Aga Khan – Kyrgyzstan

Challenge: How Might We Better Connect Youth to E-Commerce Opportunities in Kyrgyzstan?

Since 2002, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has been supporting the establishment of institutions and programmes that help develop an economically dynamic, politically stable and intellectually and culturally vibrant Kyrgyz Republic.  These include the main campus of the University of Central Asia in Naryn; the Osh School; the First MicroFinance Company; the Kyrgyz Investment Credit Bank; various initiatives supporting 310,000 people in the Osh and Naryn oblasts; and activities of the Aga Khan Music Initiative to support broad-based music and arts education.

Connect and retain talented Kyrgyz youth in the growing e-services sector. Columbia students will collaborate with the Aga Khan Foundation and the affiliated Mountain Societies Development Programme (MSDSP)  to interview Kyrgyz youth and e-service leaders in Kyrgyzstan. Columbia students will also research current e-services trends in Kyrgyzstan and beyond.  Based on the interviews and related research, Columbia students will articulate a number of challenges and opportunities.  One primary goal will be to understand how students are or are not prepared for e-service jobs. Another major goal will be to understand how youth in Kyrgyzstan make decisions about what jobs they take and careers they pursue. Finally, Columbia students and their local partners will develop and test prototype solutions to these opportunities and challenges.