By Reda Benazzouz
By Reda Benazzouz
Morocco World News
Ottawa, October 1, 2012
On September 22nd, 2012, hundreds of young Moroccans attended the second “national dialogue for Moroccan youths,” organized jointly by the Ministry of Youth & Sports and the Ministry of Moroccans living Abroad. Participants debated different subjects seeking the involvement of Moroccan youth in social and economic national policies.
“Morocco’s youth are marginalized, leaders in this country never gave us the chance to prove our talents and our skills, they seem to forget that we are the future” stated, Nassima, a 17 years old local student from Tifelt who partook in the event.
For the first time, the Moroccan community living abroad was represented in this workshop, 30 young Moroccans coming from around the world joined the debate with their Moroccan counterparts. These representatives hailed from, Dakar, Berlin, Ottawa, Paris, London …and enriched the overall discussions.
Unemployment: First Youth Concern?
Alarming information was reported by the World Bank on May 14th 2012 based on a conclusion of a wide research conducted with 2000 households across the country, interviewing more than 2800 young people living on those households. The results were very disappointing. 50% of all Moroccans youth between the ages of 15 and 29 are neither working, nor in school. This was the culmination of years of failed policies adopted by Morocco to address youth concerns.
For decades, Moroccan youth were victims of the exclusion from education and job opportunities, resulting in economic deficits as youth were an untapped human capital and enticing youth to immigrate towards foreign countries where more opportunities were awaiting.
“I earned a degree in IT and I can’t find a job,” said a 25 years Moroccan participant in the workshop. The debate about joblessness continued for over 2 hours, with a general consensus emerging about inequality in the labor market vis-à-vis youth and their insertion into the labor market. One of the key recommendations of the workshop was the necessity to adopt more pro-youth employment policies which would encourage employers to follow clear procedures in the selection process.
Education System and Youth Insertion into the Labor Market
Education catapulted to the top of the workshop discussion agenda. The fact that only 8% of the primary level students are earning university degrees (based on a document presented to us on site) enhances participants’ request. Why do some Moroccan youth hate school? How to establish an educational culture among Moroccan families? And many other questions were debated in the workshop.
In conclusion, the debates were very productive and interesting. The idea to include young Moroccans coming from around the world definitely added a value to the quality of the meeting. A facebook group called “Dialogue Nationale avec les Jeunes Marocains du Monde” was created in order to allow the participants to move forward with new pilot projects in coordination with Moroccan policy makers. As a first step, the group will be a forum of exchanging ideas and arguments between the group work members that attended the workshop, before opening it to the public with concrete projects. This meeting marked the beginning of a new era in the vision of planning the involvement of young Moroccans living abroad in national economic and social policies.
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