Youth Forum Brochure


Launched in May 2001 at ITU TELECOM AFRICA 2001, the Youth Forum has spread to 190 countries of all ITU Member States with the participation of Universities and higher educational institutions. It brings together talented university students either from across the world or from a particular region to take part in an exciting programme of talks, debates and interactive panel discussions with those in attendance at ITU TELECOM events.

ITU’s partners, the Telecommunication Industry, contribute funds and expertise to this knowledge based networking programme.

The Youth Forum is a key component of a broader youth programme* run by ITU’s development division (BDT)
Since 2001 at each ITU TELECOM event, Youth Forum Fellows deliver "Action Plans" to the ITU.

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 What are the objectives of the Youth Forum?
It is a capacity building event. As a result of discussions at the Youth Forum, the youth will explore the facts and experience gathered by the ITU and the telecommunication industries about ICTs (Information and Communication technology). This Forum will also enable exceptionally talented university students (men and women) from all ITU Member States to share their ideas and access ICTs.
"Once people are equipped with information and know-how, they will be able to use their ingenuity and resourcefulness to develop their economic potential, to guard their hard-earned liberty, and build sustainable democracies. Through programmes like the Youth Forum, we are helping today’s youth to become tomorrow’s ICT leaders" ITU Secretary General, Mr Yoshio Utsumi at the Youth Forum at ITU TELECOM WORLD 2003, Geneva, Switzerland.
 How will the Youth Forum be managed?
The Youth Forum will be managed by the ITU in collaboration with ITU Member States worldwide, the ITU Regional Offices, other International Organizations, Industry Representatives and Universities. ITU headquarters in Geneva will provide centralized monitoring and information-gathering and project implementation services for the programme as a whole.

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 Will mentoring be provided?
Mentoring support services will be provided to motivate participants and to ensure their healthy and safe participation in the programme.
 Why is the ITU making such an investment in young university students?
There is an urgent need to improve the knowledge of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) amongst the talented young people who will be future government and industry leaders, given the increasing importance of ICT in the global economy and on existing regulatory structures. The Youth Forum builds on the ITU's long-term commitment to assist and support low income and least developed countries (LICs and LDCs) in their efforts to progressively improve the standard and scope of their telecommunication infrastructure and to bridge the digital divide. Plus it is an important part of ITU’s commitment to helping the entire world communicate. 

ITU appreciates that university level youth are the driving forces in their community in making improvements.

 Where, and in what language does the Youth Forum take place?
The Youth Forum is held at all ITU TELECOM Regional and World Events. The next Youth Forum will be in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil) 3-6 October during ITU TELECOM AMERICAs 2005 and in Hong Kong (China, Peoples Rep. of) from 4-8 December during ITU TELECOM WORLD 2006.

During AMERICAS 2005, all the Youth Forum Sessions will take place in English and Spanish and at WORLD 2006, all sessions will take place in English, French and Spanish, with simultaneous interpretation provided at both events.

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 Will the Youth Forum experience be documented and evaluated?
The ITU will document and assess the Youth Forum programme, including the fellows’ performance.
 How can talented university people apply for a Youth Forum Fellowship?
Through ITU Member States’ Ministries of Communications (or their equivalents).
 What is the funding strategy?
The funding strategy is supported by sponsorship opportunities. For the Youth Forum at WORLD 2006, the distinguished sponsors China (People's Republic of) have already confirmed their donations.

There are, however, a number of exciting opportunities to promote your industry and at the same time support these important events by sponsoring lunches or other activities of the Youth Forum. By hosting Lunch Session for the Youth Forum participants, for example, sponsors are also helping capacity building, as these sessions always lead to lively debate and a better understanding of some of the key issues in ICTs

For details of sponsorship opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

For more information on the Youth Forum, Please feel free to directly contact:


Ms Tsehai Bekele
tel.: +41 22 730 5179
fax: +41 22 730 6204

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