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    14-May-2018

Jordan launches media strategy to invest in ‘upcoming demographic window’

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — A five-year national population media strategy was launched on Sunday with the aim of supporting efforts to achieve and invest in an expected “demographic window” which officials said Jordan can reach “soon”.
 
Officials present at the ceremony said that the media strategy will be aiding official efforts to spread awareness among the public of the relevance between the development processes and population issues, particularly the demographic window, which they defined as the period of time when the population at a working age becomes the prominent group in the national economy. 
 
According to the strategy, a copy of which was made available to The Jordan Times, Jordan is expected to enter the transition to this period of demographic window “soon when the working population in the age group 15-64 years would exceed in number the dependent groups aged under 15 years or more than 64 years”, thus requiring adjusting educational, training, employment, health and other relevant policies.
 
This transition requires the awareness of the public as a whole of the opportunities inherent in the demographic window which should be invested in wisely, the officials said.
 
Addressing the launch ceremony, Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani said preparing the strategy highlights the importance of the media in addressing various societal issues and in countering challenges. 
 
Momani called for properly investing in the demographic window to give momentum to the development process, particularly that Jordan, which is countering various challenges at the present time, is capable of turning challenges into opportunities, relying on the efforts of its human resources, which the minister described as the country’s main asset.
 
Secretary General of the Higher Population Council Maysoon Zoubi said the strategy was intended to meet the continuous developments in the media as well as population fields.
 
The strategy, Zoubi told the ceremony, aims to draw a “detailed roadmap for the role of the media in population issues over the coming five years in accordance with a clear and flexible vision”.
 
The council’s most important role in this regard is to provide the media with the needed information, as well as training a specialised group of journalists on dealing with relevant issues in a professional manner.
 
Jordan Media Institute (JMI) Dean Basim Tweissi highlighted the importance of having media practitioners specialising in demographic issues, which have been changing drastically over the past decades.
 
The population of Jordan increased tenfold over the past 55 years, with Jordanians constituting only 69 per cent of the total, Tweissi said in outlining the main features of the strategy.  Half of the 31 per cent non-Jordanians of the population are Syrians, said the dean of the JMI, which was one of the council’s partners in preparing the strategy along with USAID’s Tawasol Project, adding that the illiteracy rate was estimated at 9.1 per cent, 6.7 per cent for Jordanians and 14.5 per cent for non-Jordanians.
 
He said that the population in Jordan has been growing at unreasonable rates due to forced migrations. The average population growth rate in the period 2004-2015 was 5.3 per cent, raised mainly by the non-Jordanian growth rate of 18 per cent, while the growth rate for Jordanians was 3.1 per cent, which he described as being relatively high when compared to global figures.
 
Still, there is an opportunity for Jordan to work on creating a demographic window characterised by a drop in population growth rate and rise in the workforce figures, he said, thus increasing economic opportunities if well exploited.
 
Tweissi added that the public needs to be aware of this window through professional media channels that target the society as a whole, including policymakers, with the right messages.
 
Among these messages that the media strategy aims to highlight are the importance of the nucleus family and reproductive health services, as well as supporting women’s and youth’s role in the economy.
 
“A small and happy Jordanian family advances through equality between the sexes” is one of the main messages of the campaign, he said. 
 
Another is: “The key to advancing the Jordanian society and serving its prosperity lies in empowering women politically, economically and socially.”
 

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