Morocco has won, this year in Lagos – Nigeria, the prestigious annual Future Africa Leaders Awards. This award aims to recognize outstanding initiatives that contribute to community development in Africa.

The Kingdom was represented by Wissal Rida, a 23-year-old civil society activist from Casablanca, whose contributions to empower rural young women through entrepreneurship and education programs earned her this prestigious African distinction.

In her quality of Regional Coordinator at the Youth Policy Center (YPC), Ms. Rida has contributed to the tangible improvement of the economic development in over 50 rural communities, with over 1100 direct beneficiaries. A particular emphasis has been on marginalized young women (80% of the beneficiaries) who have been economically empowered through entrepreneurship with legal, logistical and financial support to their promising projects.

In addition, Ms. Rida has volunteered in breast cancer awareness, organized blood donation campaigns, and helped secure water supply in rural areas. She has also taken part in the rehabilitation of schools in underserved regions, providing a better chance for girls to stay in school.

The Youth Policy Center (YPC), Ms. Rida’s home organization, is a Moroccan think-and-do tank focused on the inclusion of youth in decision-making processes and the strengthening of their economic prospects through education and innovation-focused entrepreneurship. The YPC maintains productive cooperation with strong international organizations and institutions, such as the Danish Youth Council, the U.S. Department of State, the Future Africa Leaders Foundation, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (USA) and Clifford Chance Foundation (UK). Moreover, the Center is registered with the European Commission as a partner organization. Since its creation in 2014, the Center has accumulated a total number of 37,000 young beneficiaries.

The 2024 Future Africa Leaders Awards were chosen to highlight projects centered around agricultural development, education, and digital inclusion in Africa. This underscores the importance of these key areas in promoting economic growth, youth empowerment, and social progress on the African continent.