News Release

CDB and Regional Youth Strengthen Partnership for Resilient Prosperity in Lead-Up to 2024 Annual Meeting

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Image of young girl with dates of CDB annual meeting

Young people from across the Caribbean will be empowered and equipped to drive positive change during the 2024 Youth for Innovation and Resilience (Youth FIRE) Programme, which culminates during the Caribbean Development Bank's (CDB) Annual Meeting in Ottawa, Canada from June 17-20.

The CDB’s Youth FIRE Programme, themed "Empowered Youth – Partners in Resilient Prosperity" is tackling the challenges Caribbean youth face such as high unemployment, crime, violence, and a lack of access to resources. The multi-faceted Programme – co-created by CDB’s Future Leaders Network (FLN), a group of young leaders and innovators from the Bank’s member countries – features immersive sessions, consultations, capacity building, and personal development opportunities, all designed to help foster economic inclusion, promote sustainable practices, and create a more peaceful future for the region.

Youth will have an opportunity to discuss critical development issues such as economic empowerment, sustainable energy, crime prevention, and resilient infrastructure with stakeholders and counterparts from Canada and the Caribbean during the Youth FIRE Dialogue at CDB’s Annual Meeting at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, on Wednesday, June 19. The following day members of the FLN will present an Outcome Statement to the Annual Meeting. The statement will include key commitments, recommendations, conclusions, and achievements arrived at during the Dialogue.

CDB Division Chief, Social Sector, Dr. Martin Baptiste, emphasised that the Youth FIRE Programme fosters collaboration between the Bank and Caribbean youth.

“This Programme is a prime example of CDB's commitment to meaningful engagement with young people and our acknowledgment that youth must be provided the opportunity to contribute to and lead on actions that accelerate progress for resilient prosperity,” Dr. Baptiste said.

A range of activities to spark change, all form part of the 2024 Youth FIRE Programme. There will be a challenge to highlight youth-led innovation, a solutions room for sharing ideas on priority themes, virtual training on gender equality and social inclusion for FLN members, capacity-building sessions for regional youth, and site visits in Ottawa.

On June 21, FLN members will join a Bank-led contingent on a study tour to DMZ, a Toronto-based global tech incubator.