Two-thirds of the Saudi population is under 35, and a new Saudi leadership is increasingly reflecting the rise of a young generation, starting with the recent appointment of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
At only 31, Prince Mohammed offers an ambitiously youthful perspective in his leadership, a fact that he demonstrated last year when he spearheaded the launch of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan. The plan has been lauded as transformational, as it re-imagines the Kingdom’s economic potential as diverse, emphasizing the role of public-private partnerships in increasing opportunities for Saudi citizens.
The plan also envisions an increasingly entrepreneurial role for Saudi Arabia’s young population, focusing on an education that contributes to economic growth by investing in training that equips Saudi men and women alike for the economy of the future.
Sanam Vakil, associate fellow at Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa program, told Bloomberg in an interview that having young leadership at the helm is central to the message being sent by the Saudi government.
“Perhaps the princes can talk in the same language as the youth and listen to their concerns so they would be able to address them in more effective ways,” Vakil said.
Young Leadership Pushing Change
Alongside Prince Mohammed, King Salman appointed another of his young sons, under 30, as the Ambassador to the United States. This move emphasizes the intention of the government to revitalize and modernize even long-standing relationships like that of the decades-old Saudi-U.S. partnership.
Other young appointees include a new Minister of State for Energy and Interior Minister.
As the Kingdom undergoes changes outlined in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program (NTP), its young and energetic leadership remains committed to ensuring that Saudi Arabia builds towards its goals in the coming years to become a central hub connecting three continents.
As Prince Mohammed laid out upon the launch of Vision 2030, “Together we will continue building a better country, fulfilling our dream of prosperity and unlocking the talent, potential and dedication of our young men and women…Our Vision is a strong, thriving, and stable Saudi Arabia that provides opportunity for all.”