You are here

The Leadership Academy and Innovation Lab has gone mobile bringing the Turkmen youth a platform to innovate and generate social innovation projects.  The Academy was held in the capital and all five velayats of Turkmenistan with focus on rural girls.

More than 220 young school pupils, young professionals, college students, youth with disabilities and most-at risk youth gathered for five days to learn, discuss, debate and then propose solutions to the existing challenges in their own communities. 

Leadership Academy and Innovation Lab was organized by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, jointly with the Ministry of Education and Youth Organization of Turkmenistan, and with support of British Embassy in Turkmenistan.  

The Academy served as a platform to create an enabling environment to empower adolescents, to understand their rights, promote creative thinking and foster civic responsibility through development of social innovation projects. 

During the five days of the Academy young leaders went through the intensive leadership training, which helped them gain the skills in creative and analytical thinking, thinking outside of the box, working in teams, constructively and freely expressing their views and ideas. 

The Academy served as an effective platform for youth-adult dialogue, where twenty-eight social innovation projects were presented to the jury composed of the heads of the Ministry and its departments of Education, Youth Organization of Turkmenistan, Women’s Union of Turkmenistan, UNFPA and the British Embassy in Turkmenistan. The social projects were proposed in the areas of education, youth health, transportation, urban and rural development, ecology, access to services among many other areas. 

 “The true wealth of our state is our people,” said Ms. Nurnabat Charlyeva, representative of Women’s Union of Turkmenistan in Ahal region.  “It does not matter what color of skin they have, their background or whether they have a disability – they make up human capital of our country.  If we are able to realize the projects presented today focusing on health, education, ecology and improving quality of life of people, including people with disability, we will be able to build a strong nation.”

“The youth-led social innovation projects developed by young people is an important part of realizing the State Programme on implementation of Youth Policy Law of Turkmenistan,” said Ms. Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative. “More than 200 issues raised by youth and social innovation projects will feed the next Action Plan of the State Programme on implementation of the Youth Policy Law. Turkmenistan is home to more than two million young people aged 10 to 29, which make up more than 40 percent of the country’s population.  This means that these young people will largely drive and live with the outcomes of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Investing in their education, health and rights and engaging them in the implementation of the Global Agenda is critical to achieving every single one of these goals.”

Promoting youth leadership and participation is key to UNFPA’s work. The partnership with the Government of Turkmenistan aims to enable young people, with strong focus on girls, to develop the skills, knowledge and support needed to make a positive contribution in the lives of their families, communities and country.


View more photos from the Leadership Academy and Innovation Lab on UNFPA Facebook page:


For additional information, please contact

Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative


Ene Tuyliyeva, Advocacy Communication Associate


Tel: 488325