With Africa’s increasing youth population projected to double by 2050, young people will take centre stage on Tuesday at a UN forum addressing global coexistence in the northern city of Fez, Morocco.
The annual Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilisation is expected to serve as a platform for young people to share their views and offer their input to international decision makers.
According to the World Economic Forum, more than 60 per cent of Africa’s population is aged under 25.
Morocco's King Mohammed VI wants to support young people in establishing careers, a representative of the kingdom told The National.
“The King is highly supportive of the self-starting youth and wants to help them finance their entrepreneurial projects. He would like to provide them with professional training and qualifications so they become employable,” the official said.
This is the first time the event will be held in Africa, described by Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in October as “a continent that has not yet gained its rightful place when it comes to collective action and global mobilisation”.
The UN Alliance of Civilisation was created immediately after the September 11 2001 attacks as the political initiative of former UN secretary general Kofi Annan to think of civilisations as categories of international diplomacy and to focus on culture within civilisations as a potential source of conflict and peace.
The growing international need for co-operation and dialogue was in the spotlight at the Cop27 climate conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, which ended on Sunday.
“The need to save the planet is often mentioned, but we are also required to learn to live together, to respect each other, and to understand the existence of different religions, cultures, and civilisations,” said Miguel Moratinos, UN high representative for the Alliance of Civilisations.
Mr. Moratinos said the city of Fez was chosen to host the forum because of its ancestral character and spiritual symbolism.