Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tunisian President touts youth engagement efforts

In an interview with Mark Newton, of the Oxford Business Group, Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali discussed some of his administration's accomplishments with respect to youth civic engagement. Among other things, President Ben Ali noted that the minimum age for membership in Parliament and municipal councils had been lowered to 23, and the voting age was lowered from 20 to 18.

According to President Ben Ali, hundreds of thousands of Tunisian youth participated in the government's "Dialogue with Youth" program in 2008, which seeks to include youth voices in policy development. The dialog led to the creation of a "Youth Pact," under which a commission will be established to formulate a national strategy for youth policy. Political participation of young people will be a key area of focus. President Ben Ali states,

I am convinced that involving youth in making decisions and in conceiving and formulating policy can only deepen their sense of responsibility.

Ben Ali: We have managed to accomplish a number of significant achievements in Tunisia

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