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    Ministerial representation and large audience at opening of ICESCO Forum Future

    17 February 2020

    The opening session of the Future Forum, which kicked off on Monday at the headquarters of ICESCO in Rabat, brought together a large number of officials, members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Kingdom of Morocco, most prominent experts of strategic foresight and artificial intelligence, and students.

    The session was opened by Dr. Kais Hammami, Director of the Centre of Strategic Foresight at ICESCO. He welcomed the forum’s guests, representing an elite of experts in strategic foresight, working at major international organizations, in prestigious universities, and in government institutions, stressing the importance of the issues to be discussed at the forum over two days.

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director General, emphasized that the Organization has taken upon itself, as part of its new vision, to make future building one of its main pillars, noting that the Organization seeks to entrench the thought of strategic foresight in youth groups, through holding training workshops or providing schools and training grants in coordination with centers of strategic foresight.

    Moreover, Dr. AlMalik revealed that ICESCO has started preparing for an important conference to be held in June, that will be devoted to the theme of “Tomorrow’s Professions”, warning that “if we fail to anticipate the future now, we will chain ourselves in the dungeons of the past and dash our hopes for joining the ranks of developed countries.”

    In his address, Mr. Said Amzazi, Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Research of the Kingdom of Morocco, took the floor and congratulated ICESCO Director General on the comprehensive reform taking place in the Organization, and on the Organization’s new vision adopted by the 40th session ISESCO Executive Council, held by Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 29 and 30January 2020. He also reaffirmed the continued support of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Organization to fully discharge its role and achieve the peoples Islamic world ambitions in the fields of education, science and culture, and support it in its new start to become a beacon of global outreach in its fields of competence.

    He added that in a world dominated by globalization and economic and social changes, it is imperative for all of us to look forward, pointing out that Morocco experienced profound structural transformations that called for the promotion of foresight studies. In this regard, Dr. Amzazi added that the government has formulated a vision to develop the system of education and scientific training in Morocco through a comprehensive set of initiatives, such as establishing new schools, and promoting justice and equal opportunities.

    Then, Dr. Hatem ben Salem, Minister of Education and Acting Minister of Higher Education and Research of the Republic of Tunisia, delivered an address in which he indicated that the world has experienced in recent decades positive and negative changes, such as the digital revolution, the increasing advocacy for human rights, the disappearance of dozens of conventional professions, and the emergence of new ones. Facing all these massive challenges, Dr. ben Salim stated, our societies have no other choice but to take advantage of these changes in technology and sciences.

    He added that benefiting from these changes requires accurate knowledge of the needs and the goals of our societies, and the adoption of foresight approach that meets these needs, noting that artificial intelligence has become one of the most important goals (SDGs) that help us to achieve and create opportunities for the strategic approach, and enable us to achieve the Sustainable Development, and contribute to combating diseases and fight illiteracy.

    Steffen Krueger, the representative of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in the Kingdom of Morocco, praised the continued cooperation between ICESCO and the Foundation, and stressed the importance of the Forum’s theme, especially that foresight allows access to future scenarios to be able to deal with them in the most appropriate way.

    He underscored the urgent need for developing societies, especially in Africa, to adopt strategic anticipation as an essential tool in shaping their future policies, calling on the audience to listen to the guests and enrich the discussion for maximum benefit from the Forum.

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