Ever since Bouazizi set himself ablaze in Tunisia in December 2010, triggering the Tunisian revolution and the Arab Spring, self-immolation has become the ultimate expression of protest by desperate young people in the Maghreb.
This practice is symptomatic of the struggle of a portion of the Maghreb population that lost all hope in finding a “place in the sun”.
What recently happened to the young unemployed graduate Abdelwahad Zaidoune ten days ago in Morocco, falls within the same context. Feeling hung out to dry, with no alternatives other than an endless fight without prospects, Zaidoune preferred quick self-immolation over slow death.
“According to Morocco’s Economic and Social Council, young people have a worse perception of their own situation than the one showed by available statistics. This can probably be explained by their low activity.”
It is thus urgent to meet the challenge of youth employment in order to maintain national unity and revive hope. This requires setting up a large-scale national program for youth employment, mobilizing all actors and forces in the country.
Such a program must target first and foremost the young people most affected by unemployment.
It is therefore necessary to:
- Strengthen the connection between the workplace and training. There should be contract-programs between the state, training operators and companies, to set new goals in terms of training;
- Encourage and promote the services and departments in charge of internships and insertion of the graduates;
- Restructure the labor market by implementing a coherent institutional architecture, conducting continuous and relevant observation of employment and training, and expanding intermediation missions in the labor market;
- Give priority to equally qualified target populations;
- Establish a growth model capable of generating employment, both in quantity and quality, and allowing a better distribution of the produced wealth.
This model must also mobilize the available human capital, potential entrepreneurship, and the existing natural resources.
- Finally, modernize education in order to train young people that are capable of assuming responsibility, asserting personal autonomy, and developing the spirit of entrepreneurship and initiative.
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Self-immolation has undeniably become the only available option for Maghreb… more