Second Day of Kazakh Civil Forum Week Begins: Participants Discuss Ways to Better Communicate With Youth

NUR-SULTAN – Members of the Presidential youth reserve discussed approaches by the Kazakh government that could help in reaching out to young people and getting them involved in Kazakhstan’s development at the Millenials and Social Change discussion panel on the second day of the Nov. 23-27 ninth Civil Forum in Nur-Sultan.

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The Kazakh government should revise their focus when communicating with the Kazakh youth from the standpoint of “what youth can offer to the government” to “what government can offer them”, said Daniyar Mukitanov, the head of educational and social programs of the British Council in Kazakhstan. The old approaches to governance seem to be persistent, but change is slowly coming, Mukitanov said. 

“Since young leaders started taking over jobs, we see that in government and social organizations the numbers of youth is increasing alongside with a willingness to try new, more creative approaches. They treat the youth as their equals. They don’t try to dominate or impose their ideas,” Mukitanov said.

Millenials and Social Change participants of the ninth Civil Forum Week.

Effective communication with Kazakh youth, however, cannot be achieved with a single approach, said Daulet Karibek, the head of the youth policy department in Nur-Sultan. According to social studies in Kazakhstan, the values and world perception of youth living in urban areas are drastically different from youth living in rural areas and small towns. If urban youth are ready to fight for progressive causes like feminism and human rights, there are youth in rural areas who believe that domestic violence can be justified.

Zulfiya Suleimenova, a deputy director of the Climate Policy and Green Technologies Department of the Ecology Ministry, stressed that the generation of millennials has been influenced by studying abroad and copying new trends in the world. The current challenge, however, is to use this knowledge for the good of Kazakhstan.

“We believe in different things, we see different things, we absorb different things. It seems to me, if you take our generation in general, the generation of millennials, this is the first generation when globalization began to take place. International flights, moving around, that is, we got access to the world. And I think that the best practices that we picked up abroad need to be introduced at home. And they need to be transferred to civil society,” said Suleimenova.

The forum also had discussion groups on state social procurement, professional NGOs, youth policy in action, normative regulation of public control, digital society, and building an inclusive society.

The NGOs had an opportunity to meet with Minister of Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry Bagdat Musin. Musin stressed the importance and progress in providing the population with high-quality communication channels.

Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov spoke about available state assistance to domestic exporters. According to him, the exporters can receive preferential loans and export insurances. In 2020, for example, KazakhExport insured contracts for more than 70 exporters worth nearly 63 billion tenge (US$148.42 million). It is expected that this level will increase to 100 billion tenge (US$235.59).

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