Event Reports

How does youth look at Jordans future?

Discussion and book launch event of KAS & WANA

As Jordan can proudly celebrate, in 2021, hundred years of its founding and its development, many challenges remain ahead. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung takes Jordan’s anniversary as an occasion to reflect, together with our Jordanian partners and friends, where the country stands – and where it aspires to go. “We need real change, with transparency and accountability, not more hollow development plans”, was one of the comments at a recent discussion about how Jordan’s youth looks at the way forward for the country.

As Jordan can proudly celebrate, in 2021, hundred years of its founding and its development, many challenges remain ahead. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung takes Jordan’s anniversary as an occasion to reflect, together with our Jordanian partners and friends, where the country stands – and where it aspires to go. “We need real change, with transparency and accountability, not more hollow development plans”, was one of the comments at a recent discussion about how Jordan’s youth looks at the way forward for the country.

Invited by KAS Jordan Office and the WANA Institute to Shams Al-Balad, young analysts and professionals shared their ideas about how to best tap into the great potential of the Hashemite Kingdom. Despite all the changes that have occurred in Jordan during the last twenty years, there was general consent from everyone that there is much more to do for Jordan in order to become an economically and societally sustainable country. According to the panelists, the first reform that would ensure a better future for Jordan, would be introducing more modern laws. Through more political engagement by young people and their participation in political decisions this could be achieved easier. A better relationship that is built on trust and honesty between decision-makers and the citizens of Jordan would create the first stone of a more solid political fundament.

Regarding where Jordan should orient itself economically, the focus was set on information and communication technology, as well as public transport. Although there are new signs towards new public transportation methods in Jordan, such as the “rapid bus” project, which was finally recently launched, the traffic congestion in the streets of Jordan in general and in Amman in particular needs a more courageous and sustainable solution. If people had another choice beside using their cars, it would improve the community’s health, improve the fuel efficiency, reduce air pollution, ease the road congestion, improve the mobility of our community and thus improve commuters’ productivity and contribute to Jordan’s GDP.

Concerning the educational challenges in Jordan the center of attention was the importance of matching studies with the market needs. Even though there has been a slight improvement in the generation gaps regarding what to study in university and on which fields to focus, there still is an insufficient distribution between for instance engineers and other branches of learning in Jordan. Another educational problem in Jordan is the low English language proficiency taught in public schools, on which nowadays most vacancies in Jordan rely. Therefore, there will always be a knowledge gap between students from private and public schools, which makes them feel unequal and frustrated. Nevertheless, since the count on online education and digitalization due to the covid-19 pandemic, it opened a new window and helped with everyone getting an easier opportunity of access to learning materials.

Finally, the panelists and the audience agreed on that despite the various challenges, there are signs of improvement and hope for Jordan’s upcoming century.

The event was also an occasion to present a common KAS-WANA project on research methodology and policy paper writing and the newly released book on public policies in Jordan that came out of it. The publication can be downloaded here!

Contact

Hutuf Mansour

Hutuf Mansour

Project Assistant / Research Fellow

hutuf.mansour@kas.de +962 6 5929777 ext.: 206