World Bank forums see youth as global changemakers

By Michael Marshall for UPI.com

An international group of young professionals, entrepreneurs, social activists, and student leaders showcased the role of youth in global development through forums at the World Bank forums on youth service and entrepreneurship.

“Without the involvement of young people in areas that affect them it will be difficult for countries to move forward,” said Evans Musonde from Zambia. He represented the Africa Peace Service Corps that is working to integrate the societies on east and southern Africa through cross-border youth service exchanges.

Karen Scheuerer of the U.S. Peace Corps said, “We see youth as change makers.” She noted the Peace Corps efforts to promote youth entrepreneurship. About three-quarters of the people the Peace Corps works with are youth.

H.E. Olive Wonekha, Uganda’s ambassador to the U.S., said that countries like hers needed a shift from donor aid to more international trade and investment. Uganda needed to develop a core of young entrepreneurs to facilitate this development.

Speakers also stressed the importance of international exchanges and fellowships in developing the skills of young entrepreneurs and leaders in the developing world.

The forums are part of the 4th International Young Leaders Assembly that brings together 800 young leaders from over 60 countries for programs in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York at the U.N. from August 11-20.

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Is the World Bank Losing Asia?

By Mohamed A. El-Erian

Asia wants a new specialized bank to fill the gaps left by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. In contrast to its last effort to create a supranational monetary institution back in the 1990s, it might actually succeed.

Asian countries have long felt underserved and misunderstood by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, initially set up after World War II to, respectively, fund development projects and help governments manage temporary financial difficulties. In the midst of the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, they sought to establish an Asian monetary fund designed to respond better to the needs of the region. Amid considerable international opposition, notably from the U.S., they ended up with a collection of less ambitious financial arrangements, such as a multilateral currency swap mechanism known as the Chiang Mai Initiative.

There were good and bad reasons for the opposition. The U.S., and to a lesser extent Europe, felt that an Asian monetary fund would undermine global cross-border coordination and would be too vulnerable to the kind of political pressures that arise in crisis situations. China, for its part, seemed rather noncommittal.

The U.S. and Europe also wanted to maintain the power that their historical domination of the IMF and the World Bank afforded. So they preferred to promise Japan and other Asian nations reforms to the existing institutions, as a means of forestalling the creation of a new one over which they would exercise limited direct control. The reforms, though, haven’t been deep enough to satisfy Asia’s needs, and confidence in the process has been undermined further by the U.S. Congress’s failure to pass what everyone admits is only a modest set of changes in representation and voice.

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World Cup Brazil Will Generate $4 Billion for FIFA, 66% More Than 2010 Tournament

World Cup Brazil will generate $4 billion in total revenue for FIFA, or 66% more than the previous tournament in South Africa in 2010. The vast majority of the money will come from the sale of television and marketing rights. The World Cup generates more revenue for its association than any other sports tournament, save the Olympics (based on revenue per-event-day, the NFL’s Super Bowl reigns supreme). FIFA’s profit for the Brazil World Cup: $2 billion.

Almost all of the revenue FIFA generates comes from television rights ($1.7 billion) and marketing rights ($1.35 billion) from corporate partners like Adidas Emirates, Sony , Visa V+0.87%, Hyundai and Coca-Cola . Blue chip companies love to throw money at the World Cup because it is followed passionately throughout most of the world.

FIFA research, which took a year to produce after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, said 909 million television viewers tuned in to at least one minute of the 2010 final at home. Some 619.7 million people also watched at least 20 consecutive minutes of Spain’s 1-0 extra-time win over the Netherlands in Johannesburg. More than 3.2 billion people watched live coverage of the 2010 tournament for a minimum of one minute. The average official rating was 188.4 million for each match.

The 2010 Men’s World Cup drew the most US viewers ever for the tournament. ESPN announced that broadcasts averaged a 2.1 rating (2.29 million households and 3.26 million viewers), a 31% increase over 2006. The final between the Netherlands and Spain was the most-watched men’s World Cup game with 15.6 million viewers.

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