Young leaders in conclave in Essaouira

The 6th forum of young Euro-Mediterranean leaders began its work on Friday in Dar Souiri in the City of Alizés, with the participation of a hundred young people from different regions of the Kingdom.

Placed under the theme “Innovation at the service of social inclusion and diversity”, this forum, organized by the French Embassy in Rabat and the French Institute (IF) of Morocco, in partnership with the association Essaouira-Mogador, the association Marocains Pluriels and the Sekkat foundation, want to be an opportunity to promote dialogue between generations and to build a network around young people involved in civic initiatives.

The opening of this conclave, whose work continues until June 12, took place in the presence in particular of André Azoulay, King’s Counselor and Founding President of the Essaouira-Mogador Association, the Ambassador of France in Rabat, Hélène Le Gall, as well as several personalities from various backgrounds.

DR French Embassy in Morocco

In a speech for the occasion, Hélène Le Gall indicated that this Forum, which since its beginnings in 2015 has become “a highlight for the French Embassy in Morocco”, celebrates Moroccan youth, its ambitions, its initiatives, and above all its commitments, as well as intergenerational and intercultural dialogue, and the transmission of the values ​​of respect and tolerance.

It is an opportunity to “meeting together to think about and make people think about major current issues”, she said, explaining that this year, the theme of social inclusion “Celebrating Diversity” and so “how to unite all the energies for the development of a society, while certain populations undergo forms of exclusion which slow down their full potential”.

While emphasizing that the Forum is a place of inspiration, which aims to nourish the motivation of young people for the future, the French diplomat explained that “we designed it as an interactive space, with practical workshops” where young people can express themselves, whether through theatre, public speaking, writing or social networks.

DR French Embassy in Morocco

“The very idea of ​​the Forum is indeed to build long-term links”she continued, noting that this edition brings together a hundred young people, “in a more intimate, tighter format than in previous years, which is precisely intended to promote contacts”.

For his part, the president of the executive office of the Essaouira-Mogador Association, Tarik Ottmani was delighted with the holding of this 6th edition, after two years of absence due to the spread of Covid-19, and see these committed young people, from all over the Kingdom, meet in Essaouira to discuss major current issues in an atmosphere of sharing and transmission.

This forum is certainly an appropriate space for these young people to establish contacts and exchange experiences, but also offers the opportunity to listen to them, declared Tarik Ottmani, while expressing his heartfelt thanks to the Embassy of France for its continued commitment, through the funding and support of this event since its launch.

For his part, the president of the “Plural Moroccans” Association, Ahmed Ghayat indicated, in a similar statement, that “the idea is to bring together a hundred young people from different regions of the Kingdom so that they can meet Moroccan experts and French, listen to both parties, weigh things up and make up your own mind, but above all to listen to this youth”.

In this regard, he highlighted the experiences, initiatives and mobilization shown by youth and youth associations throughout the period of the pandemic, through a series of awareness-raising and solidarity actions.

“Young people have been innovative. We must therefore have confidence in these young people who are today seeking to acquire responsibilities. They do not want to be spectators and consumers but actors“, he argued.

DR French Embassy in Morocco

As for Othmane Mazzine, president of the “MogaJeunes” association, which takes part in this forum, he indicated that this event offers the opportunity for young people to discuss, share their respective experiences and make contact with experts to enrich their knowledge and build partnerships, even create networks between the associations in which they are active.

At the end of the opening ceremony, two round tables were organized: the first focused on “inclusion, from observation to practice”, was moderated by Mustapha Zahir, president of the Antiracist Defense and accompaniment of migrant foreigners, and led by the secretary general of the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), Mounir Bensalah, the general manager of Ashoka France, Elsa Grangier (from a distance) and Hajar Moujtahid, a young doctor and social entrepreneur. It aimed to describe the mechanisms and factors of inclusion that hinder human and economic development and to discuss the solutions used until now, in particular by the public authorities.

The second round table, moderated by Mr. Ghayat around the theme “Feedback from solidarity initiatives carried out by young people during the Covid”, was an opportunity for young associative actors from Essaouira to highlight the initiatives carried out by associations in the Cité des Alizés (MogaJeunes, Friends of the Verb and Farah) throughout the period of the pandemic.

The program of this event also includes seven thematic workshops on “The media in the age of post-truth: how to deconstruct conspiracy theories?” », « New ways of working based on the lessons of the crisis », « The keys to embarking on social entrepreneurship », « How to get involved in your territory at a time of citizen participation? “, “The art of rhetoric: speaking in public”, “Artistic creation at the service of a project: forum theater to fight against gender stereotypes”, and “Social networks and civic engagement”.

In parallel, an Ideathon exercise will allow a small group of 11 young volunteers to reflect on a theme related to inclusion and to present their recommendations during the closing ceremony of the forum.

Finally, the Souiri public and visitors to the Cité des Alizés will have an appointment, Saturday evening at Place Moulay El Hassan, with a concert by the Jubantouja group. This is the story of a musical project that was born in the early mornings of the High Atlas before shining in the great evenings of other horizons and on small and large screens. A new breath of multicultural references fusing Amazigh language, culture and heritage with deliberate indie, and uninhibited alternative rock.

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