From the 20th to the 24th of November, Forward Thinking visited Tunisia to hold a roundtable between youth activists and members of Parliament, as well as series of bilateral meetings with senior political figures.
The roundtable workshop focused on the challenge of corruption in Tunisia and brought together youth from across Tunisia’s social and political spectrum. A member of the Assembly also attended the workshop and provided an comprehensive overview of the legal framework that is under construction to try and address the challenge of corruption. However, participants agreed that they felt networks of corruption had increased since the revolution and now extended to all walks of society. Solutions were provided to address corruption, which included forming working groups and independent organisations to scrutinize corrupt practices. The need to come to terms with Tunisia’s culture of corruption was also raised, with the role of the arts emphasised as a means of starting a wider conversation in Tunisian society on how to tackle corruption.
The bilateral meetings with political figures were held in order to discuss the current state of Tunisia’s democratic transition, the situation in the Maghreb and to update them on Forward Thinking’s work. Discussions with the political figures focused on the economic and political challenges that Tunisia is currently facing. While most agreed that the country’s security was improving, it was generally accepted that these results have not yet had a positive economic impact. The issue of unemployment was highlighted with regard to the youth in the country and it was generally agreed that the country’s political class must cooperate to push through necessary reforms.
Finally, Forward Thinking and the British Council arranged an informal roundtable between a visiting Member of the House of Lords and a cross-party group of young activists in order to discuss developments in the country and the state of UK-Tunisian relations. Discussions were extremely lively, and provided a valuable opportunity for young Tunisians to engage with a representative of the international community.