 8850 sports facilities were built in the country, of which 117 stadiums, 6204 sports grounds, 1655 sports halls, 85 swimming pools and 789 sport complexes.

Also, it is announced that “National Running Day” will be held annually in May, in which all interested persons from the regions of Tajikistan can participate. In the last national run, which took place on May 21, 2017, 426,631 people took part, including 132215 women.

Since 2010, the Dushanbe International Half Marathon is held annually in the capital of the country, which is part of the international half-marathon calendar and marathons. The Dushanbe International Half Marathon 2017 was held on April 15 in the “Capital Day”, which was attended by 15,000 athletes from 13 countries.

On May 23, 2013, it was decided that every Saturday will be declared as day of sport and health in Tajikistan. The purpose of this step was to improve the healthy lifestyle of the nation.

Only for 9 months of the current year, 160 playgrounds were built and put into operation at courtyards and rural areas, 70 of which were handed over only in the capital of the country.

This year, in Tajikistan for the first time in all regions of the country a cycling marathon was held and attended by more than 3000 amateurs of this sport.

With a view to reviving and honoring national sports games, the National Sports Games Festival was held in three stages.

Thus, it can be concluded that the state youth policy, its direct involvement in the life of society is one of the main priorities of the Government of the country.

The leadership of the country believes in the young creative generation and supports each of its creative initiatives.

The logical continuation of the policy of the Government of Tajikistan was the announcement of 2017 the Year of Youth, which was comprehensively supported by various groups and institutions of the country.

Well, it is fact that national development is a constructive process of involving all citizens in building social-economic prosperity and political stability in a state. In particular, youth are the driving factor of social and economic development in a nation. Consequently, responding to the needs and aspirations of youth make a country able to promote healthier societies.

Assuming that more than half of the Tajikistan’s population is young people, certainly, the Government’s aim to involve youth in national development is directed towards future prosperity.

The Government of Tajikistan understands that the implementation of an effective youth policy requires coherence and cooperation across all areas of government, and to this end, has introduced a number of initiatives and events to promote the youth policy realization. Moreover, the country perceives the importance of youth aspirations and capacities in development efforts, therefore, it has adopted a proactive approach to young people in order to encourage the healthy and balanced lifestyle of its people.