All Insights

Innovation and Creativity in the Dakhla Oued Ed-Dahab Region

Chikh 1
byCheikh Akmach
onJanuary 30, 2023

Organized by the National School of Business and Management (ENCG) of Dakhla, in partnership with the Dakhla Oued Eddahab Regional Council, the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST), and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), this conference aimed to exchange and share experiences and research results on all aspects of entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation management.

This event aimed to help actors from all sectors improve their management capacities and raise awareness of the business world’s newest challenges and changes.

HAF Project Manager, Hajiba Boumasmar, and I attended on behalf of the High Atlas Foundation after receiving an official invitation from the organizers.

In a speech, Aziz Said, Director of the ENCG of Dakhla, remarked that this international scientific conference brought together a host of academics, professionals and experts from a diversity of disciplines and backgrounds.

He also added that the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab Region offers great potential for entrepreneurship as it is a tourist destination with products tailored to the regional ecosystem.

Srirama Rao, the Vice President for Research and Innovation at VCU, highlighted the historical relationship and the various fields of cooperation between the Kingdom of Morocco and the United States, especially in the academic field.

In this context, Mr. Rao noted that he was very impressed by the abilities and talents of ENCG Dakhla students, expressing his determination to collaborate with this institution in many areas.

The event was also marked by the signing of three memoranda of understanding, the first between ENCG, VCU, and the Regional Council, for the development of academic and cultural exchanges, the promotion of innovation, and the improvement of teaching and learning.

The second MOU was signed between VCU and the University Ibn Zohr, to strengthen cooperation between them and internationalize higher education, while the third one was signed between ENCG and Said University.

The HAF team engaged with local and regional representatives and community members and connected with national and international players as well. For example, I had the pleasure of meeting Marco Van Gelderen, Associate Professor at Vrije University, Amsterdam. This great scholar gave me helpful insights on psychology and the importance of NGO work. He showed me, for example, that the tree-planting activities that we do at HAF on a large scale are helping humanity at large in the face of the impending climate change disaster just as the propagation of electric cars is offsetting the carbon emissions of fossil fuel cars. NGOs are aiming at achieving the same purpose with a different approach.

We also spoke about the great psychologists who impacted each of us, from Freud to Carl Jung to Otto Rank and others. He suggested many relevant books to me as well. All in all, it was a chance for me to learn a lot from an accomplished psychologist.

Conversation between Marco Van Gelderen and the author. Photo Credits: Hajiba Boumasmar/HAF

The program of this two-day scientific meeting (November 9 and 10) included the following areas:

  1. Public Administration
  2. Economic Development
  3. Digital Entrepreneurship and Technology
  4. Management and Organizational Innovation
  5. Women’s Entrepreneurship

Attended by a large delegation of VCU and Moroccan and foreign doctoral students, this conference was marked by the presence of the Wali of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab Region; Governor of the Province of Oued Eddahab, Lamine Benomar; the President of the Regional Council, El Khattat Yanja; and the President of the University Ibn Zohr of Agadir, Abdelaziz Bendou; as well as an array of teachers from ENCG and the Superior School of Technology (EST).