During the Nov. 29, 2013 forum of graduates of the Bolashak scholarship programme, dedicated to the programme’s 20th anniversary, President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed creating a national movement to support the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy.
Within a week, young professionals representing the business, engineering, medical and public service sectors came together to create such a nationwide movement, which officially kicked off on Dec. 6, 2013.
The mission of the movement is to ensure Kazakhstan’s entrance into the top 30 most developed countries of the world by supporting the policy of President Nazarbayev set out in the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy.
The movement stands for the inviolability of values underlying Kazakhstan’s statehood. including national unity, ethnic and religious harmony, civil equality, tri-unity of languages, tolerance and for the rich tradition and culture of Kazakh people, according to a statement issued by the movement.
“We believe the most important element for further development of the country is the involvement of the wider public and their support for the idea of national technological breakthrough based on science, innovation and entrepreneurship. Our movement advocates the transformation of social consciousness and the formation of a civic culture in which every citizen of Kazakhstan understands the importance of being a member of the Society of Universal Labour, where each individual is responsible for his own life and the achievement of the national goal of Kazakhstan of joining the list of top 30 most developed countries of the world,” the official statement by the movement said.
The movement is open to every citizen of Kazakhstan who shares its values and ideology and is ready to take an active role in achieving the goals set out in the Kazakhstan 2050strategy.
The movement focuses on three key areas:
1. Public involvement in the values and ideology of the Kazakhstan 2050 strategy;
2. Development of proposals and recommendations aimed at improving the effectiveness of the Kazakhstan 2050 strategy’s implementation;
3. Civil monitoring of the effectiveness of the Kazakhstan – 2050 strategy.
Currently, there are about 200registered members in the movement. Among them are students, business people, engineers, civil servants, doctors, journalists and representatives of many other groups. They joined the movement for different reasons, they say. , What unites them, however, is the belief that the future of Kazakhstan depends on its citizens.
Dmitry Gorbunov, head of the children’s cardiac surgery department of the National Cardiac Science Centre and a famous pediatric cardiac surgeon said, “For further development, our country needs an idea that will unite all of us and lead in one direction. For me, the national movement Kazakhstan 2050 seems to be the public platform for developing such an idea or ideas. As a doctor and a citizen, I am not indifferent to the health of our society. Therefore, I have joined the Kazakhstan 2050 movement.”
Mukhtar Mankeev, head of the Finnish Business Hub in Astana, said his main reason for joining the movement was the desire to involve every citizen of Kazakhstan in improving the situation around him each day–within his family, city and society as a whole. “We cannot just sit and wait for everything to be done for us and we will just accept it. We need to take the initiative in our own hands and prove that we deserve to be called citizens of young and independent Kazakhstan and are able to bear the responsibility for the development of our country,” he said.
Gani Nygymetov, president of the Centre for International Programmes which oversees the Bolashak scholarship programme, joined the Kazakhstan2050 movement because he believes “the strategy of Kazakhstan’s development until 2050 is our national idea, which I am sure we will be able to accomplish before the scheduled year. By ‘we’ I mean not only graduates of the Bolashak scholarship programme, but all of the young people who love their country, who want to live a good life, work, raise a family and be proud of the results.”
Active members of the movement have proposed their ideas for the projects that it can implement in the year 2014. The projects that were selected out of many proposals cover various fields from developing crowd sourcing platforms to projects related to green economy. Members of the national movement are also planning to hold numerous informal conferences this year throughout Kazakhstan. The focus of these discussions will be questions regarding the future development of Kazakhstan as a country. The themes of the conferences are going to cover different fields of the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy.
In the recent annual state-of-the-nation address, the head of state instructed the Administration of the President, the Government and the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan in cooperation with the Kazakhstan 2050 national movement to develop and adopt the Patriotic Act Mangilik El (Mәңгілік Ел, Eternal nation).The Patriotic Act will be the movement’s biggest project in 2014.
The Patriotic Act is seen as a strategic document that will systematize the core values of Kazakhstan. The document will outline the values that must be protected and cultivated to ensure Kazakhstan’s sustainable development and the welfare of its citizens. The Patriotic Act is intended to serve as a centerpiece for progressive forces of society, aimed at ensuring the conservation of Kazakhstan’s independence and facilitating rapid progress. The ideological core of the document will be the idea of the eternal existence of Kazakhstan on the world map as an independent, prosperous nation.
The author is an activist with the Kazakhstan 2050 movement.