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Deepak Dhawan; HSF

Young South Asia Network (YSAN)

About YSAN

Under its Young Leaders umbrella, HSF Pakistan is pleased to co-organize the latest HSF Asia initiative for future leaders: in order to gain an understanding of different perspectives in society and politics, young stakeholders from science, politics, media and administration are enabled to engage with their South Asian and global counterparts.

YSAN includes online workshops, international study trips, and alumni meetings for Pakistani and Afghan Young Leaders.


Urban development in Pakistan and Afghanistan

South Asia’s urban population grew by 130 million between 2001 and 2011 and is poised to rise by almost 250 million by 2030. Its urbanization has been messy as seen in the widespread prevalence of slums. At least 130 million South Asians live in informal urban settlements characterized by poor construction, insecure tenure and underserviced plots.

Pakistan has the highest rate of urbanization in South Asia and its share of urban population is projected to reach 50% of its total population by 2025. Urban centers of Pakistan are the drivers of economic progress in a developing economy gradually moving away from agriculture. Rapid urbanization, on the other hand, is posing numerous environmental and governance challenges. Therefore, Pakistan’s Vision 2025 program places cities at the center of national policy for sustained and inclusive economic growth.

Afghanistan faces similar issues. Although largely a rural nation, Afghanistan experienced growth in urban area of almost 14% a year between 1999 and 2010, the fastest in the South Asia region. Its demographic landscape is an increasingly urban one, too. At the time of the Taliban's takeover in August 2021, Kabul was the fifth-fastest growing city in the world.

The 2022 edition of YSAN aims to bring young South Asian leaders together and equip them with the exposure, connections and knowledge needed to address questions of Urban Sustainability. The multilateral and interdisciplinary exchange with experts and young professionals from Europe intends to stimulate a fruitful discussion to find visions, ideas and solutions for common challenges.


Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan with an estimated population of 16.5 million in 2021, a 50% increase in 15 years. PPIIMAGES; DEPOSITPHOTOS


More information and application


For more details about YSAN, Urban Sustainability in 2022, eligibility criteria, application process and deadlines, please visit HSF Asia's YSAN website

More information

For Pakistan and Afghanistan specific questions on YSAN, please contact our Management Team here.