The moroccan press
The Punch Nigeria
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Godfrey Onyeama, introduces Nigerian delegates to the King of Morocco, King Mohammed VI. Photo: Akinkugbe
Nigeria and Morocco on Monday strengthened their business relationship by signing two bilateral agreements in Rabat, the Moroccan capital.
According to a release signed by the Communication and Change Management Consultant, Mrs. Olubunmi Akinkugbe, the first bilateral agreement was the Joint Initiative on the Morocco-Nigeria Gas Regional Pipeline.
“Tagged ‘The Wonder of Africa’ the pipeline, the project has historical significance because it is designed by ‘Africans for Africans,’ with a direct impact on 300 million people through the speeding up of electrification projects in West Africa; thus serving a basis for the creation of a competitive electricity regional market,” Akinkugbe wrote.
She said the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines, was to determine the modalities of undertaking a feasibility study and a Front-End Engineering and Design study relating to a gas pipeline from Nigeria to Morocco.
It also specified equal partnership in governance, management and financing of the project.
The timeline for both studies is two years from the date of signing.
Interested third party countries will be allowed to join, the release added.
The second bilateral agreement was on the Second Phase of the Fertiliser Initiative.
The first phase was the supply of a cargo of phosphate by Morocco to Nigeria after eight weeks of its signing.
“This supply led to the resuscitation of 11 blending plants which produced about 1.3 million tonnes of fertiliser; creation of 50,000 (direct) and 150,000 (indirect) jobs, while farmers have access to the quantity of fertiliser they need.
“The second phase will enable the maximisation of local fertiliser production through the creation of platform for basic chemical products, secure the Nigeria’s market’s fertiliser supply for competitive prices and reinforce local distribution channels,” the release stated.
According to the Foreign Minister of Morocco, Nasser Bourita, who presented the broad guidelines of the projects, the signing of the agreements reflects the shared vision of the two leaders: President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari; and
King Mohammed VI of Morocco, in favour of a sustainable, active and solidarity-based joint development for Africa.
Both projects were initiated during the Royal visit of the king to Nigeria in December 2016, the release said.
The ceremony, held at the palace of King Mohammed VI, had in attendance a delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Godfrey Onyeama; the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbe; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and Governor of Jigawa State and Chairman, Presidential Committee on Fertiliser, Mr. Abubakar Badaru.
Representatives of other African countries were also in attendance.
Maxtech Ventures Inc. (CSE: MVT) (CSE: MVT.CN) (CNSX: MVT)(FRANKFURT: M1N) (OTC PINK: MTEHF), (“Maxtech” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a strategic development partnership with Morocco-based Green Energy Resources (“GER”) to evaluate established mineral and mining concessions in Morocco for potential acquisition or joint venture.
GER and Maxtech are actively evaluating several advanced stage manganese assets in Morocco with an emphasis on fully permitted mining concessions with established histories of manganese production. These existing permits have been targeted for either 100% purchase or joint venture. The Company expects to report on its negotiations shortly.
The mining industry of Morocco is important to the North Africa region and the national economy of Morocco. The country is the world’s third largest producer of phosphate, and contains about 75% of the world’s estimated reserves. Mining contributed for approximately 35% of exports and 5% of GDP in 2011. Foreign investors have found the investment climate, infrastructure, fiscal situation, and political stability very favourable to the mining business (http://data.worldbank.org/country/morocco).
Peter Wilson, CEO of Maxtech said “This partnership provides a unique opportunity for Maxtech to expand into Morocco with a goal to eventually supply manganese into the European marketplace. It is an excellent jurisdiction in which to operate and with the help of Green Energy’s in-country presence we will be able to evaluate new manganese claims efficiently.”
About Maxtech Ventures Inc.
Maxtech Ventures Inc. is a Canadian based diversified industries corporation with gold and manganese mineral properties. Its focus is on mining and the products that are derived therefrom.
For additional information see the Company’s web site at http://www.maxtech-ventures.com
Email to email@example.com
Further information about the Company is available on www.SEDAR.com under the Company’s profile.
Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Certain statements contained in this release may constitute “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” (collectively “forward-looking information”) as those terms are used in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and similar Canadian laws. These statements relate to future events or future performance. The use of any of the words “could”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “will”, “projected”, “estimated”, “anticipates” and similar expressions and statements relating to matters that are not historical facts are intended to identify forward-looking information and are based on the Company’s current belief or assumptions as to the outcome and timing of such future events. Actual future results may differ materially.
In particular, this release contains forward-looking information relating to the business of the Company, the Property, and financing and certain corporate changes. The forward-looking information contained in this release is made as of the date hereof and the Company is not obligated to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities laws. Because of the risks, uncertainties and assumptions contained herein, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The foregoing statements expressly qualify any forward-looking information contained herein.
Maxtech Ventures Inc.
Sand and gravel
March 2017 saw Dumez Maroc (part of the Vinci Construction International Network) handover a new fishing port in Casablanca, a project forming part of a total redevelopment of the port area.
Undertaken on behalf of Morocco’s ports authority, this complex operation – the biggest project ever implemented by the company – took place in a particularly hostile environment where heavy swells are frequent.
The task involved transferring the city’s old fishing port, which was too small and in poor condition, to a new, larger and more modern site.
The work included the creation of a main breakwater (655m), a secondary breakwater (535m), two quays (323m and 145m) and 240m of floating jetties, as well as dredging in the inner basin and access channel.
An economic parliamentary forum between the Houses of Advisors of Morocco and Japan was launched, announced, Monday in Tokyo, Speakers of the two Houses, Hakim Benchamach and Chuichi Date, respectively.
During talks with his Chinese peer, Benchamach said that his working visit to Japan is meant to explore new prospects for cooperation between the two countries and strengthen their relations in various areas.
The Moroccan official briefed his Japanese counterpart on Morocco's upper House and its specificities at the regional level.
The cooperation agreement between Morocco and Nigeria on Fertilizer is "a great opportunity" for Nigeria, Nigerian Foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, received Monday in Rabat his Comorian counterpart Mohamed Bacar Dossar, bearer of a message from president of the Comoros Islands, Azali Assoumani, to HM King Mohammed VI.
At the end of the meeting, Dossar told reporters that the talks were an opportunity to recall the distinguished and fraternal relations between the two countries, underlining the shared will to strengthen these relations through the holding of the Joint Committee.
by Karol Rutkowski
New report outlines path to faster, sustainable economic growth and more inclusive human and social development.
Morocco has an opportunity in the years ahead to boost economic growth and job creation, especially for young people, and to catch up even faster with developed economies by investing in its human capital, modernizing the economy and improving the performance of public institutions.
This is the conclusion of the most recent Morocco Economic Memorandum (CEM) released today, entitled “Morocco 2040 – Emerging by Investing in Intangible Capital”. The new report provides an analysis of past economic performance as well as development opportunities and constraints, and then offers a roadmap for reforms to achieve superior economic and social outcomes over the next generation.
“Today’s launch concludes two years of research and analysis conducted in close collaboration with the government and key Moroccan constituencies. This report is timely as the country engages in a new development phase and we are pleased to contribute to its efforts towards the sustainable development goals” said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Maghreb and Malta Country Director. “We are also pleased to present the report’s main recommendations to a set of stakeholders, from government, civil society, academia, to private sector and youth. We hope that this document will trigger a rich debate among all segments of society and mobilize greater support and understanding for the reforms needed to build a future based on shared prosperity”.
The CEM underlines the country’s significant social and economic achievements over the past fifteen years. Morocco engaged in a set of economic and social reforms to boost productivity, improve living standards, create jobs and enhance institutions. This process was further enriched by the 2011 Constitution which called for greater rights and opportunities for Moroccan citizens and enhanced the Kingdom’s governance framework. Bringing Morocco’s improved development outcomes to the next level and achieving economic convergence with Southern European countries will require to further deepen and integrate sector and governance reforms, according to the CEM.
The report proposes a set of critical pathways to reach that goal. It recognizes that while youth employment continues to be a major challenge, the country has the potential to unleash job creation and bring about the needed reforms to improve productivity and people’s living conditions. Specifically, the report invites the authorities to rethink the country’s business model in order to spur competitiveness, boost productivity and promote fair market conditions for investors, be they small or large. This will in turn create a more level-playing field for the private sector to grow and will generate more jobs for youth and women in particular.
In order to achieve this strategic goal, greater investments in the country’s precious human capital will be needed. This long term agenda touches upon two key sectors: education and health. In order to achieve an “education miracle” and give Moroccan students the needed skills to integrate into a more competitive job market, the CEM calls for a comprehensive education reform geared toward enhanced education sector performance, governance and outcomes. The health sector will also require sustained and significant efforts to bridge the access gap between rich and poor and to ensure efficient and accountable public health care. Yet, based on international experience, no successful social inclusion can be attained without achieving gender equality. According to the CEM, Morocco’s ability to empower and mobilize greater economic opportunities for women will be instrumental to significantly enhance economic growth.
Finally, the CEM views the strengthening of institutions and the country’s governance model as a key precondition to reinforce the rule of law and place the Moroccan citizen at the heart of its development model. This ranges from more accountable and efficient public services to giving voice to citizens and enhancing respect, interpersonal trust and civic duty.
“This roadmap humbly presents the economic policy and political economy conditions capable of boosting Morocco’s growth potential. But the most important role is that of each and every citizen to feel entitled and responsible to act on the country’s development, to strive for inclusive institutions and equal economic opportunities, to promote gender equality and interpersonal trust, and to contribute with confidence to building Morocco’s future” said Jean-Pierre Chauffour, World Bank Lead Economist and CEM author. “It takes a consultative and inclusive process for the country’s constituencies to discuss and agree on how they would like to see their country by 2040. We hope that we have at least contributed to triggering this debate through the analysis and projections contained in the present report”.
© Photo: YouTube/Youtupe Mania
US Navy Littoral Warship Coronado Departs Singapore for Patrol in Pacific.
The US guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf performed a maritime interdiction and small boat defense training session with the Royal Moroccan Navy’s (RMNS) patrol ship Commandant El Harti, the US Navy said in a press release on Tuesday.
“The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) participated in a cooperation exercise with the Royal Moroccan Navy [on] May 5, 2017 while on deployment in the US 6th Fleet area of operations,” the release stated. “Vella Gulf and the P306 RMNS Commandant El Harti conducted maritime interdiction operations (MIO) and small boat defense procedures during the exercise.”
The release explained that maritime interdiction operations are key to stopping piracy on the high seas and noted that small boat attacks on larger ships are increasing.
“Vella Gulf is deployed as an independent unit in support of maritime security and ballistic missile defense operations in international waters across the globe,” the release added.
The US 6th Fleet is headquartered in Naples, Italy and its area of operations covers approximately half of the Atlantic Ocean from the North Pole to Antarctica as well as the Adriatic, Baltic, Barents, Black, Caspian, Mediterranean and North seas.
The three prosecution witnesses, questioned on Wednesday as part of the Gdim Izik trial, gave important information on the situation that was prevailing in the camp set up in Oct.-Nov. near Laayoune and the role of some suspects in the tragic incidents that took place during its dismantling, said public prosecutor at Salé's appeal court Hassan Daki.
Thanks to the leadership of HM the King, Morocco has become a haven of cultural resilience : André Azoulay
Morocco has become, thanks to the "visionary" and "dynamic" leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, a haven of cultural resilience, said HM the King’s advisor André Azoulay, who was awarded Thursday night in New York the World-recognized Sephardic Jewish Leader Award from the Foundation for Preserving the Visual History of the Jewish People.
A ceremony was held, on Sunday in Rabat, at the headquarters of the General Staff of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) on the occasion of the 61st anniversary of FAR.
After saluting the national flag, the Order of the Day addressed by HM King Mohammed VI, Supreme Commander and Chief of general Staff of the Royal Armed Forces, to officers, non-commissioned officers and privates was read out.
On this occasion, several officers, non-commissioned officers and privates were awarded wissams granted by the sovereign.
The African Union (AU) condemned the attack perpetrated on Saturday morning in the city of Bangassou (Central African Republic), which killed a Moroccan Minusca soldier.
United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, offered on Sunday his condolences to Morocco following the death of a Moroccan peacekeeper in the Central African Republic.
Moroccan MINUSCA Soldier Killed in CAR : UNSG Offers Condolences to Morocco
"The Secretary-General offers his condolences to the family of the bereaved peacekeeper and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco," a statement by the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said.
Source: FLSmidth A/S
FLSmidth has won a five-year contract from OCP S.A. (formerly known as Office Chérifien des Phosphates) to operate port equipment for handling phosphate, fertilizers, and sulphur. The port is located in Jorf Lasfar, El Jadida, 100 km south of Casablanca, Morocco.
The contract marks FLSmidth’s first Operation & Maintenance contract in Morocco.
FLSmidth was awarded this contract as part of OCP’s ‘ecosystem’ initiative to benefit the local economy by bringing external know-how and hiring local workforce. FLSmidth was selected as partner due to their extensive know-how and commitment to source locally.
“We are extremely proud to be awarded this contract. It marks the culmination of a long-standing partnership between OCP and FLSmidth and is an important step in materials handling equipment operations in Morocco. We will deliver productivity enhancement to OCP by operating and maintaining the equipment we have supplied ourselves,” said Claus Christian Torbøl, Senior Vice President, FLSmidth Operation & Maintenance.
Kristoffer Bohr Grønbæk
Mobile: +45 3093 1427
FLSmidth is the market-leading supplier of productivity to the global mining and cement industries. Headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, and with offices in more than 50 countries, FLSmidth delivers engineering, equipment and service solutions to customers worldwide.
Productivity, sustainability, and quality are focus areas for FLSmidth and its 12,000 employees. The company generated revenue of DKK 18 billion in 2016. Read more on www.flsmidth.com
A Moroccan UN peacekeeper was killed on Saturday in an attack in the Central African Republic’s southeast, close to where five other peacekeepers also lost their lives in recent days, the United Nations said.
An overnight attack targeted civilians in the town of Bangassou as well as a UN mission field office and “in the firefight, one peacekeeper of the Moroccan contingent died from gunshot injuries”, the UN mission MINUSCA said in a statement.
It said the attackers were members of a wide coalition including the mainly Christian anti-Balaka group who “attacked civilian populations, targeting in particular Muslims”, another sign of the continuing sectarian violence that has ravaged the country.
MINUSCA also said there were reports of civilians killed.
“At this time it is difficult to ascertain the humanitarian situation in Bangassou. However credible sources have confirmed an undetermined number of civilian casualties,” the statement said.
Displaced people in the area have fled to the town’s mosque, Catholic Church and the Doctors without Borders (MSF) hospital, it added.
The head of MINUSCA Parfait Onanga-Anyanga warned the militias that the authorities would be “relentless” in finding and arresting those responsible for the killings.
“The blood of peacekeepers and the blood of innocent Central Africans will not fall in vain in this country,” he said.
On Monday, another Moroccan and four Cambodian soldiers were also killed in an attack on their convoy.
UN officials said the bodies of the four Cambodian peacekeepers were badly mutilated, to the point of making identification difficult.
MINUSCA deployed 10 000 troops and 2 000 police to the CAR following bloody sectarian fighting that erupted after the 2013 overthrow of leader Francois Bozize.
Among Africa’s poorest countries, the CAR descended into bloodshed pitting the anti-Balaka fighters against the mainly Muslim ex-Seleka rebels.
While calm has been restored to the capital Bangui, parts of the country remain under the sway of armed groups.
Asharq Al awsat
Wheat being harvested in China’s Shandong province. AFP photo
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has expected Morocco’s harvest of wheat to increase from 2.7 million tons in 2016 to 7 million this year.
It also expected the 600,000 tons of barley harvested last year to reach 2.8 million in 2017.
After “poor and erratic rains” last year, “prospects for the 2017 harvest look very promising,” FAO said in a report.
“While parts of Morocco suffered from autumn drought up to mid-November 2016, which delayed plantings in some areas, good precipitation later in the season replenished soil moisture, improving yield prospects,” it said.
Moroccan dams cover only 15 percent of its agricultural land, with rainfed agricultural production accounting for 85 percent of aggregate output, said the report.
Good precipitation later in the season replenished soil moisture, improving yield prospects. The total area planted with winter cereals in the current season is 5.11 million hectares, compared to 3.6 million hectares in the previous year, it said.
According to the report, Morocco’s cereal imports in 2016/17 (July/June) are forecast at 9.1 million tons. A larger increase in import requirements was limited by ample carryover stocks from the previous year’s above average harvest.
European Union and Black Sea countries supply most of the common “soft” wheat, while Canada is the traditional supplier of “durum” wheat.
As part of the expected increase in harvest this year, FAO said that the government has announced the increase of the import duty on “soft” wheat from 30 percent to 135 percent.
The report added that food inflation in Morocco is limited, recording a 1.8 percent decrease in March last year.
The government subsidizes more than 1 million tons of the “national flour”, a common wheat of standard quality used to make flour for the low income consumers but the “durum” wheat market is not regulated.
Ageela Saleh, accompanied by Libyan ambassador Abdulmajed Seif El Nasr (left), presented by Moroccan foreign minister Nasser Bourita with a trophy to mark his visit (Photo: Herald of Libya)
President of the Libyan House of Representatives Ageela Saleh Issa reaffirmed on Tuesday commitment towards Libya’s political agreement, signed on 17 December 2015 in Skhirat, however after the amendment of a few terms.
Saleh Issa said that after amendments are made the accord will be incorporated into the country’s constitution, recognizing the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) presidential council.
Speaking at a press conference held on Monday after Saleh Issa said that the Libyan parliament requested the amendment of the Skhirat agreement. The presser was held on the sidelines of bilateral discussions held between Saleh Issa and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in Rabat.
The presidential council must be composed of a single president and two deputies, Saleh Issa said. He also mentioned that the acting prime minister must have power over council assignment, in addition to other points.
For his part, Moroccan FM Bourita called on all Libyan parties to accept the principle of consensus. It was in the interests of the Libyan people, their peace, and the country’s unity, the minister said.
Morocco hosted the UN-brokered Libya Dialogue sessions in Skhirat which resulted in the Libyan Political Agreement. Saleh Issa, however, is not wholly in agreement with it.
Since March 2016, the conflict between the two rival governments, the Libyan House of Representatives and the GNA-affiliated General National Congress (GNC), has intensified. Despite previously supporting it, the Libyan House of Representatives withdrew its recognition of the GNA by voting against it in the summer of 2016 and becoming their rival for governing the country.
More so, Bourita said that his country’s interest lies in sustaining Libya’s stability and unity given the long-standing relations shared between the two countries.
He stressed that Rabat will continue its mediation efforts with all Libyan parties in hopes of bringing conflicting parties closer together.
Bourita pointed out that Saleh Issa’s visit to Rabat comes within the framework of many efforts made by Morocco under orders from King Mohammed VI concerning the Libyan file, aiming to establish a political consensus between the Libyans.
For his part, Saleh Issa said that talks with Bourita intensely reviewed the situation in Libya and directed help to Libyan people, as well as provided substantial aid for counterterrorism efforts.
The 23rd World Festival of Sacred Music opened late on Friday in Morocco’s old city of Fez, with China as guest of honor.
Held under the theme “Water and the Sacred,” the festival was opened by Morocco’s first lady Princess Lalla Salma.
Choosing water as its theme, this year’s festival aims to promote respect for the environment as the natural extension of a spiritual approach.
The festival in 2017 will be an opportunity to explore the symbolism of water and urge the world to reconcile with the environment and mobilize for the future generations and the planet.
The nine-day festival will feature a number of renowned traditional artists from all over the world.
Starting in 1994, the annual festival was designated in 2001 by the United Nations as one of the major events contributing in remarkable fashion to the dialogue between civilizations.
Leggy Ellie Goulding Puts On A Hair Raising Display As She Performs At A Moroccan Music Festival In A Strappy Camisole And Satin Blouse Ensemble
By MailOnline Reporter
She’s known for her energetic performances and catchy pop tunes.
And Ellie Goulding lived up to her reputation with a hair-raising performance at the Mawazine Music festival in Rabat, Morocco on Friday.
The petite pop princess wowed fans were her high-tempo routine and electric vocals while also showing off her amazing figure.
Lights: Ellie Goulding put on a hair-raising performance at the Mawazine Music festival in Rabat, Morocco on Friday. The Lights hitmaker wore a strappy camisole and black satin blouse.
Ellie Goulding excited about performing at festival in Morocco.
Ellie, 30, put her sun-kissed tanned legs on display in figure hugging strappy camisole and black satin blouse.
The Lights hitmaker styled her golden loose locks in a choppy layered cut while rocking out on the stage.
Plenty to smile about! Cat Deeley is in high spirits as she steps out in fitted leather jacket and tinted sunglasses for shopping spree with husband Patrick Kielty.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead looks chic in floral blouse as she joins Ewan McGregor and the cast of Fargo for special LA screening of new series.
The starlet put her anxiety battles about stepping into the spotlight behind her as she showed she stepped out with confidence.
In a recent interview, she told People: ‘I think part of what sparked my panic attacks was not feeling confident enough to believe in myself. I was scared I wasn’t as good of a singer as everyone thought I was.’
Leggy: The petite pop princess wowed fans were her high-tempo routine and electric vocals
The Starry Eyed hitmaker appeared to be flying solo at the event, amid her rumoured romance with Team GB rower Caspar Jopling.
They put on a cosy display in New York City in April reigniting rumours they had become an item in March of this year.
Their blossoming romance comes after Ellie’s recent split from the Beckham’s bodyguard Bobby Rich, who she was first linked to in November 2016.
She previously enjoyed a two-year on/off relationship with McFly’s Dougie Poynter.
Ex: Ellie previously enjoyed a two-year on/off relationship with McFly’s Dougie Poynter
While the former flames split for good in February 2016, they revealed they still ‘love each other very much’.
She told the MailOnline that she would always hold Dougie dear.
‘It’s like we’ve always been friends. He’s one of my really good friends,’ she said.
‘For me, when I’ve been in relationships with people, those are the people I will always hold dear to me.
New flame: Ellie is rumoured to be dating Team GB rower Caspar Jopling. Ellie Goulding fails at playing it cool in front of Puff Daddy
It has become a nostrum in international development, especially in Africa and the Middle East, that job creation is the number one goal for ensuring greater domestic stability. For example, the latest reports from the World Economic Forum and Ernst and Young strongly emphasize the critical need for employment opportunities for the burgeoning youth population, including women. Having spent time on workforce development last year in Jordan, and having met this month with consultants in Jordan and Lebanon who deal with youth employment and related issues, it was useful to compare their insights with those on youth employment in Morocco as described in a recent article by the Oxford Business Group (OBG).
That there has been limited success, despite the various initiatives being launched, is hardly the fault of the agencies and companies hard at work to generate more employment opportunities. First of all, there are just too many unemployed university, secondary school, and primary school graduates for any single solution or group of solutions to provide the needed jobs. Creating jobs requires domestic and foreign investments in diversified sectors, so that while the employment base for university graduates grows (assuming there is a match between their studies and the available jobs – a big assumption), you are also addressing opportunities for the vocational-technical (vo-tech) and unskilled worker pools. This is quite a challenge in Morocco, where around 40% of the workforce is seasonal and employed in agriculture, while another 40% fills service sector jobs that have high turnover, low wages, and few benefits for retaining and upgrading workers.
What’s left? The article begins with a case study of what Peugeot is doing as part of its commitment to workforce development in Morocco: using a public-private partnership (PPPs), consistent with Morocco’s 15-year strategy to reform the education sector. According to OBG, “PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA) entered into an agreement with higher education institutions to open a series of design labs called OpenLabs,” in partnership with five Moroccan universities, including an engineering school, two US universities based in Morocco and a technology transfer center at the quasi-public International University of Rabat (UIR). This is not PSA’s first innovative effort to bring together the best brains available to promote skills acquisition for the new economy. “The OpenLabs are part of Science Technologies Exploratory Lean Laboratory (StelLab) – an international network of academic chairs and research laboratories launched by PSA in 2010 to develop more innovative collaboration with the global academic community.”
In Morocco, the program is called Sustainable Mobility for Africa, a four-year effort to develop mobility systems with “a focus on renewable energy, electric cars and logistics.” Focusing on future trends in the automotive sector reflects PSA’s commitment to the industry in Africa. It has launched a $90 million investment in the Kenitra region focused on the African markets. “By drawing on the professional and scientific experience of PSA and the expertise of the educational institutions involved, the initiative also targets the development of a labour force that has the skill set required by the automotive industry.”
It is not surprising that “Morocco’s expanding automotive segment posted record levels of exports for the third straight year in 2016, with the 316,712 units shipped abroad representing a 22.4% rise on the previous year.” This is the largest export category by value for Morocco. It is projected that the total number of employees will reach approximately 200,000 by 2020. All of this is good news, but is dwarfed by the reality of 1.3 million unemployed men and women of varying skills, ages, and education. Last year’s WEF human capital index noted that Morocco declined three spots to 98th out of 130 economies.
Helpful Initiatives Fall Short of Meeting Needs
It is expected that the number of students in Morocco will peak at 1.23 million by 2021. This poses structural as well as resources issues for the country. According to US government figures, “Although more than 95 percent of school-aged children in Morocco are now enrolled in primary school, the education system in Morocco faces significant challenges. Drop-out rates are still high and only 53 percent of students enrolled in middle school continue on to high school and less than 15 percent of first grade students are likely to graduate from high school.”
USAID is doing its part by opening vo-tech training centers in six locations. Known as Career Centers, the institutes provide soft skills and job preparation workshops. These are linked to an online platform for career services that has high hopes of improving the employability of its clients.
The national authority for vocational training, OFPPT, is setting up training centers in regions around the country to promote entrepreneurship and diversify the available vocational training. Morocco realizes that it lags in innovation and entrepreneurship, as highlighted by the “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Global Report 2016/17,” which ranked Morocco 59th of 65 economies for early-stage entrepreneurial activity.
Morocco’s efforts have yet to achieve the level of coordination called for in the Strategic Vision 2015-2030 announced in May 2015. Lack of experienced leadership at all levels of the education system, the need for coordination among various international donors, training for NGO and civil society groups supporting educational reform, and the incremental nature of changes encompassing teacher training, curriculum development, the continuing conflict over languages of instruction, and adequate resources allocated to rural and urban areas, are some of the more obvious issues to be resolved. King Mohammed VI has made education for jobs a key priority for the country, which needs steady, progressive, and proactive professionals guiding education for his goals to be realized.
The post Morocco Confronts Difficulty of Workforce Development – Jean R. AbiNader appeared first on Morocco On The Move.