Political activists in post-revolutionary Tunisia have expressed concerns over the absence of young people in critical debates over the country’s democratic future.
Half Tunisia’s population is under 30 and that generation played a key role in the overthrow of the Ben Ali regime that ran Tunisia for 23 years.
“It was the youth who went out to face the riot police, secondary school students and university students”, said activist Hatem Amri. But now, he says, young people show little interest in political development or other civil institutions.
Hammamet Fellows meeting in Tunis’ ancient Kasbah heard opinions from Algerian, Libyan, British and Moroccan commentators as they debated how to bring more young people into the political process.
Zied Touzani, who founded Tun’Act, Tunisia’s youth Parliament, says he hopes to create a new generation of leaders. He believes Tun’Act will install respect and understanding for Parliamentary procedures, introducing efficient and accountable government.
Elsewhere in Tunis, Hammamet Fellows attended a Young Arab Voices debate asking which is more important – national security or human rights?
Oxfam hosted a visit to a women’s leadership centre and Fellows also toured a Tunis radio station to learn how radio programmes are improving English language teaching in the city.