Tajik youth bloggers explore what development means for them

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Education, good jobs, improved healthcare, social equality, youth empowerment, and private sector development were among the issues highlighted by the three winning entries from young bloggers in a competition run by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Tajikistan. ADB Vice President Bambang Susantono awarded the winners in Dushanbe today.

The competition, held in conjunction with the ADB’s 50th anniversary, received 14 entries from Tajik bloggers aged 18-25 exploring the theme “What Does Development Mean for the Youth of Tajikistan?” The winning entries will be published on the ADB-Tajikistan Facebook page.

“I would like to thank all participants for joining the competition and congratulate the three winners,” said C.C. Yu, ADB Country Director for Tajikistan, who headed the panel of seven judges including ADB staff and a representative of the international youth organization AIESEC. “We were impressed by the entries which showed a clear understanding of Tajikistan’s development challenges and opportunities, as well as the importance for young people of receiving a good education.”

First prize went to Maksud Khasanov, 22, who penned a blog underlining the importance of inclusive growth and youth employment. “As part of the youth of Tajikistan, I personally believe that sole economic growth does not represent true development if there is an absence of equity in the growth process”, he wrote. In second place was Doriyush Soliev, 20, who stressed the need to develop industry and agriculture and to minimize tax barriers for developing the private sector. The third-placed blog by Shahnoz Mukhamadieva, 23, highlighted youth empowerment and engagement. “For me, development is an opportunity to make my country a better place,” she wrote.

All entries were judged on their relevance to the competition theme, as well as on logic and clarity, originality, and English-language skills.

Since Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, ADB has approved over $1.4 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. ADB’s current partnership strategy with Tajikistan focuses on improved connectivity, energy security, and private sector development.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud

Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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