As you may know, Marrakesh has got the privilege to site the 13th World Congress of Neurosurgery in the year 2005. The decision was taken by the WFNS Executive Committee, in its interim meeting in San Francisco on April 9, 2000. This is the first time since 1957 that this congress is to be held in an African and Arab state. With such a choice, the WFNS demonstrate their real character of a WORLD organisation and their increasing concern with the improvement of neurosurgery in developing countries.
The vote of the WFNS Executive Committee in favour of Marrakesh is the outcome of a 7 year sustained campaign led by the Moroccan Society of Neurosurgery. It was motivated by the necessity to hold this congress in Africa and by Marrakesh’s special assets of organisation and welcome. Our eagerness to promote Marrakesh was spontaneously supported by the Pan Arab Society of Neurosurgery and the PAANS (Pan African Associations of Neurosurgical Sciences). However, it took many years to most neurosurgeons world-wide to unite around Marrakesh.
If this choice rewards the sustained belief of the Moroccan Society of Neurosurgery to have the WFNS meet in Africa, it confirms as well the recognition of the international neurosurgical community of the role played by neurosurgeons of Arab and African states during the last years.
Marrakesh will be over the next 5 years, the focus of progress and new techniques recently developed in neurosurgery. Already prestigious for its past and culture, Marrakesh will establish its scientific feature with this meeting which will bring together thousands of neurosurgeons from all continents, and companies who will exhibit their material and demonstrate their new equipment. So this event could achieve absolute effectiveness, Arab and African neurosurgeons should take action in a number of specific areas :
- in education by encouraging local training of young neurosurgeons to achieve a prompt self-sufficiency as far as neurosurgeons are concerned. In this way, by 2005 we could have a large involvement from African and Arab countries , especially that a lot of facilities have been considered for young neurosurgeons.
- in the field of scientific publication, efforts should be doubled. Indeed, we are looking forward to more research papers and articles to be presented and published. This will raise Arab and African Scientific participation in the 2005 Congress to an outstanding level.
- in the field of organisation: it has become important to create neurosurgical societies in countries with a sufficient number of neurosurgeons and to speed their adhesion to the WFNS. It is equally an opportune time for the PAANS, which now number more than 600 neurosurgeons and 6 national societies of neurosurgery, to develop into a continental association of neurosurgeons and continue to work jointly with other neuroscience organisations.
All these factors will ensure an effective participation of Arab and African neurosurgeons in the organisation of the 2005 congress.
On behalf of the Moroccan Society of Neurosurgery, I would like to thank all those who have devoted a great deal of their time to the promotion of the Marrakesh candidature handling it from the beginning with extreme seriousness and those who have been following with great concern the stages of the candidature and who have supported it in international meetings. Without the help of all these people, Marrakesh could not have reached its present position.
I am sincerely grateful to the president of the WFNS Dr. Majid Samii, to the officers and the members of the WFNS Executive Committee and to all national and continental societies of neurosurgery for their trust in Marrakesh. My special thanks go to them for having created opportunity for Arab and African neurosurgeons to prove their skills, and knowledge.
We are looking forward to having you all and we assure you that the Moroccan Society of Neurosurgery and their partners, under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohamed VI will not spare their efforts to make this congress take place in excellent conditions and that it will long be remembered.
Professor Abdeslam EL KHAMLICHI
President of the 13thWorld Congress of Neurological Surgery