Essaouira is hosting the first regional edition of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” program until July 10, welcoming 150 young talents from over 17 North, Central, and West African countries.

The opening ceremony was attended by notable figures including His Majesty the King’s Advisor and President of the Essaouira-Mogador Association, Mr. André Azoulay, Huawei Northern Africa Executive Vice President, Jeremy Lin, and other distinguished guests from various sectors. This annual program offers thousands of young people worldwide the opportunity to pursue a promising career in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

In his opening address, Mr. Azoulay praised the initiative for its goal to enhance digital skills among young people in Morocco and Africa. He encouraged participants to make the most of this unique opportunity to expand their knowledge and prepare for future challenges in new technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), and cybersecurity. Emphasizing the importance of understanding and managing the changes brought by the digital revolution, he stressed the need to ensure that progress does not compromise fundamental human values.

“Moroccan youth embody a nation that has successfully made diversity the driving force of its modernity,” said Mr. Azoulay, expressing confidence in the youth’s ability to overcome challenges and seize opportunities offered by the digital era, thus contributing to sustainable and inclusive development for Morocco and Africa.

Jeremy Lin highlighted that since the launch of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” program in North Africa in 2014, nearly 3,000 young people have benefited, with more than 500 traveling to China for in-depth training in ICT innovations and enriching intercultural experiences. Lin shared an overview of this ambitious program, noting that it aligns with Huawei’s efforts to support education and the development of digital skills worldwide, especially in emerging regions.

Mustapha Messoudi, Secretary General of the Youth Department, Ministry of Youth, Culture, and Communication, emphasized Morocco’s commitment to developing human capital and youth empowerment. “This commitment is reflected in various initiatives and programs aimed at offering young people training, skills development, and employment opportunities,” he added, highlighting the importance of continuous education and training to enable young people to adapt to the rapid changes in the labor market, particularly in technology and digital fields.

Essaouira Municipal Council President, Tarik Ottmani, stressed the importance of strategic partnerships with local and international businesses and academic institutions to create a conducive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship. “We firmly believe that investing in the knowledge and skills of our youth is essential to ensure a prosperous and innovative future for Morocco and Africa,” he said.

Technopark Morocco Director General, Lamiae Benmakhlouf, applauded the joint efforts of the government and private partners to promote innovation and entrepreneurship among Moroccan and African youth. “Our mission is to support young entrepreneurs by providing them with the resources, guidance, and network needed to transform their ideas into viable and successful projects,” she stated.

Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, Leila Benali, speaking via video conference, highlighted Morocco’s significant advancements in digital and energy transitions, underlining the Kingdom’s efforts in these technological fields. She praised the adoption of the first UN resolution on AI in March, co-sponsored by Morocco and the United States.

Eric Falt, Director of UNESCO’s Maghreb Regional Office, also speaking via video conference, commended the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” program as an initiative that perfectly embodies the goal of preparing for the future and seizing digital opportunities. He emphasized the essential role of digital skills for social, economic, and human progress, lauding Huawei’s commitment to developing these skills among young people.

The event also featured heartfelt testimonials from previous participants of the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” program, who shared how the initiative positively impacted their professional and personal journeys.

This edition will include several workshops and training sessions, providing participants with the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge in various technological fields such as 5G, AI, and Cloud Computing.