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U.S. State Department visits Costa Rica as part of initiative to empower tech-savvy youth

September 10, 2013

The U.S. government is pushing to empower technologically savvy young people during a visit to Costa Rica’s capital.

The U.S. State Department helped organize the Global Youth Summit on Tuesday to connect future entrepreneurs with executives from top companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Proctor & Gamble, and the Mexico-based Claro. The United Nations hosted the Global Youth Summit as part of its its International Telecommunications Union.

Daniel Sepulveda, a U.S. State Department coordinator on information technology, said the Global Youth Summit is part of a strategy to have technology improve in areas such as sustainable development and raising certain regions out of poverty.

“The use of information and communications technology in schools around the world [helps] kids who traditionally did not have access to a wide range of information that they can now have access to,” Sepulveda said in an interview.

A State Department official working on global youth issues, Zeenat Rahman said the conference brought more than 500 young people, ages 18 to 25, from 31 different countries. Rahman said more than 3,000 participated in the conference online.

Both Rahman and Sepulveda praised Costa Rica as being one of the leaders in the region on developing information technology and investing in its youth.

“This is a clear signal from the leadership in this country that this is an area where the leadership of young people is something they’re going to continue to invest in,” Rahman said.

Rahman pointed out that the State Department has created 67 Youth Councils around the world to get input from young people on where they need resources for development. Alumni of State Department programs are often members of the councils, such as people who participated in exchange programs.

The State Department published a video from the Youth Council in the central Pacific city of Quepos here.

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