The third International Congress on Desert Economy – Dakhla, Morocco.

Energy Economics between Deserts and Oceans.

Dr. Elouali  AAILAL.

Founder and President of the International Congress on Desert Economy – Dakhla. Morocco.

Professor at the National School of Business and Management, ENCG Dakhla.

In southern Morocco, the Dakhla city will host the third edition of the International Congress on Desert Economy, scheduled to take place next February 23th and 24th. The International Congress on Desert Economy – Dakhla (ICDED) is annually co-organized by the National School of Business and Management (ENCG) of Dakhla – Morocco, and the Regional Council of the Dakhla Oued Eddahab region.

The ultimate purpose of The International Congress on Desert Economy, is to be an interdisciplinary scientific research platform on the desert, arid lands, and the Sahara (hot drylands, semi-arid regions, oasis and rural remote areas)  economy, management, and development, in order to contribute effectively to the good governance and in the sustainable development of arid lands and zones, by stimulating meetings between all stakeholders on a global scale: Academics, Professionals, Policy-Makers, Civil society and NGOs…, with a view to fostering cooperation and partnership, among desert countries: Africa and the Gulf States (the MENA and the Sahel…), the United States of America, China, Australia, India…, with the aim of valuing and promoting the desert knowledge and its related studies’ and conferences’ findings and recommendations, and creating a conducive environment to the exchange of experiences, expertise, trainings, educational practices and innovation, around themes related to the desert economy and to the arid lands management, such as Tourism and travel industry, Agriculture and aquaculture, Renewable energy and energy management, Mining and Natural Resources Management, Transportation and logistics, Fisheries, sea and ocean economy, Technology and innovation, Water sports and entertainment, sports economy and sports management, Cultural, tangible and intangible heritage, Biodiversity, wetlands, environment, and nature conservation and management…Thus, each year, an edition will be organized. 

Thus, this scientific international event comes in the context of Morocco’s determined commitment and responsibility towards its African depth. This engagement is dictated by historical, geographical, and cultural links and mainly concretized in Morocco’s Southern Provinces, which constitute the link between Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa. Although these provinces are located in the desert, they have made considerable progress in record time, thanks to implementing some specific development strategies adapted to Saharan regions, including the New Development Model for Morocco’s Southern Provinces.

Thanks to multilateral African and international cooperation, deserts and arid lands across the globe, especially in Africa (The Sahara and the Sahel), with their vast and rich natural maritime seaboards and coastlines, are an open workshop and a scene of substantial and Trans-Saharan megaprojects and infrastructures: The Desertec Project (Clean and renewable energy), the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (Greening the Sahara and combating the desertification),   the Trans Africa Pipeline Project (Water),  the “Power Africa ” Initiative, the “Desert to Power” Initiative…Such promising Megaprojects and Initiatives, if fully executed, will undoubtedly contribute to rebirthing Africa into holding its deserved high stature, and will play a pivotal role in keeping up with sustainable development and in ensuring African food security, even more, they will provide abundance in the production for export. 

The Possible Africa, where there are all ingredients: Diversity and Younger population, richness in natural resources, unique geographical configuration and morphology: Savannah, forests, mountains, lakes, vast coasts, deserts, and the Great Sahara Desert.
The Sahara Desert, instead of being underexploited, it could be an exclusive competitive advantage and the mythical and memorable brand image for Africa, and it may be the ideal place to boot a strong and long term inter-African and international cooperation in the service of humankind.

This third edition of the International Congress on Desert Economy will be exceptional, in terms of the distinguished participation of eminent scientific and professional personalities and the members of the scientific committee, their prestigious universities, affiliations, and research institutes, their nationalities, and in the importance, the specificity, the actuality, and the relevance of the themes and the subjects that will be discussed.

Concerning the speakers, the scientific committee, and the participants:
– From the United States, the President of the International Arid Lands Consortium, University of Arizona; The Vice President for research at the Desert Research Institute (DRI), Nevada; President-elect of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), Texas; The Director of the Forum on energy modeling. Stanford University. California…

–  From the Sahara and Sahel countries: Sudan, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Chad … there are five Presidents and Deans of universities and Directors:
The President of the University of N’Djaména. Chad; The President of the University Ahmed Baba. President of the Coalition for Higher Education in Mali. Governance Commissioner of the International Network of Higher Education Institutions in the CAMES zone. Mali; The Founder and President of the African Development University. Niger; The Director of the Institute for Desertification and Desert Agriculture Studies. Vice-Dean of Agricultural and Veterinary Studies, University of Khartoum. Sudan; The Director of the Higher Institute of Accounting and Business Administration, ISCAE. Mauritania; The Director-General of the Great Green Wall Agency for the Sahara and the Sahel (GMV). Niger.

– From Europe, the President of the University of Almería (the only desert in Europe is situated in Almería). Spain; the Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Business, and Tourism. University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Spain; The Co-Director of International Relations at UNESCO Chair in Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development. University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Spain; Professor at the Experimental Station of Arid Zones, Almería. The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Spain.

The Director at MSH Paris-Saclay University. Research Director at the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA). President of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA). France; The Founder and the first President of The International Society of Camelid Research and Development. Camelologist at The French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). France.

The Chairman and CEO of the Desertec Industrial Initiative. Desert Energy and Honorary President of the European Federation of Energy Traders. Germany; The Director of the International Renewable Energy Research Center. Chairman of the World Renewable Energy Council. Germany; The Director of the Institute for Ethics in Artificial Intelligence. The Technical University of Munich. Germany.

The Director of the Sustainable Energy Planning and Management Program. Aalborg University. Denmark; The Director of the Centre for Fisheries and Aquaculture Management and Economics. The University of Southern Denmark. Denmark.

Professors from the World Maritime University (WMU), Global Ocean Institute, and International Maritime Organization (IMO). Sweden.

The CEO of Desert Control. Norway.

– From Australia, the CEO of the Arid Lands Environment Center, vice president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and director of Desert Knowledge Australia (DKA).

–  From Canada, the Founders, President, and Directors of the Trans Africa Pipeline Inc (TAP). Institute of Aerospace Studies, University of  Toronto.

– From the MENA region, there are participants from different universities, institutions from Morocco; The Dean and Vice-President of the University of the United Arab Emirates. United Arab Emirates; The Director-General of the Institute of Arid Regions. Tunisia; Desert Technologies. Saudi Arabia.

– From Asia: The Vice-President of APEC Sustainable Energy Center. Tianjin University. China; Economist at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). National Project Coordinator of FAO at the Central Asia Desert Initiative (CADI). Uzbekistan.

– From Latin America: The Director of the Atacama Desert Center. Faculty of History, Geography, and Political Science. Chile.

– There are also participants from other countries: Senegal, South Africa, United Kingdom, Cameroon. 

As for the themes and axes that will be addressed, there are among others:

Trans-Saharan Megaprojects and Initiatives (Trans-African);  International Cooperation on Arid Lands R&D (on deserts and the Sahara); Business, Entrepreneurship, and Investments in Arid Lands (Deserts, Sahara) and Remote Areas;  Energy Business, Entrepreneurship in Energy, and Energy Management; Energy, Desertification, Climate Change, and Environment; Offshore Renewable Energy, Marine Wind Energy and Marine Solar Energy (Ocean Power); Wave Energy and Tidal Energy; Low Carbon Energy: Power-to-X and Green Hydrogen (economic, social, and environmental   aspects);  The Economics of Water, Energy, and Hydraulic Resources Management; Energy in Tourism, Travel, and Hospitality Industry;  Energy in Agribusiness, Aquabusiness (aquaculture), and Fisheries Business (halieutic); Energy and Food Security in Drylands, Arid Agriculture (Desert Agriculture) and Biosaline Agriculture; New Technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain…) and Energy Efficiency (economic, social, and environmental aspects); Arid Lands (Deserts and the Sahara) Tourism, Travel, and Hospitality Industry…

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