The Commonwealth Youth City, the first of its kind was recently launched in Malaysia on November 17, 2018. The idea was conceived by His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales in November 2017 at the Commonwealth Youth Summit. A year later, the ground-breaking ceremony of the youth city was held at Tanjong Malim, Perak. The Deputy State Speaker, Malaysia Aminudin Zulkipli launched the Youth City, and dignitaries from the United Kingdom, United States, China,Russia, Pakistan, Malta, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Australia, India, Ghana and Bahrain attended the ceremony and endorsed the Commonwealth Youth City. Farrukh Habib, Parliamentary Secretary for Railways and Nabeel Qadeer member Advisory Board Commonwealth Youth City and Damir Fattakhov, Youth Minister Russia witnessed the ground-breaking ceremony at Tanjong Malim.
An area of 3.6 ha has been designated as the site for the youth city. The first phase of the Commonwealth Youth City in Tanjong Malim will take place from November 2018 and is targeted to finish by the end of 2020. The focus is to build an innovation hub, a business hotel, “soho”suites and affordable homes. The building will also be a home to the headquarters of the Commonwealth Youth Council and Commonwealth Youth Network. Among its key components are the Commonwealth Innovation Centre and Youth Council Global Secretariat. The youth city is centered on the motto live, learn, work and play.
The aim behind this unique concept is to spearhead youth development and foster employment opportunities and entrepreneurship. There are six core areas of the youth city: smart care,smart energy, smart society, smart office, smart mobility and smart space –together forming a ‘Smart City’. The leadership at the Commonwealth Youth City is striving to build a community of sustainable smart cities with focus on improving livelihoods by empowering youth to use technology and innovation as an enabler. The city will include high-technology systems, including block chain, artificial intelligence, big data and other futuristic features.The youth city is also envisioned to be centered around the sustainable development goals as it undertakes employment opportunities, affordable housing, access to clean energy for all, technology as a tool for sustainability, peace building and environmental harmony.
The design of the city encompasses affordable housing,business service offices, co-working spaces, recreational facilities, creative industry, government one-stop centers, and education and health hubs. The youth city is expected to bring foreign investments by fostering cordial relationships with other commonwealth and non-commonwealth countries and to provide a common ground to work with other nations to strengthen the youth. This initiative is aimed at enabling the youth to learn new skills and invest their knowledge base to strengthen the economy of the country.
Kishva Ambigapathy, the global chairman Commonwealth Youth City said: “The network with other cities across the Commonwealth and beyond will provide an enriching approach to knowledge transfer across borders and strengthen ties between one another.”
After the government of Malaysia, the government of Pakistan is considering following suit to have a Commonwealth Youth City in Pakistan based on a similar model. Nabeel Qadeer, at the ceremony said “Almost 64% of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30, hence we need to focus more on the generation that will shape the future of the world. Such opportunities through CWY will open doors for our youth in international market and will give them the right exposure and chance to leave a global footprint.” The Commonwealth Youth City provides a new hope for a progressive nation not only for the youth of Malaysia but will also be the beacon of hope for the youth of Pakistan in the near future.