Impact Journalism Day
Tizi: a moroccan incubator for Future leaders
TIZI, a non-partisan, independent initiative, was created in August 2011 by a group of young Moroccans looking to diversify the political landscape. Since then, TIZI has strived to increase the existing number of young voters taking part, and has equally looked to engage and inspire the potential future political leaders of tomorrow.
In our modern technological climate, promoting a message or achieving a social goal becomes almost impossible without the use of social media. For example, what would the world look like today if the Arab Spring had occurred without the Internet acting as an expansive social platform? These new channels of communication are able to achieve more than many previously dreamt of, making the voice of social mobilisation so loud that it can even be heard in the highest echelons of power. The street – the previous meeting place for mobilisation and protest – has been replaced by the Internet. And it seems like the young members of TIZI (Tariq Ibnou Ziyad Initiative), a Moroccan non-partisan independent initiative, have fully engaged with these changes.
Back in August 2011, in the midst of the Arab Spring, a group of young partisan Moroccans created TIZI as a platform from which they could both nurture and launch the political careers of young potential leaders. Far from becoming a protest movement, they decided to take on a positive and engaging approach, encouraging young voters to partake in elections, and in doing so, forming the leaders of tomorrow. And, of course, re-politicising the young masses and inciting them to take up their ballot papers would have been impossible without social media.
As the elected president of TIZI, Zakaria is living proof that this initiative holds democracy at its core. "We do not harbour structures of elitism in this initiative. I have been with TIZI since the beginning, and yet, even though I am not a co-founder of the project, I was entrusted with the presidency in recognition of my work and commitment. TIZI is a simply a growing concept, " he explains, "without any entry requirements. The founding members are not interested in becoming a brand, but instead want to be a means of creating the leaders of tomorrow." While the Moroccan cultural scene abounds with leaders in economics, art, and the charity sector, leaders are in short supply when it comes to Moroccan politics.
Political diversity has, therefore, become the name of the game for this particular project. Since its inception, TIZI has stepped up to the task by organising around 15 conferences each year, inviting various political figures from both sides of the fence and even extending the invitation to include the likes of Abdelillah Benkirane, the current head of the Moroccan government. If the political heavy weights did not exactly welcome TIZI's efforts when they first started, they have certainly adapted to it now.
Access to the world of politics
To support their social engagement projects, TIZI has equally produced a number of online videos giving the younger generation access to the frequently confusing and obscure world of politics; videos that have been met with great enthusiasm and success. They have tried to engage both school and university students in the benefits of political participation through the organisation of on-campus talks and events. This all derives from their strong belief that the traits and values of leadership are acquired very young. "Being a good leader is not an innate skill, it is something that we learn", states Zakaria. TIZI is looking to both recognise then nurture these abilities in the young potential leaders.
TIZI is offering more than just words of encouragement to these bright young potential leaders. At one of the more recent leadership events, a couple of selected individuals were offered financial aid to help them study at the Harvard Kennedy School. Two bright young students were even decorated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, providing them with a strong starting point from which to build a promising future.
With two regional branches already open, the growing demand for this engaging approach to the future of Morrocan politics is an undeniable call for change. As attitudes change throughout the country, hopes can transform into tangible realities overnight. "The Moroccan youth is on the move, and no one can stop it," explains Zakaria. "And those who want to stop it have learnt nothing from history". This youth-mobilisation forms the core motivation behind TIZI, becoming both its driving force and its ultimate, non-negotiable goal.
TIZI in numbers...
• + than 200,000 views pour + than 150 short videos produced by TIZI
• + 35,000 fans on Facebook
• + 600 people have so far benefited from TIZI's political leadership seminars in Morocco
• 15 events per year since 2012 for + than 5,000 participants
Hopes before the elections in 2021
• 200,000 fans on Facebook
• 1,500 people initiated into the political leadership
• 150 talented individuals identified
• 500 active members
• An election participation rate of +65%, brought about through youth engagement
To be completed by TIZI
• The creation of 25 positions for young leaders in the Moroccan government
• The election and integration of 5 major national leaders into Morocco's major political parties
• The establishment of 1 regional leader who will work for peace in their particular region