Insights and Analysis

Name a Problem and These Young Leaders Say, “We Can Solve It!” (Video)

November 11, 2020

By The Asia Foundation

Travel with us to Kabul, Dhaka, the southern Philippines, and Ulaanbaatar to meet four young people who are each tackling the problem they say matters most.

Urban populations are booming. Where 17 percent of Asia’s population lived in cities in 1950, now it’s more than 51 percent. As people flock to cities at a growing rate for jobs and opportunity, about 2.5 billion new residents will join the global urban population by 2050, mainly in Africa and Asia. Informal settlements are growing in cities and towns, with inadequate services and infrastructure, poor healthcare and education, and uncontrolled pollution. In Mongolia, Aldarsaikhan Tuvshinbat is working in Ulaanbaatar’s sprawling and unplanned ger districts to bring running water, electricity, and sewage service to these newest urban residents.

Dhaka, Bangladesh, with 21 million people, is the most densely populated city in the world and one of the most environmentally challenged. Journalist Sohara Mehroze is inspiring young people to avoid “burning their way to prosperity” and making a business case to the private sector that sustainable living and green economies can also be profitable.

Farhad Wajdi is an entrepreneur in Kabul, Afghanistan, who built a fleet of solar-powered rickshaws so women could have their own food-cart businesses, a job outside the home that is profitable and acceptable to their families. His broader goal is to increase gender equality and end violence against women. As the global pandemic began to unfold, Wajdi had an amazingly simple idea: he pivoted the business from food carts to what the city really needed, sanitation and disinfection carts.

And in the Southern Philippines, Sha Elijah Dumama-Alba is breaking the glass ceiling in Muslim Mindanao, implementing a hard-won a peace agreement as the first young woman attorney general in a conflict zone.

Come meet these Asia Foundation Development Fellows in their home towns as they work to solve the most critical issues facing Asia.


About our blog, InAsia

InAsia is a weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia’s development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of over 70 renowned experts in over 20 countries, InAsia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.

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Addressing the global crisis