OIC Youth Forum DG Mutalo says

Holding two programmes next year in Dhaka would be a double celebration

A Monitor Report 01 Mar, 2018 | 885 Views | - +
Dhaka : If OIC Tourism Capital 2019 and OIC Youth Capital 2019 are both held in Dhaka, then it would be a double celebration. We could hold a large number of events together, which would attract tourists including youths.

Abdula Manafi Mutalo, Director General, Youth Policy Education and Training, Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC), said while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor on the sidelines of the recently-held 10th Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers (ICTM).

It has already been decoded at ICTM that Dhaka would be OIC Tourism Capital 2019. ICYF-DC, an institution of the OIC, would be seeking applications for Youth Capital 2019.

Mutalo, who hails from Mo-zambique, hoped Bangladesh would respond positively and spontaneously, enabling the holding of the two celebrations in the Bangladesh capital and elsewhere in the country in the same year.

He said, one of the things that brought me to Bangladesh on February 3 is the national youth forum on tourism. We had delegates from all the Muslim countries.

Intra-OIC tourism

We discussed the role of youths in promoting intra-OIC tourism. The interesting discussions concluded with 11 recommendations.

The recommendations were forwarded to 10th ICTM to let them know that the young citizens are aware of their role and commitment to young fellow citizens of each other's countries.

ICYF-DC holds a number of youth programmes. A city in a member-state is selected as youth capital in which a variety of programmes on entrepreneurship, leadership, fashion, youth policy development are held. Of course, the host country has leverage in the decision making, he said.


Mutalo said, we observed Al-Quds Al-Sharif as OIC Youth Capital in Ramallah, Palestine from February 6-8 with participation of delegates of several countries of OIC held under the patronage of President Mahmoud Abbas.

The member states and institutions of OIC supported the issues of Palestinians' rights and causes.

ICYF-DC holds over nine or ten activities throughout the year. The decision on events was welcomed in a session officials' meeting in Dhaka on February 5 that preceded the 10th Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers the following day.

There was a resolution adopted on this specific subject for which we feel rewarded for the work we are trying to do to ensure Palestinian causes, he said.

Mutalo said, OIC Tourism Capital and OIC Youth Capital are different. Decisions are taken and events are run by different institutions.

He said, culture of tolerance, fighting against extremism are some the topics we discuss besides entrepreneurship, knowledge enrichment etc. These are very important issues when you come to youths, he said.

When we speak to youths we have to speak about their passion, their interests. Our discussions have to be innovative and attractive at the same time so that they participate with commitment.

Mutalo said, we are trying to make our youths better citizens everywhere, make them active members of decision making mechanisms. They should be done so as they are the next generation of leaders. This is definitely one of our main targets.

Future Thinkers

OIC has a number of forums. When it comes to education, there is an important forum called Muslim Future Thinkers Forum. The forum had a session in Shiraj, Iran last year and one in Putrajaya, Malaysia. This year the forum will be held after Ramadan in Istanbul.

We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a very important university of Turkey for a period of three years. The idea is to bring together senior and accomplished scholars with young scholars on what could be our contribution in terms of knowledge.

You are surely aware that the Muslim world was once the leader in terms of knowledge. We want to go back to that period. This is our hope, when we speak of enhancement of knowledge.

To prod young thinkers I always say how many Muslims have won Nobel prizes. This is a good perspective to look to show how far we are lagging behind in terms of knowledge enhancement.

Mutalo said, we try to find young scholars of today who are interested, committed and engaged in ensuring that they are the scholars of today, not of tomorrow, because tomorrow is tomorrow.

There is also an exchange programme. We want students from one country to study in universities of other Muslim countries, we want the educational institutions to provide them scholarships. Besides gathering knowledge they can learn about the host country.

My department is responsible for following up all the discussions and meetings, like the Youth Plan adopted in 2016. It is expected to be approved at the OIC ministerial meeting in Baku in April this year.

Mutalo hoped to be back in Dhaka to attend the Council of Ministers meeting in May this year.

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