Rwandan youth have potential to shine but need to rise to the occasion

By The New Times

The potential is there but young people need to stand up to the plate and make the most of these opportunities.

Rwandan youth have over the years been afforded many life-changing opportunities, ranging from education and entrepreneurship to business and sporting and entertainment areas.

Indeed few of them have grabbed some of these opportunities with both hands and have been able to change their lives and impact their communities.

But many have remained in their comfort zones and failed to take advantage of the various initiatives across the different sectors.

One such latest opportunity has come in the form of basketball. United States’ National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) have just announced a plan to launch a professional basketball league for Africa and Rwanda is one of the countries that will be participating.

The Basketball Africa League, slated to get underway in January 2020, will comprise of 12 teams drawn from several countries including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Rwanda.

The development presents a great opportunity to young Rwandans seeing as this country has proven that it has untapped potential in the sport.

In addition to the growing competitiveness of country’s elite basketball league, many youngsters have continuously expressed interest in the sport, with some impressing under the Giants of Africa basketball programme launched in Rwanda in partnership with basketball legend Masai Ujiri and NBA’s Toronto Raptors.

Young Rwandans benefiting from such initiatives should take these opportunities seriously by consistently investing their energy, talent, passion and time if they are to succeed.

Above all, they need to be patient and disciplined.

The potential is there but young people need to stand up to the plate and make the most of these opportunities.

Source The New Times


More than two million young Africans across 37 countries were engaged with digital and coding skills at the Africa Code Week (ACW) 2018. This exceeded all expectations when compared to 1.3 million youth that participated in the previous edition.

From an initial focus of introducing coding skills to African youth and raising awareness of the importance of digital education, ACW key partners focused and augmented efforts in 2018 to sustain the impact of the programme through capacity-building with governments, schools and NPOs. As a result, close to 23,000 teachers were trained on the ACW digital learning curriculum in the run-up to October 2018 events.

The resounding success of Africa Code Week is an unveiling of what the young generation actually needs and rightfully expects, Cathy Smith, Managing Director of SAP Africa said, adding that “young people in Africa don’t just need opportunities: they need to know how to take the first steps to get there. They need role models and guidance.”

Morocco, which has been leveraging Africa Code Week to accelerate nationwide ICT capacity building since its inception, stood out at the latest edition with a record of 5,208 teachers trained throughout the year 2018. It is followed by Tunisia and Nigeria, with 2,800 and 2,553 teachers respectively.

Africa is way behind in terms of advanced technology, having missed the opportunities of previous industrial revolutions. To bridge this gap with the rest of the world, among other things, there is a need to empower the young generation with necessary digital skills. The continent cannot afford to miss the possibilities of the fourth industrial revolution largely characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical and digital spheres.

“There is only one way to bring the promises of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to the young generation: through a reference point, and that reference point is the teacher,” says Davide Storti, YouthMobile Initiative Coordinator at UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division. “We look forward to furthering dialogue with governments, so we can translate the powerful partnerships and networking built by and around Africa Code Week into long-term programmes that sustain the excitement around 21st-century learning.”

According to Alexandra van der Ploeg, Head of Global Corporate Social Responsibility at SAP, fostering powerful partnerships with a sharp focus on capacity building is one of Africa Code Week’s strengths.“This fourth edition saw unprecedented collaboration from our public and private sector stakeholders, as well as from NGOs, to train more teachers and reach more young people than ever before,” she said.

Africa Code Week is an initiative that involves hundreds of schools, teachers, governments, and nonprofits getting together to bridge the digital and gender skills gap in Africa. The goal of Africa Code Week is to empower the young generation by teaching the coding skills they need in order to thrive in the 21st century.

Launched in 2015 by SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility EMEA department, ACW is an award-winning initiative taking place every year in the month of October. It is now actively supported by key partners UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.


Morocco, GCC highlight need to strengthen youth relations

The fourth joint Moroccan-GCC youth meeting agreed Tuesday to enhance the relationship between both sides through more visit exchanges.

The participants represent the youth sectors of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Morocco lauded the decisions made by the 39th meeting of the GCC supreme council regarding the partnership and youth cooperation with Morocco.

They also extolled the GCC leaders for caring for youth and helping the youth realize their aspirations and address the challenges facing them.

The meeting gathered representatives of the youth authorities of the GCC states, including Director General of Kuwait Public Authority for Youth Abdul-Rahman Al-Mutairi.

Source Menafn

Youth Entrepreneurship Facilitating People’s Development in Morocco

By Yossef Ben-Meir

Moroccan youth today–whether urban- or rural-based–face enormous obstacles toward achieving their own self-development, and creating change that they seek for their families, communities, country, and even world. They are confronted with the statistical reality that the more education they complete, the more likely they will be unemployed. So often they are directed toward mainstay disciplines, not out of the pull they feel toward them, but out of the fact that there are too few alternatives, especially in public sector university settings. On the one hand, they have the important freedom to create the associations, be part of the cooperatives, and form the businesses that they aspire to build. On the other hand, however, their faith in their own social system, society’s sense of fair play, and real freedom to complete what they set out to, is more often than not heavily diminished.

Youth unemployment is more severe in rural places than in the cities. The cash economies that are now the established condition forces them to perform as day-laborers, and that is provided they are fortunate enough to have those chances. Urban migration is the only alternative for so many, even when their real dream is to remain in their communities and build there, where their heart is. The inadequate and unacceptable levels of rural education compel young families to move to cities. Considering the strong will among youth to alter their reality, there are successes, but, way too few, and those that are fortunate enough tp secure funding for new projects appear to be the exception.

With all this said, there is brightness, and the light of change is also rooted in the Moroccan condition. People’s participation in their own development is the law of the land and pervades the social structure by way of policies, programs, and legal obligation. Part of these national frameworks for human development further identifies youth as primary and potentially a most effective vehicle toward catalyzing and facilitating the local participatory development movements sought by the nation. This is to say that youth’s direct engagement in bringing communities together to plan and manage the projects to enhance and fulfill their lives is a key causeway to Morocco’s best future. Said simply: Moroccan sustainable development and how and whether it becomes real for all people will be determined by the role played by the youth of the nation.

But how do we move forward and how does this embody true entrepreneurship? Whenever we are acquiring and forging new skills, we learn best simply by doing it. We coordinate inclusive, local, dialogue by assisting that dialogue. We help others define the projects of their heart and future by doing just that: asking the questions, asking others to respond, aggregating with that more responses, helping others talk it through, until a sense of consensus and direction become defined.

We write and submit successful project proposals by writing, submitting, and following-up. We learn how to create budgets by creating them. We build capacities around evaluating past actions in order to build future courses, by engaging in it. We learn from experience, and so must our youth. Thankfully, there are no preconditions to begin. There is no degree that we must have. There is no status or background that first must be ours. We begin by beginning. And time and life are short, so we must begin now.

We are often taught to think that entrepreneurship comes from our own innovation. We are often encouraged to believe that to be most creative, strategic, and successful, is doing what develops from our own ingenuity, that our own entrepreneurial selves is about ourselves, and rests in our own mind’s ability to invent and decide.

I write this to say that this outlook is categorically false, misleading, and even antithetical to sustainable development and progression toward a satisfied society. Entrepreneurship rests on what we give toward drawing out and realizing the ideas of the people. Innovation is the embodiment of a thousand voices intersecting and made into one agreed upon surge for community development. Our creativity is a reflection of how we assist others in understanding and pursuing their own hopes for the future. Youth entrepreneurship is not an endeavor of individual youths, but is a matter of all youth, building themselves by building their communities’ development course, driven by the public.

I hear and imagine the heavy burden that Moroccan youth experience and the trepidation about the future that they must feel in their hearts. To fulfill the promise of the people’s participation in development, is a truly painstaking and difficult road, without certainty, and with non-linear progress. However, there is reason for gratefulness when the nation sees youth’s role in creating sustainable change, and sees people’s participation as vital to that change. The question before us is: will we give ourselves over to the cause of others and, therefore, the vast multiplicity of what becomes entrepreneurship, and all the resources that are entailed, in order that we can effectively walk this course?

Even though time brings us understanding, today, it is not our friend. There is urgency to this call, to completing the Moroccan model, and to bring, finally, the satisfaction in our and others’ lives that we very seriously need.

This articles was first published on Business Ghana

Sports: Youthful Matteo Guendouzi confirms he wants to stick with France amid Morocco rumours

By Dan Critchlow

Matteo Guendouzi wants to commit to the senior France national team, despite rumours linking him to a switch of allegiances to play for Morocco.

Guendouzi recently got his first call-up to the France under-21 team, putting the pressure on Morocco to try and convince him to change his mind before playing for the senior team.

As a result, there have been plenty of rumours in recent months about the Morocco manager flying to London to speak to him, or the Moroccan Federation contacting Guendouzi’s father. The 19-year-old qualifies for Morocco through his father, but Matteo says his dream is to play for France, having done so for the youth teams for a while now.

“Since I was young, I’ve always played with the French teams,” he told French television station Canal Plus. “It’s a dream to play with the France senior team. And I’m hoping to get there, it’s a dream for me to make it happen.”

As for Arsenal, Guendouzi has seen his Premier League starts limited recently, thanks to Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka’s impressive partnership. Nonetheless, he’s up to 15 appearances (11 starts) in all competitions this season.

The Frenchman insists he’s happy with how things are going individually, and he just wants to focus on improving Arsenal.

“I’m very happy about my start,” he said. “After that, the most important for me is the team, we’re on a good run of 15 or 16 games without a loss, which is something we need to continue on. We’ve drawn the last three games in the league, but we’re a very solid team, and I hope we can do great things.”

Hopefully, Arsenal can get back to winning ways against Bournemouth on Sunday, in their final Premier League game before the North London derby.

Source – Dailycannon

The Way Forward for Morocco: Invest in Youth and Social Solidarity


The secretary general of Morocco’s CESE has said that Morocco’s new development model should integrate youth and social solidarity-related matters.

The Social, Economic, and Environmental Council (CESE) is an independent consultancy body that conducts studies on socio-economic developments in Morocco. Prized by Moroccan decision makers, CESE’s studies and recommendations are generally commissioned by the Royal Palace or Moroccan parliamentary bodies.

CESE’s secretary general, Driss Guerraoui, was speaking in Skhirat on Monday, November 12, at the plenary session of the first national conference on social protection.

Social protection—assistance to vulnerable and low-income classes—and investment in quality education for a “frustrated and abandoned youth” should be an integral part of the development model, Guerraoui said.

He asserted that investment in these two areas can strengthen social trust and help build a healthy rapport between citizens and their country. “Combating social exclusion fosters social peace.”

As well as fostering inclusive growth and social trust—among citizens and between citizens and institutions—an effective policy framework on social protection and youth integration can lay the ground for social satisfaction, according to Guerraoui.

Satisfied citizens and integrated youth, CESE’s secretary general elaborated, decreases grievances and establishes a peaceful social climate.

Guerraoui’s Monday speech comes as Moroccan authorities realize the centrality of youth issues. From mass unemployment to widespread determination to immigrate to Europe, young Moroccans see no prospects of better life in their country. CESE’s reports have described Morocco’s youth as the left-behind of successive government actions.

In August, CESE rang the alarm bell on Morocco’s disinterest in its young people. In a report that advocated for a “new national initiative to engage the youth,” the body argued that Moroccan youth are victims of repeated political failures.

There is a staggering gap between policies and young people’s concerns, the report said. It explained that the perceived lack of job prospects and personal fulfillment opportunities often exposes Moroccan youth to “juvenile delinquency, suicide, drug addiction, and extremism.”

Source – Morocco World News

Morocco’s Unemployment Falls Slightly, Youth Unemployment at 27.5%


According to a note by the High Commission for Planning (HCP), 122,000 jobs were created: 118,000 in urban areas and 4,000 in rural areas.

The service sector and “industry including traditional industry” generated 98,000 jobs and 19,000 jobs, respectively.

Agriculture, forestry, and fishing generated 9,000 jobs, while construction and public works lost 4,000 jobs.

HCP added that, during the same period, there were just over 1 million unemployed people, down by 64,000 people at the national level since the same period last year.

The unemployment rate in urban areas fell from 14.9 percent to 14.3 percent. In rural areas it fell from 4.6 percent to 3.9 percent.

However, the unemployment rate remains relatively high among youth aged 15-24 (27.5 percent). The rate among women and those with degrees is 13.8 percent and 17.1 percent, respectively.

The unemployment rate of those with a vocational training certificate is 23.9 percent: 36.5 percent for women and 19.3 percent for men.

HCP found that approximately 57 percent of unemployed people have never worked before, and 67.7 percent have been unemployed for a year or more.

Approximately 26.8 percent are unemployed because they were fired or their employer’s activity was suspended.


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Morocco’s army service will serve interests of youth

By Jean AbiNader

To many, Morocco’s proposed law on national conscription is less about enabling young people and more about protecting the country’s power structure.

Morocco has a large, well-trained army that is expensive to maintain. Having thousands of young people rotating in and out on an annual basis may not be the most efficient use of its capabilities. Some warn that giving weapons training to those not committed to a military career may create a security risk, especially if there are few economic prospects for those people when they complete their year of service.

Youth development models in other countries often feature integration between military service and the acquisition of skills that equips young people for securing jobs. There is an array of choices to satisfy the desire to inculcate values and enable post-training employment. It may be in Morocco’s economic, political and security interests to recast the military service programme as a national service one that promotes patriotism and citizenship and teaches participants to learn respect for their fellow citizens, develop marketable skills, acquire team-building and leadership experience that will add meaning to their lives, their families and their communities.

What are Morocco’s options if it wants to develop patriots who are employable citizens? First, the programme must have meaning and relevance. To have good citizens, they must be motivated beyond a simple military salary by sharing a vision of how they can contribute to the advancement of the country.

Start with a well-thought-out strategy with several streams that can be managed effectively by a public-partnership partnership, including NGOs. It requires a vision that is communicated effectively to all Moroccans — young men and women, marginalised teens and school dropouts, unemployed university graduates and civil society.

Assuming that participation is mandatory, the vetting should begin in secondary school or with 18-year-olds who have not finished high school. Morocco has had enough experience with testing trainees to determine their likely assets and how to develop them.

After placement results are measured, students would be encouraged to choose among military service in select specialties, studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics leading to an associate degree or skills training tied to internship programmes. Other aspects could include promoting collaboration between urban and rural constituencies, encouraging participation of young women and blending the talents of university graduates with younger Moroccans.

Participants could be channelled into 1- or 2-year incentivised programmes such as those of the High Atlas Foundation, the Book Caravan or CorpsAfrica that can be extended into other areas utilising the developing talents of youth.

School dropouts can be handled in the same way: testing for skills that do not rely on literacy alone, interviews to determine placement priorities and subsidies in the form of military salaries or work-study grants. There may be many talented young people in the informal sector who could make important benefits to the country if given training and opportunities.

The larger question is leadership development. The first year should be spent training cadres of military and non-military staff participants in leadership, team building, metrics and evaluation, human-resources management, talent retention and promotion and administrative skills — all of which are essential to developing the next generation of Morocco’s leaders.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI said: “We cannot let our education system continue to produce unemployed people, especially in certain branches of study, in which graduates — as everyone knows — find it extremely hard to access the job market.”

The need is far beyond well-designed and -equipped programmes. The critical development of teachers, trainers, managers and specialists at all levels is the key to the success of an integrated national youth service model.

In discussions about this concept, Moroccans are quick to point out that the needs of the military should not be minimised. The military faces a challenge in recruiting, training and retaining young people with critical IT skills such as interpreting satellite imagery and reconnaissance to cybersecurity. These skills do not require a university education but rather a comprehensive programme to develop skills that youth seem to manage with greater ease than others.

This is all doable, practical, sustainable and relevant to the present and future of Morocco. If the government is ready to fund an ill-defined military experience for young people, wouldn’t it be more efficient and effective to take a year to develop a strategy for promoting a future of employable patriots?

If the government is committed to empowering youth with values and skills to become more able and productive citizens, then a comprehensive strategy for youth development that integrates military service, national service and educational reform should be a priority.

It is time to seize the future for Morocco and its youth.

Source: The Arab Weekly

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Morocco enhances sports facilities to wean away youth from radicalisation

Morocco has undertaken a massive programme to provide sporting facilities to its youth in order to wean them away from possible radicalisation.

King Mohammed VI recently inaugurated in Marrakech an indoor semi-Olympic swimming pool and an array of sports fields and sporting fields to provide training opportunities for the youth and boost sports in the north African Kingdom, Morocco’s MAP news agency reported.

The two community-based sports projects will provide the youth a place for relaxation and training.

They will also have opportunities to socialize and develop their sporting skills in the best possible conditions of coaching and security. The facilities were built at a cost of 31 million Moroccan dirham.

The swimming pool, which meets international standards in terms of energy efficiency and water saving, offers young people an adequate facility to exercise and enhance their talents.

Likewise, it will contribute to the revitalization of sports associations, and will encourage the emergence of new athletes able to compete nationally and internationally.

This project is part of a program providing for the construction of five community indoor pools in other neighbourhoods.

The other sporting project inaugurated includes 10 artificial turf football fields, race tracks, a children’s playground, green areas, a cafeteria, an infirmary, and changing rooms.

Covering a total surface area of 20,000 m2, this project is part of nationwide programme providing for the construction of 832 social and sport complexes.

The programme, worth 600 million Moroccan dirham, will be completed in 36 months. The facilities will be built in rural and Peri-urban communes in the various regions of the Kingdom.

Source: Daijiworld

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