IMF Holds Middle East Youth Roundtable in Ifrane, Morocco

Press Release
March 8, 2010

Staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today exchanged views with students from the Al Akhawayn University on the economic policy challenges facing Morocco, the region, and its youth as part of a series of roundtable discussions being held in the Middle East and North Africa under the auspices of the IMF Youth Dialog.

The Youth Dialog is an IMF-sponsored initiative aimed at engaging with the next generation of the region’s leaders. The objective of the initiative is to work with university students to gain their perspectives on their economic future and to contribute to the evolution of their views on the policy measures that will be needed to secure sustainable economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa.

“The roundtable discussions provide an opportunity for university students to air their views on the issues that concern them the most, such as their job prospects in the wake of the global financial crisis,” said Ralph Chami, Division Chief in the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department. “They offered many thoughtful ideas and proposals for policies, and we intend to present their ideas to our IMF colleagues.”

The roundtable discussion focused on the undergraduate students’ views of a variety of economic challenges facing the Middle East. Foremost among those challenges is the need to provide employment opportunities for millions of young people who have entered the workforce in recent years, or who will be seeking employment over the next decade. In addition, the roundtable covered the role the IMF can play in assisting countries of the region reach their economic potential.

Previous roundtables in the IMF Youth Dialog were held at the Lahore School of Economics, American University of Beirut, and Cairo University. The IMF will hold similar events with students from universities in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates throughout March 2010. The roundtable discussions will be followed by other events to continue and deepen the dialogue. In addition, the Youth Dialog has an online dimension with a website where visitors can interact and post their thoughts:


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