The British Council has published a report reflecting the views of 95 senior leaders from the UK and North Africa, following debates and discussions held at the Hammamet Conference 2013. The conference, which made its debut last year, is a major new British Council conference series connecting senior leaders from the UK with counterparts from the countries of North Africa.
This report reveals the conversations held at the Hammamet Conference, Tunisia in November 2013; reflecting the expertise of ninety five senior leaders from the countries of North Africa and the UK and survey data from Gallup. The report delves into some of the key challenges facing leaders in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and the UK.
The report shows that in the UK and substantial parts of North Africa, the number of people believing corruption is widespread has grown in the last few years. In Egypt and Tunisia this view is shared by around 90% of the population (data from Gallup). The report details participants’ proposed solutions to this lack of trust in leaders, including:
- A free and accountable press
- A more active civil society working with government
- Institutionalised accountability structures
- Training for politicians in capacity, communication and consultation
- A new leadership model able to face a new kind of citizen
The report also details the views of participants on key socio-economic and political issues such as how and when it is right to engage diverse political views in discussion, how art and culture can be used to allow for difficult conversations, and how innovation in the education system can make schooling more effective for an underemployed young generation.
The Conference informs the priorities and programmes of the British Council and has acted as the catalyst for Young Arab Voices, the Young Leader’s Exchange, and Young Arab Analysts Network International (YAANI). As a direct result of the 2013 conference, the British Council and St Antony’s College, Oxford, have announced The Hammamet Scholarship. The scholarship will enable students from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and the UK to attend a short academic programme at Oxford supported by St Antony’s College 2014 Summer School - followed by a week of professional development designed by the British Council and partners.
John Dubber, Head of External Relations at the British Council and Conference Co-Director, said: “The findings of this report reflect the unique insights of the Hammamet Conference 2013 participants, whose expertise has developed through working directly as senior leaders in their communities.”
Nigel Bellingham, British Council Country Director Tunisia and Conference Co-Director, said: “By bringing together a uniquely diverse mix of participants from the UK and North Africa, the Hammamet Conference is a leading forum for debate and dialogue on the future prosperity and development of all the countries involved.”
The results of the Conference report are not final, and the Hammamet Conversation continues online @hammametconf or via #hammametconference
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