The Amazigh Network for Citizenship will organise a national seminar from Friday (14 April) through Sunday, inviting more than 40 Amazigh associations, with the intention of discussing and approving a draft law to establish an alternative body to the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture and forming a pressure group to advocate it and bring it into existence.
Ahmed Arhamoosh, president of the association, told Magharebia that the aim of the initiative was to create a national body for Amazigh language, culture and civilisation that has proper independence and extensive powers in making political decisions, including the authority to have laws promulgated.
Arhamoosh explained that his association worked on the proposed draft law for a year. “We carried out thorough research on the laws regulating similar bodies, particularly the law for the Mohammad VI Academy for the Arabic Language, the law for the Grievances Board and the Authority for Equity and Conciliation. We have also relied on the Paris Declaration on Sectoral National Bodies.”
The draft put forward by the association aims at broadening the representation of Amazigh associations within the body, proposing that the body s Executive Council be made up of 44 members. Membership would include 20 representatives from Amazigh associations and representatives from every government sector concerned with Amazigh affairs Ã¢â‚¬â€ such as the Ministries of Finance, Justice, Education, Planning, Civil Service, and Culture. The draft law also proposes that the body s Executive Council includes representatives from university bodies, as well as lawyers and women s organisations.
“We are trying to address the weaknesses in the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture, as it is a consultative body for the King and not a decision-making body, with a budget dependant on the Royal Palace, which hampers its independence. In regard to representation, we have found that only four Amazigh associations are represented in the Royal Institute, whereas more than 100 Amazigh associations exist in Morocco,” Arhamoosh said.
“The other issue which we believe constitutes an obstacle to the institute s effectiveness is the absence of any relationship between it and the government, which sets its decisions at cross-purposes with the government s directives. Therefore, we have suggested that there be representatives from the most important ministries on the Executive Council of the alternative body proposed by us, to ensure co-ordination between the concerns of the body and those of the government.”
Arhamoosh said that 11 Amazigh associations have approved the draft so far and he hopes that the number will reach between 35 and 40 during the national debate it is organising.
“We hope we are able to marshal the support necessary to place the draft officially before the Head of State during the coming month of May and to lobby for it in order to get it approved as a law by the Council of Ministries,” he said.
This initiative is taking place only a few weeks before the end of the term of office of the existing Administration Council of the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture, which was founded four years ago on the initiative of the King Mohammed VI.