Posted on May 27, 2016

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), the leading global initiative driving innovation and collaboration in education, opened the Tunis Forum at the IHEC Carthage, Tunisia, today.

The event aims to explore how education fosters peace and development in communities and nations. The high-level engagement brought together for the first time one of the recipients of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, Ms Ouided Bouchamaoui, and the WISE Prize for Education Laureate, Dr Sakena Yacoobi, to demonstrate the major role of education in strengthening peace and national reconstruction.

Dr Yacoobi affirmed her belief in the transformative power of education, stating: “To unlock human potential, education is the key. It is such a powerful tool to overcome poverty and rebuild. If we are to overcome terrorism and violence, we need education. That is the only way we can win.” Ms Bouchamaoui,  President of UTICA (the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts) and a representative of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, stated: “The stability of a country's economy relies on three main pillars, namely, the strength of its civil society, education, and women’s empowerment.”

Mr Stavros N. Yiannouka, CEO of WISE and one of the speakers in the plenary session, noted: "WISE recognises the potential of education as an engine for peace and growth. Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian Quartet signifies that Tunisia has been recognised as a model for national dialogue and peaceful transition. WISE is honoured to host for the first time in this country, so full of potential, a gathering which puts the transformative power of education at the very centre of the discussions.”

Other high-level speakers set to attend include Ms Lila Pieters, UNICEF Representative in Tunisia, and His Excellency Mr Chiheb Bouden, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Tunisia. WISE is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), and the forum aims to make a valuable and timely contribution to global dialogue on the importance of education for development and peace. It also seeks to address issues of importance to Tunisian society, bringing tangible solutions and best practices to strengthen the growth of innovative and market-relevant approaches to education.