April 26, 2023
10:00 am - 11:15 am


Zoom Webinar

Although people under the age of 25 account for 43% of Morocco’s population,  there are very low levels of youth representation in public life, especially in government decision-making. Young people in Morocco often feel ignored by the political system, leading to disinterest and disconnection. Political apathy is prevalent as young Moroccans do not see the relevance of politics to their daily lives. In addition, limited access to information about political issues and the political process makes it challenging for them to participate. It is vital to enhance youth involvement in decision-making, rebuild their confidence in public institutions, and support policies that address their critical needs. 

Please join the Middle East Institute and the North African Policy Initiative for the first in a series of roundtables on Morocco. We will convene a panel of on-the-ground experts from Morocco to examine why young people are so disinterested and reluctant to engage in politics, as well as to determine the relevant contributing factors.


Omar Assou
Executive Director, Association Jeunesse Tamdoult

Chaimae Bourjij
Project Coordinator, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Morocco; Founding President, International Youth Council - Morocco Chapter

Aissam Oukerroum
Executive Director, AFCD Foundation

Chiraz Arbi, moderator
Program Manager, North African Policy Initiative 

Detailed speaker biographies

Omar Assou
Omar Assou is the Executive Director of the Association Jeunesse Tamdoult (AJTCD). He is also a consultant for Moroccan civil society organizations and is a former MEPI Leaders for Democracy Fellowship 2012 at AUB, Beirut, as well as 2015 ACYPL Fellow. He is a civil society activist with over 15 years of experience. His expertise ranges from project management to fundraising, local administration and public consultation. Assou has participated in numerous national and international programs, conferences and workshops on youth economic, social and political engagement, democracy and human rights, and open and local government.

Chaimae Bourjij
Chaimae Bourjij is currently the project coordinator for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Morocco. At the same time, she is the founding president of the International Youth Council - Morocco chapter. Previously, she co-founded the Youth Association for Sustainable Development, which was elected as the 2018 SDG Mobiliser by the UN Campaign for SDG Action. She is the MENA Ambassador for 'She decides' and a leader of the movement at the local level since 2020. She has participated in several conferences as a youth inclusion expert and youth representative and participated in the youth delegation at the OGP Summit in Ottawa, Canada. She was also present at the MENA-OECD meeting in 2019 and was awarded the Tariq Ibn Zyad Initiative, 'Hope' of 2019. Bourjij's involvement is motivated by the intention to familiarize young people with decision-making processes and build their capacity under the umbrella of democratic governance. 

Aissam Oukrron
Aissam Oukrron is a social activist and he currently acts as the Executive Director of the AFCD Foundation which is an organization that promotes democracy and youth participation in community development. Oukrron believes in a principle that says "Offer what you can and ask for what you need". This motto underpins all the work he does for his community. He also believes that youth play an important role in catalyzing transformative development in all areas, and that it is time for young people to take the lead.

Chiraz Arbi
Chiraz Arbi is a member of the North African Policy Initiative. She is a development consultant and political science researcher focusing on democratization, human rights, and governance in the MENA region. She has conducted research in Tunisia and Morocco on decentralization, with a focus on participatory governance.  She has also led training on policy development, youth, and women's political participation with KAS, UN Women, and the Network of Arab Women Parliamentarians for Equality "Ra'edat". Ms. Arbi holds a Master's degree in Diplomacy and International Relations and a Master's degree in Political Science from the Global Campus for Human Rights, organized between Lebanon and Morocco.

About the Morocco roundtable series 
Morocco faces significant socio-economic and political tensions in the wake of the pandemic, repeated droughts, global inflation, and an enduring economic crisis. There are significant regional disparities within the country and insufficient mechanisms for social protection. Unemployment remains high, particularly among youth, degree-holders, and women, and droughts contribute to soaring food prices. To ensure Morocco's stability and development in the future, it is crucial to implement comprehensive policies addressing issues such as youth inclusion, climate change, migration, women's rights, and local governance. Through this roundtable series, young Moroccan activists, researchers, and practitioners will engage in discussions on these critical policy areas.

Full Series Agenda

April 26, 2023, 10:00-11:15am ET  

Youth participation in public life

May 24, 2023, 10:00-11:15am ET

Climate change

June 21, 2023, 10:00-11:15am ET 


September 27, 2023, 10:00-11:15am ET

Women’s rights

October 25, 2023, 10:00-11:15am ET   

Local governance 

November 29, 2023, 10:00-11:15am ET 

New economic development models 

Image by Anadolu Agency via Getty Images