IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Proparco, a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement (AFD) devoted to private sector financing, are investing €100 million and €35 million, respectively, in the first green bond issuance by Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), to promote sustainable, environment friendly projects in the country.
Speaker of the House of Representatives (lower house), Habib El Malki, represented, on Friday, HM King Mohammed VI at the official inauguration ceremony of the new President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic.
Aleksandar Vucic, 47, leader of the Progressive Party of Serbia (SNS), was elected President of the Republic in the first ballot with 55.1 pc of the votes cast.
Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido welcomed, on Monday in Algeciras (Southern Spain), the “close” cooperation between Madrid and Rabat in the operation of transit of Moroccan expatriates dubbed “Marhaba”.
Operation Marhaba “would not have been possible without the close collaboration and good disposition of Moroccan authorities”, Zoido said during the closing day of a seminar on this operation, held at the Chamber of Commerce and services of Algeciras, according to a statement of the Spanish Interior ministry.
The total investment of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in Morocco reached $ 1.15 billion, MCC director in Rabat, Walter Siouffi, said on Thursday in Fez.
The latest $ 450 million agreement in addition to the first one ($ 700 million) brings MCC's total investment in Morocco to $ 1.15 billion, he said at a meeting on the "Charaka Fund of vocational training," launched on May 30, 2017 by the Millennium Challenge Account-Morocco Agency.
He added that in the 27 countries where the MCC operates, the Kingdom is the largest beneficiary of this body's funds so far.
The 34th ordinary session of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) of the African Union kicked off Tuesday in Addis Ababa with the participation of representatives of member countries of the pan-African institution, including Morocco.
Morocco, which returned to the African Union last January, is represented by a delegation led by Bouchaib Eloumni, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom to the AU.
The meeting bring together all the ambassadors of the 55 African Union member states based in Addis Ababa and other key AU officials.
Morocco aspires to get the “associate country” status in the OECD Public Governance Committee, Delegate Minister in charge of the Reform of Administration and Public Service, Mohamed Ben Abdelkader said Tuesday in Paris.
Morocco, through the Delegate Ministry in charge of the Reform of Administration and Public Service, is a very active observer member of this committee and regularly participates in its meetings, Ben Abdelkader told MAP following his talks with OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurria.
Washington, DC, June 26, 2017 (MACP) — Morocco ranks as the most democratic country in the Arab world according to the Arab Democracy Index, released earlier this month by the Arab Reform Initiative and The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. This fifth iteration of the report examines survey data to measure the democratic transition process in Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco.
While the report showed an overall decline in democratization in the Arab world, Morocco posted gains to remain in the lead for the fourth time since the Index first launched in 2008. The North African country showed improvements in a number of indicators, particularly in the data “related to surveillance of the press, the hindering of political party activity, personal safety, and school dropout rates,” according to the report’s Executive Summary.
Tunisia and Jordan followed Morocco as second and third most democratic countries in the Index. Among its many recommendations, the report “highlights the urgent need to strengthen the monitoring functions of [Arab] political systems, enhance the ability of parliaments to ensure accountability, promote judicial independence, and strengthen oversight of the security services. It also recommends supporting the role of women in the [labor] force, reforming education, and giving more freedom to the media to contribute effectively to public debate and raising awareness.”
“Morocco’s rank in the Arab Democracy Index is a testament to King Mohammed VI’s vision for a stable, prosperous, and democratic Morocco—a vision which he laid out nearly two decades ago,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel. “Morocco should be proud of and encouraged by these results.”
Contact: Jordana Merran, 202.470.2049
The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
This material is distributed by the Moroccan American Center for Policy on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
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The Kingdom of Morocco has decided to immediately recall its ambassador in The Hague for consultation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said on Saturday.
June 22, 2017
While a great deal has been written about the failure of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) to realize its potential for making North Africa a regional powerhouse, little is known in the US about the UfM and how it is creating new cooperative relationships across the Mediterranean basin. Led since 2012 by Secretary General Amb. Fathallah Sijilmassi, it pulls together its 43 member countries to develop projects that serve the people of the region despite political obstacles.
Ambassador Sijilmassi is a Moroccan diplomat who is best known to Americans as the first head of the Moroccan Investment Development Agency (AMDI), which initiated many of the incentives, databases, and relationships that have been central to Morocco’s economic growth. He also participated in the Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the US, as well as agreements with Europe and Arab and African countries. As a result, he is a recognized leader on Moroccan-Euro relations, especially in investment, regional cooperation, and development.
UfM recently released its 2016 annual report, highlighting previous accomplishments and initiatives and spelling out its 2017 agenda. According to its website, the UfM “serves as a framework for policy dialogue and exchange of project ideas, experiences and best practices among governments, key international institutions and cooperation structures. The UfM provides a unique platform to formulate regional priorities and decide on specific cooperation initiatives to be put in place.” It also places a special emphasis on improving conditions for women and youth.
The UfM bills itself as “an ecosystem. In a collaborative approach…stakeholders contribute decisively to the effectiveness of regional cooperation, with significant benefit for the overall objective of mutual understanding, development, peace and stability.” This positive message is backed up by millions of dollars of capital to fund projects in four areas: enhancing political dialogue among UfM members; ensuring the contribution of UfM activities to regional stability and human development; strengthening regional integration; and consolidating UfM capacity for action. In other words, despite whatever obstacles exist, UfM projects provide a platform on which the members can engage each other in cooperative efforts to build prosperity for their citizens.
A few examples of projects in which Morocco participates, along with other Mediterranean South countries, illustrate the vital role that UfM plays in the region:
- YouMatch, funded by the German development agency GIZ and the German government, brings together an array of experts from governments, the business sector, and civil society to develop better employment services for youth. Based on the notion that lessons learned and shared can improve the employment practices of the six participating countries, it seeks to build tools that will “help assess and improve existing labour market tools and will encourage peer learning and the exchange of expertise and best practices….” Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia are involved in this project.
- Euro-Mediterranean University in Fez opened its campus in 2016 with 300 students in its first cohort. Targeting students from the Mediterranean region as well as Africa, it offers a multilingual and multidimensional program focused on development issues in the Mediterranean basin. Working with a consortium of Euro-Med universities, it is committed to advancing student employability and entrepreneurial skills. It is envisioned as a laboratory for creating the next generation of regional leaders.
- At the EMUNI University in Slovenia, professionals from Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Ghana are enrolled in a one-year program to “equip would-be entrepreneurs with the skills they need to turn a bright idea into an innovative and sustainable business.” In collaboration with universities in Egypt, Italy, and Morocco, young professionals under the age of 40 with a background in science, math, engineering, or business are asked to come up with ideas for new businesses.
- Projects that support women as leaders and entrepreneurs include “Promoting Women’s Empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development” and the “WOMED Next Generation of Leaders.” The first works to increase access for women entrepreneurs to coaching, investments, business partnerships, and matchmaking. The latter, which has been active since 2015, works to facilitate networks of female leaders interacting around ideas, resources, and research to support women’s empowerment.
- Morocco has played a leading role in UfM renewable energy projects under the SEMed Private Renewable Energy Framework, the first being a 120MW wind farm near Tangier, one of the country’s first private projects for producing renewable energy.
- An example of UfM’s infrastructure focus is the LOGISMED-TA project. It involves government and private sector trainees from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia, who will upgrade their skills through specifically designed courses to “create a network of logistics platforms meeting recognized quality standards” in such areas as customs, border and port management, logistics administration, and ultimately a regional free trade zone.
Other UfM projects can be found in the 2016 annual report. Suffice to say, it highlights concrete programs that are realizing actual results through collaborative means to achieve economic growth and integration. For example, a conference was held in December 2016 on issues of regional partnerships among universities and how to manage migrant and refugee credit recognition. Hopefully, by reducing barriers to cooperation and providing sustainable projects for its members, UfM will continue its successful efforts and enhance prospects for regional economic integration.
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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has welcomed the decision by the Kingdom of Morocco to admit a group of Syrian refugees stranded in difficult circumstances at the country’s border with Algeria since 17 April.
"UNHCR welcomes this humanitarian gesture, which is in keeping with the traditions of hospitality demonstrated by countries across the region," the UN agency pointed out in a statement.
NHCR Very Grateful to HM the King, Morocco for Settling Situation of 13 Syrian Families Stranded on Algerian-Moroccan Border
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is very grateful to HM King Mohammed VI for having given his instructions to immediately settle the situation of a group of 13 Syrian families who have been stranded for few weeks on the Algerian-Moroccan border, said UNHCR representative to Morocco Jean Paul Cavaliéri.
"We realize the delicate aspect of this situation and we are very grateful that Morocco is the country that helped break this impasse," Cavaliéri told TV channel "Médi1TV".
Syrian families who were blocked at the Algerian-Moroccan border expressed their heartfelt thanks and deep gratitude to HM King Mohammed VI, who gave His high instructions for the immediate treatment of their situation.
A statement by the King's cabinet said that on the basis of humanitarian considerations and exceptionally, HM the King has given His High Instructions to the authorities concerned for an immediate treatment of the situation of Syrian families who have been blocked at the Algerian-Moroccan border for several weeks.
Morocco signed, on Wednesday in Rabat, an equity investment agreement in the capital of the Development Bank of Central African States.
The agreement was inked by economy Minister Mohamed Boussaid and the vice president of the Development Bank of Central African States Zounguere Sokambi Armand Guy.
On this occasion, Boussaid affirmed that this action is part of the strategic vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to take part in African financial and economic bodies, said a statement from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Business Brief: President Macron Makes Morocco First Stop in North Africa; Moroccan Entrepreneurs Shine; and MCC-MCA Morocco Gets Going – Jean R. AbiNader
It did not go unnoticed in the region that French President Emmanuel Macron visited Morocco on his first visit to North Africa. While it was a private visit, with a concurrent announcement of a pending visit to Algeria, it reinforces the special relationship that exists. Good news for Moroccan entrepreneurs who forge ahead with innovation for low-cost cooking; and MCC-MCA Morocco announces public meetings.
Macron to King Mohammed VI, solid and reliable partnership. Though it was a private visit, with no business or political delegation to accompany him, President Macron made sure to visit Morocco to make up for skipping the country during his campaign and to continue the strong bond that exists between the countries. Commentaries were consistent in pointing out the strong economic, political, and security relationship that continues to serve the best interests of both.
In a wide-ranging discussion on France24, it was noted that the US has passed France as the largest investor in Morocco, while Spain is now the number one trading partner, despite the extensive investments made by Renault, Peugeot, Airbus, and others in highly visible projects encompassing the auto, aerospace, rail, and ports sectors, among others. Contention in the Gulf and continued terrorism threats in the EU may have topped the agenda, but Morocco’s economic and commercial partnerships with France clearly speak to the permanence of the bilateral ties.
In fact, a Times of India.com blog following the visit was headlined “Important Axis: The France-Morocco relationship is slated to become a global asset,” and went on to detail the diverse and substantial ties between the two allies.
Macron and King Mohammed share a common vision of supporting Africa’s economic growth as an antidote to instability — and as a rich source of market opportunities. The blog noted, “But for a strong Macron presidency to formulate a new Africa policy, Paris needs a stable African partner. And that partner can be no other than the North African nation of Morocco.” It mentioned that “Today, Morocco is not only the most dynamic economy in North Africa but has also become the second largest investor on the continent. Add to this Morocco’s King Mohammed VI’s vision of pushing South-South cooperation among sister African nations…It is with this principle in mind that Morocco has over recent years boosted its economic engagements with countries of the Sahara and Sahel regions.”
It is in this regional context of building security through prosperity that France and Morocco are the ideal partnership for advancing growth and stability on the continent.
From big ideas, smart innovations. As noted in various publications, “The Global Innovation Index 2017 ranked Morocco as the first innovative economy in North Africa and the third on the continental level preceded only by South Africa and Mauritius.” We have discussed the report on our website and thought it might be interesting to look at a case study of how a simple idea turned into a pragmatic solution can yield many benefits.
As reported in Morocco World News, a group of university students in Morocco have pioneered an insulated isotherm bag that slow cooks food using retained heat. Food is initially heated in the usual manner, and then the dish is placed inside the bag to continue the cooking process without an external heat source.
Called Eco-Heat, the low-tech bag saves energy, reduces pollution, and frees the food preparer for other tasks. Three students at EHTP, the engineering college in Casablanca, came up with the concept while visiting rural villages in Morocco and observing how much energy was wasted in simple food preparation. Given that the dominant fuels are wood, coal, and butane gas, there were also health concerns associated with the cooking process. The students were part of Enactus, which bills itself as “A community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better and more sustainable world.” Active in 36 countries, Enactus enables students to test ideas, garner support, and launch projects.
The students developed the isotherm bag, patented the technology, and began marketing, with more than $20,000 in start-up funds from various sponsors including Ford, Enactus, and OCP.
The bag has broad utility beyond rural areas. As Marwane Fachane, who worked with the startup during their time with the incubator Dare Inc., explained, “The average Moroccan consumer needs the product for two reasons: In urban areas, because he no longer has time to cook, and in rural areas, because he can no longer afford other alternatives such as gas, wood or electric furnaces.”
MCC-MCA Morocco focus on education. MCA, the Moroccan partner of MCC, which administers the $250 million second compact, is working hard to start up after delays caused by the lack of a formal government earlier this year. The first item on the docket is a competitive process to solicit ideas and proposals for improving existing secondary schools in Morocco and launching new ones. Each awardee must have a partnership with a Moroccan entity, creating important opportunities for advancing educational consulting in the Kingdom. For full details and contact information, visit http://charaka.mcamorocco.ma.
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Morocco will switch to summer daylight saving time (GMT+1) on Sunday, July 2, 2017 at 2:00 a.m. by turning clocks forward one hour, the ministry in charge of the Reform of Administration and Public Service announced.
MAP 21 June 2017
The transition to the floating exchange rate regime will not lead to a devaluation of the dirham, Governor of Bank Al Maghrib, Abdellatif Jouahri, stressed Tuesday in Rabat.
“Those speculating about a devaluation of the dirham with the implementation of the floating exchange rate regime make a miscalculation”, Jouahri, noted at a press conference held following the 2nd meeting of the Board of Bank Al Maghrib for 2017.
Morocco's economic growth would accelerate to 4.4% in 2017 and slow down to 3.1% in 2018, according to Bank Al-Maghrib (central bank) forecasts.
Driven by a rebound in cereal production, estimated by the Department of Agriculture at 102 million quintals, agricultural value added would increase by 13.4 percent, while nonagricultural GDP growth would edge up from 3.1 to 3.3 percent, the Bank said, on Tuesday, following the second quarterly meeting of its Board.
AfDB Loans Morocco 88mln USD to Fund 2nd Phase of Project in Support of National Water Economy and Irrigation Program
The African Development Bank (AfDB) okayed for Morocco a loan of 88 million dollars (855 million dirhams) to finance the second phase of the project in support of the National Water Economy and Irrigation Program (PAPNEEI 2).
Inked on Tuesday in Rabat by economy minister Mohamed Boussaid, AfDB deputy director general for north Africa Yacine Diama Fal, in the presence of agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch, will contribute to Morocco's efforts to foster the agricultural sector productivity and help save agriculture water in large irrigated lands.
Morocco, Angola Ink Diplomatic Visa Waiver Agreement
Morocco and Angola signed, here Monday, two cooperation agreements on the abolition of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports and political consultations.