By Siham Ali
By Siham Ali
Casablanca, November 03, 2012
Morocco is in the midst of designing a brand new strategy to help young people meet their hopes and aspirations.
A new participative approach is being employed for the very first time, with regional forums held to identify the aspirations of young people, Youth and Sport Minister Mohamed Ouzzine told MPs on Monday (October 29th).
He stressed the need to speed up the introduction of youth-focused measures in all areas. Future actions will be based on the proposals from Moroccan young people, the minister added. The strategy will be formulated by the end of the year.
The youth sector is central to the government’s concerns, Ouzzine said.
Last year, the government made great strides in implementing the 2010-2016 National Integrated Youth Strategy. The support network was enhanced with the establishment of 120 youth clubs, 19 child protection centres, 100 youth centres, 125 women’s homes and four new holiday camp centres.
Next year will see the continuation of this strategy, most notably with the extension of the holiday camp network. Their capacity will increase to accommodate more than 300,000 young people, and there will also be greater financial support for youth associations.
A consultative committee on youth and the voluntary sector will also kick off. It will be responsible for monitoring and assessing issues concerning youth protection and increasing voluntary sector activities.
Youth job creation is one of the top-priority areas for government action. The goal is to reduce unemployment to 8% by 2016.
Economy and Finance Minister Nizar Baraka explained that the government is looking to create wealth by bringing about economic growth in terms of employment by being more selective in choosing investments which will create wealth and employment. It aims to boost small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises, encourage self-employment and develop the social economy.
Through the Moukawalati self-employment programme, some 2,960 projects were financed or self-financed between 2009 and the end of June 2012. This is still below the target level. In 2013, help is planned for all those benefiting from the programme to achieve their targets.
The government intends to maintain its investment efforts to create even more jobs, Baraka said. He stressed the need to widen employment prospects by introducing measures to make it easier for young people to get onto the job market, targeting the long-term unemployed and opening up new avenues for employment in private education and in civil society through voluntary organisations.
Based on these objectives, new tools will be created to set up the “Moubadara” (initiative) programme, aimed at producing more jobs of social value within the voluntary sector.
Another programme, “Taatir” (training), aims to help people with no professional experience or those in need of technical training in specific fields.