On May 6th, the representatives of M’Saken participated in the launching event of the project “Youth Action Plans in 12 Tunisian municipalities” organised by GIZ Tunisia. The project takes place in the frame of the engagements of the 4th National Action Plan of the Open Government Partnership (2021-2023). MedCities’ Knowledge transfer center in Sfax, coordinated by Ms. Asma Aoun, was also invited to the event in order to present and capitalize on the experience together with the Municipality of M’Saken on the consolidation of its Local Youth Council.

The seminar has been a venue for knowledge transfer on youth local policies and initiatives among city representatives in order to inspire the upcoming local Youth Action Plans. More than 90 participants attended the seminar, including local representatives from 12 Tunisian Municipalities (Carthage, Hammam Chatt, Dar Chaabane El Fehri, Ghezala, Zaouit Sousse, Zriba, Nfidha, Gabes, Metlaoui, Sidi Bourouis, Teboursek, Bechri Fatnassa), “Maison des Jeunes” representatives as well as young citizens from these municipalities.

The Mayor of M’Saken Mr. Mohamed Alaya and Youth Council President Mr. Mohamed Amine Fredj intervened in the Panel “Youth participation mechanisms and challenges” in order to share their experience and lessons learnt regarding M’Saken Youth Local Council. The Youth Council was actually set up in partnership with MedCities, through a project financed by the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation from 2019 to 2021, and remains active to the day. The conference was also an opportunity to present EMPLOIMed project, which is currently setting up a municipal co-working space and a service to enhance employability and entrepreneurship for the local youth, resulting from the priorities of the Youth Council.

The experience of M’Saken generated great interest and received many questions and reactions from the participants concerning the election process, the interactions of the Youth Council with the Municipal Council and its impact on local young citizens. This participation shows how relevant it is to capitalize such experiences throughout Tunisian cities to encourage replication and inspire new forms of youth participation in local affairs.

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