The moroccan press

Morocco Busts 46 Terror Cells Since 2015

Western Sahara Worldnews - Sat, 07/29/2017 - 12:19

Xinhuanet
Source: Xinhua

The Moroccan security services have busted 46 terrorist cells since 2015, including 41 with links to the Islamic State (IS) group, local media reported Friday.

The director of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations, Abdelhak Khiame, said the dismantlement of these cells has led to the arrest of 674 suspects, according to le360.ma news site.

There are some 1,664 Moroccans who have joined terror groups abroad, including 950 to 980 who belong to IS, Khiame said.

He added that up to 230 fighters have returned to Morocco from conflicted areas, stressing that the country has adopted strict policy regarding the arrival of the fighters.

Khiame believes that the end of IS group does not mean the end of terrorism, hailing a “very advanced” counterterrorism cooperation with European countries, especially its northern neighbor Spain, while deploring the “absence” of such cooperation with neighboring Algeria despite the alarming situation in Sahel region of northwest Africa.

“Terrorism is an ideology. We would only make an end to terrorism when we end radicalization,” he insisted.

APM Terminals Tangier Celebrates 10 Years In Morocco With The Munich Maersk, The Largest Ship Calling An African Port

Western Sahara Worldnews - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 22:01

PortNews

APM Terminals Tangier welcomed the Munich Maersk, one of the world’s largest container vessels, as it made its maiden call to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the largest and most modern terminal facility in North Africa.

APM Terminals Tangier is one of the most important transfer points of global trade. In addition to handling Moroccan import and export cargo, the terminal manages and transfers cargo for onward destinations in Africa, Latin America and beyond. Tangier’s strategic location and state of the art facilities provides easy accessibility to cargo vessels sailing between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

The Munich Maersk is one of the largest vessels in the Maersk Line fleet, and second in a series of Maersk Line’s improved Triple-E class. With capacity to hold 20,000 containers, the vessel is the largest container ship to call a port in Africa as part of a regular rotation.

“We are delighted to welcome this latest addition to Maersk Line’s fleet in Tangier, just as we celebrate 10th anniversary of our operations. This is yet another confirmation of the strategic importance of APM Terminals Tangier as not only the gateway to Morocco, but as a leading transhipment hub in the region”, says Hicham El Alami, Chief Operating Officer at APM Terminals Tangier.

Since starting operations in July 2007, APM Terminals Tangier volume has grown 72%, to handle more than 1.7 million containers per year. The terminal operates at highest levels of energy efficiency and has reduced its CO2 emissions by 30% since 2009.

To ensure future competitiveness, the terminal recently acquired two super post Panamax cranes, to serve giant vessels like the Munich Maersk. This brings the total number of cranes in operation at the terminal to ten. Investments in elevating more cranes to serve even larger vessels in the future are underway, which will further cement Morocco’s place as an important orchestrator of global trade.

“With this maiden call of Munich Maersk to Tangier, we have yet another opportunity to celebrate our good cooperation with the city, the port and APM Terminals,” added Marcos Hansen, Maersk Line’s Managing Director in Western Mediterranean. As the latest addition to our modern fleet, this new vessel continues our commitment to serve our customers in 2/3 Morocco and around the world in an even more efficient, environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.”

With a high focus on operational efficiency and safety, APM Terminals Tangier has a strong track record in providing high quality services to customers and has become an employer of choice in the country. Furthermore, the terminal team takes pride in partnering with the community to provide a variety of education, sport and social economic programs.

APM Terminals is a leading global port and cargo inland services provider with a presence in 59 countries providing the world’s most geographically balanced global terminal network with 76 operating port and terminal facilities, five new port facilities under construction, and an inland services network spanning 103 operations at 89 locations in 38 countries. Headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, the company works with shipping lines, importers/exporters, governments, business leaders and the entire global supply chain to provide solutions that help nations achieve their ambitions and businesses reach their performance goals.

Hotelier Summit To Capitalise On Morocco’s Tourism

Western Sahara Worldnews - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:36

Travel Trade Weekly

On the back of Morocco’s flourishing tourism industry, the Hotelier Summit Africa (North) scheduled on October 04 – 06 is set to boost the strategic relationships instrumental for the further development of the country’s multiple sectors.

Contributing to the prosperity of hospitality and construction industries, Moroccan tourism experienced significant growth this year, recording higher tourist arrivals from traditional and emerging markets.

In February, the country registered a 92 percent leap in Chinese visitors over 2016’s figure, with Russia, Japan and the US also soaring, up 82 percent, 62 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

Ravi Kumar Chandran, director, Hotelier Summit Africa (North), IDE, commented, “[…] Overall, the summit will serve as a strategic platform to help deliver growth, competitiveness and innovation in the hospitality and real estate industry [in Morocco].”

APM Terminals Tangier Celebrates 10 Years In Morocco

Western Sahara Worldnews - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:30

Marine Link
By Aiswarya Lakshmi
Photo: Maersk Line

APM Terminals Tangier welcomed the Munich Maersk, one of the world’s largest container vessels, as it made its maiden call to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the largest and most modern terminal facility in North Africa.

APM Terminals Tangier is one of the most important transfer points of global trade. In addition to handling Moroccan import and export cargo, the terminal manages and transfers cargo for onward destinations in Africa, Latin America and beyond.

Tangier’s strategic location and state of the art facilities provides easy accessibility to cargo vessels sailing between the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

The Munich Maersk is one of the largest vessels in the Maersk Line fleet, and second in a series of Maersk Line’s improved Triple-E class. With capacity to hold 20,000 containers, the vessel is the largest container ship to call a port in Africa as part of a regular rotation.

“We are delighted to welcome this latest addition to Maersk Line’s fleet in Tangier, just as we celebrate 10th anniversary of our operations. This is yet another confirmation of the strategic importance of APM Terminals Tangier as not only the gateway to Morocco, but as a leading transhipment hub in the region”, says Hicham El Alami, Chief Operating Officer at APM Terminals Tangier.

Since starting operations in July 2007, APM Terminals Tangier volume has grown 72%, to handle more than 1.7 million containers per year. The terminal operates at highest levels of energy efficiency and has reduced its CO2 emissions by 30% since 2009.

To ensure future competitiveness, the terminal recently acquired two super post Panamax cranes, to serve giant vessels like the Munich Maersk. This brings the total number of cranes in operation at the terminal to ten. Investments in elevating more cranes to serve even larger vessels in the future are underway, which will further cement Morocco’s place as an important orchestrator of global trade.

“With this maiden call of Munich Maersk to Tangier, we have yet another opportunity to celebrate our good cooperation with the city, the port and APM Terminals,” added Marcos Hansen, Maersk Line’s Managing Director in Western Mediterranean. As the latest addition to our modern fleet, this new vessel continues our commitment to serve our customers in 2/3 Morocco and around the world in an even more efficient, environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.”

With a high focus on operational efficiency and safety, APM Terminals Tangier has a strong track record in providing high quality services to customers and has become an employer of choice in the country. Furthermore, the terminal team takes pride in partnering with the community to provide a variety of education, sport and social economic programs.

Morocco Makes Women Eligible For Muslim Notary Positions

Western Sahara Worldnews - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 03:40

ANSAmed

The ‘adoul’ profession, a sort of notary for judges in Muslim court systems, can be held by women and not only men in Morocco now.

”Eyes and ears of the judge” is the theological definition for the role normally reserved for men that lightens the work of notaries and judges in the administrative, civil and criminal justice systems. Every deed they write needs a judge to sign it to make it valid.

Due to customs, trust and accessibility – especially in small towns – ‘adouls’ are often used for real estate sales, inheritance laws and to record witness statements included in official trial documents. The justice ministry has now launched a public competition for October for 700 ‘adoul’ positions that women can take part in.

The competition is regulated by Law 16.03, which in at least its first draft in 1982 named ‘being a male’ as one of the requisites in Article 4.

The Article was amended a few years ago but no competition had until now opened to women as well. (ANSAmed).

Bitcoin Store $5 Mln Fraud ‘Operator’ Haddow Falls To Police In Morocco

Western Sahara Worldnews - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 03:32

Coin Telegraph
By William Suberg

“Clandestine” businessman Renwick Haddow is in police custody as the US moves to arrest another Bitcoin bad actor.

Multiple sources including the UK’s Daily Mail report that Haddow, who allegedly conned investors out of $5 mln via a fake exchange platform, was found in the Moroccan capital Tangiers.

“Haddow created two trendy companies and misled investors into believing that highly-qualified executives were leading them to quick profitability,” the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commented after charging Haddow last month with securities fraud.

The British-born New York resident is said to have tricked investors who contributed funds to his Bitcoin Store platform and other ventures, diverting funds to offshore accounts.

“In reality, Haddow controlled the companies from behind the scenes and they were far from profitable,” the SEC’s New York Regional Office director Andrew M. Calamari added.

Cointelegraph previously reported on Haddow’s original arrest earlier this month, and Moroccan authorities are now set to consider his extradition.

It is a second high-profile Bitcoin case to surface involving the SEC this week, with the regulator also seeking $110 mln in anti-money laundering fines against Russian exchange BTC-e.

Its assumed founder, Alexander Vinnik, is also under pressure to pay a personal fine of $12 mln.

Morocco And Algeria Keep Building More Barriers

Western Sahara Worldnews - Fri, 07/28/2017 - 03:01

The Economist
Middle East & Africa
Marsa Ben Mhidi

Fences make neighbours poorer.

Had Algeria and Morocco honoured their agreement back in 1989 to form an economic union, along with Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania, they would be among the Middle East’s largest economies. Their poor border regions would be booming crossroads. Over the decade to 2015, reckons the World Bank, their two economies would each have almost have doubled in size.

Instead, Algeria grew only by 33% and Morocco by 37%, as both governments instead reinforced their barricades. Their north-west corner of Africa remains “the most separated region on the continent”, says Adel Hamaizia, an Algerian economist. While sub-Saharan countries agree common currencies and trade zones, Algeria digs deeper ditches. Morocco revamps its berms and renews its razor wire. Concrete walls rise on both sides. Frustrated families shout greetings across the divide. Tantalisingly, both have built hundreds of kilometres of east-west highways which stop short of their common border.

Islamic empires once spanned the Maghreb, the land of the setting sun, as Arabs term north-western Africa. Both countries share a common history, cuisine, architecture, strand of Islam and an Arabic dialect mashed with Berber and French. But in 1957 colonial French generals erected an electrified barrier, the Morice Line, along the border to keep out arms-traffickers and guerrillas based in newly independent Morocco. Bar five paltry years in between, the border has been closed ever since. In 1963 the two countries fought a brief war. Skirmishes are now rare, but fighting words are common. Algerian republicans deride Morocco’s monarch as feudal, and because of the kingdom’s land-grab of Western Sahara call him the world’s last colonial ruler. Their neighbours cannot help sniggering at Algeria’s latest prime minister, whose name, Tebboune, is Moroccan slang for “vagina”.

Their prospects should be brighter. Both countries have largely avoided the upheavals of the Arab spring. They are almost homogeneously Sunni, free of the region’s sectarian divides. They have the advantage of cheap labour, and offer Europe a bridge to Africa. Algeria has had the edge. It produces copious oil and gas. And it developed a programme of mass industrialisation and agrarian reform after independence, while King Hassan II, who died in 1999, preserved his ancient kingdom like a museum. Algerians spend twice as long in school as Moroccans, and with so much oil, they earn almost twice as much.

Yet Morocco is catching up fast, thanks to its greater economic openness under Hassan’s son, Muhammad VI. The kingdom ranks 68th on the World Bank’s measure for ease of doing business—88 places above Algeria. Exporting goods from Algeria takes six times as long as from Morocco, and costs almost four times as much. Algerian businessmen complain that centralisation, corruption and red tape have crushed local production. Investment is deterred by a law that limits foreign shareholders to 49% of any concern. Look at Renault, they say. Its production line in Tangiers, in Northern Morocco, is the largest car manufacturer in Africa to be sourced from locally made parts. But its plant in Oran, Algeria’s second city, is little more than an assembly line. Algeria’s beaches can rival Morocco’s for beauty. The coves at Marsa ben Mhidi next to its sandbank with Morocco are enchanting. But tourism on its coast remains state-run and spartan, while Morocco’s are considered some of Europe’s premier escapes.

The time was when smuggling at least provided Algerians near the border with a living. Trucks and donkeys hauled subsidised basics like fuel, flour and sugar to Morocco, and returned with hashish from Morocco’s mountainous Rif. But the latest fortifications have put paid to that. Young men who once plied the routes now fill the mosques with their frustration. Unfinished villas line the roads, abandoned. Officials say the new defences will keep out the drug barons and the risk of a spillover of Morocco’s growing Berber unrest. But locals suspect that at a time of falling oil revenues, the army is simply diversifying its revenues by hogging the smugglers’ take. For $80, they say, soldiers will open the gates of army border crossings at night to those without papers.

For five brief years it was all so different. In 1989 both countries removed visa controls as part of a new Maghreb Arab Union. Trade moved freely. Algerians went west on holiday. The two countries parked their squabble over Western Sahara. Then in 1994 a bomb went off in Marrakesh, and King Hassan, nervous that the civil war in Algeria was heading his way, accused Algeria of involvement and chased out its nationals. Algeria’s generals responded by closing their borders, battening down the edges, and retreating into huffy isolation. As with the Gulf Co-operation Council, another trading bloc that has failed to deliver at the other end of the Arab world, practice rarely matches fraternal ideals.

This article appeared in the Middle East and Africa section of the print edition under the headline “Open Sesame”.

Morocco Hopes to Score Big in AfroBasket 2017

Morocco on the move - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 18:00

July 27, 2017

Like much of the world, Moroccans are devoted soccer fans—quick to proclaim their loyalty to either Real Madrid or FC Barcelona, but also to local teams like Raja in Casablanca or ASFAR in Rabat. Soccer, however, is not the only sport that people in this country—and Africa as a whole—love to play and watch. Basketball is becoming ever more popular in the region, and interest in the continental tournament of AfroBasket is growing. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) tournament, which began in 1962, is held biannually on the continent and brings together the best players from all over Africa.

Draw results for AfroBasket 2017 were announced on July 16 at The Westin Turtle Bay Resort and Spa in Balaclava, Mauritius. This year, the tournament will be hosted by Tunisia and Senegal from September 8 to September 16. During the initial Group Phase, two groups will play in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, while the other two groups play in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis. The rest of the games, the Final Phase, will be played in Tunis. Morocco has hosted the tournament four times, most recently in 2001 in Casablanca.

Morocco will be competing in Group B (playing in Dakar), alongside Angola, the Central African Republic, and Uganda. North African neighbor and host country Tunisia is in Group C (playing in Tunis), competing against Guinea, Rwanda, and Cameroon. Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and the Ivory Coast face off in Group A (playing in Tunis). To round things off, Group D (playing in Dakar) consists of five-time champions Senegal and Egypt, as well as Mozambique and South Africa. The most recent holder of the championship title of AfroBasket is Nigeria, who won in 2015.

Morocco may have a difficult road ahead, as its group competitor Angola has won the title 11 times since 1989, most recently in 2013. On the other hand, Morocco emerged victorious only once, in 1965. At AfroBasket 2005 in Algeria, Morocco placed 6th in the tournament and ranked at 8th in both 2011 and in 2013, when they defeated Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and Algeria. While they came out in 13th place in the most recent tournament, they never lost by more than six points, including two one-point games, one of which was against powerhouse Angola. Furthermore, they won against the Central African Republic that year, whom they will meet again in this year’s tournament.

Earlier in July, Moroccan power forward Abderrahim Najah expressed his wish for his country to host one of the two tournaments in the 1st Round African Qualifiers for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. In an interview with FIBA.com, Najah said that Morocco’s current roster boasts “one of the best generation of Moroccan players,” and he is determined to “finish with at least a bronze medal.” Eyes will be on him and his teammates this September to see if he can follow through on his promise.

http://www.fiba.com/afrobasket/2017

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Categories: The moroccan press

Morocco, KFAED Sign Agreements to Finance Second Part of High-Speed Line Project

The moroccan press - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 11:30

Morocco and the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) signed, on Tuesday in Rabat, two agreements on the financing of the second part of the High-Speed Line project, worth 15 million Kuwaiti dinars (474 million dirhams).

The loan agreements were signed by minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Bousaïd, KFAED director-general, Ahmed Al-Badr, and managing director of the National railway office, Mohamed Rabie Khlie, in the presence of minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, Abdelkader Amara.

Categories: The moroccan press

Morocco, Guinea Examine State of Progress of Bilateral Agreements

The moroccan press - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 11:26

Secretary of state to the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mounia Boucetta, co-chaired, Tuesday in Conakry, with minister of Foreign Affairs and Guineans Abroad, Bah Hadja Makalé Camara, a working session on the follow-up of the various cooperation and partnership agreements signed with this West African country.

The meeting, which is part of the program of a visit paid by a Moroccan delegation to Guinea, brought together representatives of the Moroccan and Guinean public and private sectors.

Categories: The moroccan press

OIC Condemns Killing Of Moroccan Peacekeeper In Republic Of Central Africa

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 01:11

Asharq Al-Awsat English
Getty Images

UN peacekeepers pictured last month in Bria, north of Bangassou.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemned an attack that targeted yesterday a group of UN peacekeeping force, in South-East of the Republic of Central Africa.

One Moroccan UN soldier was killed and three others injured while escorting a humanitarian convoy to provide water. The attack took place in the southern diamond-mining town of Bangassou.

OIC Secretary-General Dr.Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen expressed regret over the incident and ongoing violence waged by the Anti-balaka militias, in Banguasu, for more than two months which led to claim many Muslim victims, stressing solidarity with the OIC with the Central Africans.

The Secretary-General expressed condolences to the Moroccan Government, to the family of the victim and wished the injured speedy recovery.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

Two Moroccan Peacekeepers Killed In C. Africa Attack

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 07/27/2017 - 00:54

Daily Nation Kenya
AFP Photo Pacome Pabandji

UN peacekeeping soldiers from Rwanda patrolling in Bangui, Central African Republic. Two Moroccan UN peacekeepers were on July 26, 2017 killed in an attack in the country’s southeast.

In Summary

The Moroccan peacekeepers were killed in an ambush by suspected anti-Balaka fighters.

The country is struggling to emerge from a civil war that erupted in 2013.

This followed the overthrow of former president Francois Bozize, a Christian, by Muslim rebels from the Seleka coalition.

By AFP
More by this Author

BANGUI

Two Moroccan UN peacekeepers were Tuesday killed in an attack in the Central African Republic’s southeast, two days after the death of another soldier from the same contingent, the force said, blaming pro-Christian militias for the violence.

“The Minusca (peacekeeping mission) regrets to announce the deaths of two more blue helmets on Tuesday afternoon in Bangassou,” a town 700 kilometres (430 miles) east of the capital Bangui, the peacekeeping force said in a statement.

The Moroccan peacekeepers “were killed in an ambush by suspected anti-Balaka fighters, while another peacekeeper was slightly injured,” Minusca said in its statement.

The UN peacekeepers were attacked as they were stocking up with water “for the humanitarian needs of the town,” the statement added.

The country is struggling to emerge from a civil war that erupted in 2013 following the overthrow of former president Francois Bozize, a Christian, by Muslim rebels from the Seleka coalition.

VIGILANTE UNITS

The coup led to the formation of “anti-Balaka” (anti-machete) vigilante units, drawn from the Christian majority, which began to target Muslims. Both sides committed widespread atrocities.

On the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangassou has in recent weeks become the epicentre of the unrest in the Central African Republic.

A similar ambush in Bangassou on Sunday left another Moroccan UN peacekeeper dead.

ATTACKER KILLED

On Friday, a patrol of peacekeepers was shot at and one of the attackers killed, a MINUSCA spokesman told AFP, again blaming pro-Christian militias.

Six blue helmets were killed in Bangassou in May.

Former colonial power France intervened in 2013 to stop violent Christian-Muslim clashes and formally ended its peacekeeping mission only last month, hailing it a success despite fresh outbreaks of violence.

That leaves mainly the UN’s 12,500-strong Minusca peacekeeping mission to protect civilians from armed groups.

Morocco Ranked Leader in Africa and the Middle East by Risk Analysis Firm Euler Hermes

Morocco on the move - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:59

Washington, DC, July 26, 2017, Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) – In its most recent quarterly survey of 250 countries, credit risk insurance specialist Euler Hermes ranked Morocco as the only country in the “low-risk” category in the short and medium term in North Africa, and one of only three in Africa. The rating is based on monitoring “macroeconomic imbalances, the business environment, and the stability of the political system,” according to the firm.

In its analysis under the heading “It’s oh so quiet,” Euler Hermes lists key “strengths” in the country, including the leadership and popularity of King Mohammed VI; “sound commercial and diplomatic relations with the U.S. and the EU;” the economy’s resilience in the face of last year’s devastating drought; its central geographic location near to very large potential markets; and its debt service management.

The report describes Morocco as “an island of tranquility” with a solid basis for continued growth and progress, benefiting from existing strong trade ties, geographic location, and a growing capacity for regional business leadership.

The survey pointed out that “the prudent policy-mix, as well as good management of foreign exchange reserves” underpinned the economy’s resilience. With good harvests anticipated, Euler Hermes predicts GDP growth of 4.5% in 2017, encouraged by the diversification of the economy, through both better agricultural management and use of fertilizers, and the steady growth of the industrial and services sectors.

“It is no coincidence that Morocco continues to win recognition as a trade and investment platform for Africa,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel. “King Mohammed VI’s vision and economic diplomacy for the past 16 years and the evolving business-friendly government policies make it ideal for international companies and investors.”

###

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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Categories: The moroccan press

Business Brief: Key International LPG Forum to be held in Morocco as Country Readies to Build Tallest Skyscraper in Africa. Foreign Investment Rising as Auto Sector Expansion Continues – Jean R. AbiNader

Morocco on the move - Wed, 07/26/2017 - 16:37

Jean R. AbiNader, MATIC
July 26, 2017

Jean R. AbiNader, Exec. Dir., Moroccan American Trade and Investment Center

The global LPG sector is coming to Morocco in the fall to examine worldwide trends and opportunities; Morocco inks an agreement with the Chinese to build tallest skyscraper in Africa for public-private occupants; country continues to be top draw for Foreign Direct Investment in Africa; and automobile sector supply chain adds to its capabilities.

30th World LPG Forum in Morocco this fall. Continuing its leadership role in the promotion of clean  energy sources, Morocco will host the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Forum (LPG) in Marrakech in October, bringing together policy makers, international agencies, companies, and researchers to map policies, view technology advances, and develop strategies affecting the future of the industry.

According to the North Africa Post, ”As a part of the Marrakech World LPG Forum, the 10th Global Technology Conference (GTC-2017) offers participants the opportunity to see some of the most important and innovative technology being discovered in the global LPG industry. The primary aim of the GTC-2017 is to showcase the most innovative and original technological ideas from around the world and create new opportunities for the LPG industry.”

Among those expected to address the forum are government leaders, such as Moroccan minister of Energy, Mines, and Sustainable Development Aziz Rebbah, who will join industry experts to discuss varying perspectives on LPG related to commercial and environment issues. Stakeholders expected to attend include industry research entities, academic partners, LPG producing companies, equipment manufacturers, distributors, and the industry supply chain and related distribution and marketing organizations.

Due to global concerns with air quality and access to clean energy, LPG demand is growing in both developed and developing countries. Included in the program is a focus on HSE Management Systems, the Health, Safety, and Environment regulations being adopted to enhance safe operations with a view towards a sustainable future for the industry.

The African LPG market, which has increased by some 30% in the last five years, will be in focus, with Morocco as a good example, having seen an increase of 20% during that period, making it now the second-largest consuming market on the continent.

Rising above the continent. Morocco has signed an agreement with a Chinese company to build Africa’s tallest skyscraper. It will be located in Rabat as part of the Bouregreg River valley development project. Although announced earlier this year, the final agreement was just initiated by the China Railway Construction Corporation, BMCE Bank of Africa, and Travaux Generaux de Construction de Casablanca, Morocco’s leading construction company.

Utilizing the latest ecological and sustainable design concepts, the 55-story tower will reach more than 820 feet in height and include offices, hotels, and luxury apartments. It is part of a larger development that involves the construction of several innovative facilities, including the Grand Theatre of Rabat, the Arts and Culture House, the National Archives of the Kingdom of Morocco, and the Archaeological Museum.

Good news on the foreign investment front. According to a report by the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation, Morocco attracted $2.3 billion worth of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2016, leading all North Africa countries. According to the EU Bulletin, “FDI flows to the North African kingdom were mostly dominated by investments in the country’s major manufacturing base – in 2015 it attracted sizeable FDI amounts in the automotive industry especially from France. Much of the growth was due to investments… driven mainly by the expansion of foreign affiliates in the financial industry (CIB Bank and Citadel Capital) and pharmaceuticals (Pfizer).”

Morocco is on pace to do as well in 2017, with the announcement by French automotive supplier Faurecia that it will open a plant in the Free Trade Zone in Sale and intends to open another in Kenitra, its second at that location, to focus on interiors. Faurecia will invest some $18 million in this new plant, which will employ 1,300 people, and looks to double its production by 2019.

Kuwait reaffirms support for Morocco’s development. In a recent statement to the press at a loan agreement signing between Morocco and Kuwait, its ambassador in Morocco, Abdullatif Al-Yahya, reiterated his country’s support for Morocco’s economic development. The $50 million loan will support the high speed rail line connecting Tangier with Casablanca.

The post Business Brief: Key International LPG Forum to be held in Morocco as Country Readies to Build Tallest Skyscraper in Africa. Foreign Investment Rising as Auto Sector Expansion Continues – Jean R. AbiNader appeared first on Morocco On The Move.

Categories: The moroccan press

Welcome To Morocco

Western Sahara Worldnews - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 16:02

Hellinic News

Welcome to Morocco: Tangier from the Kasbah looking down on the Medina & the new port facilities.

“Welcome to Morocco,” was the greeting not just from the front desk reception at hotels but from shopkeepers, people on the street, vendors in the Medina and waiters at cafes. Expressed with broad smiles it seemed to this first time visitor to the ancient Kingdom of Morocco to be genuine.

Passersby greeted each other and this foreign writer with “good day” in Arabic, French or Spanish, depending on location.

Simple statements, yet time taken out of their day to make one feel less of an outsider had a major impact. It made one think why these ordinary gestures were important. Hospitality was not learned in university courses; it was embedded into a nomadic culture in a land of rugged beauty that preceded the Prophet Mohamed’s reinforcement of the concept:

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him honor his guest and recompense him.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is his recompense?” The Prophet said, “It is for a day and a night, as good hospitality is for three days and after that it is charity.” And the Prophet said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him speak goodness or remain silent.” (Prophet Mohamed on hospitality) 1

Does that mean Morocco is a haven of smiling calm? Hardly. Crossing a street provides challenges, as anyone who’s traveled to Southeast Asia can attest – one goes with the flow of traffic and calculates timing. Turning down another request for a tour guide was repetitive.

A firm but friendly “no thank you” may have to be repeated dozens of times as shopkeepers in the Medina and waiters in front of cafes entice visitors to enter. Sometimes simply turning in the opposite direction worked well after persistent entreaties. What never worked was a display of frustration. The response to that was being offered another glass of mint tea – the hook to make the sale.

One article cannot be a guide to an entire country. Tangier is frequently a visitor’s initial stop owing to its close proximity to southern Spain and was this travel journalist’s introduction to Morocco. Five days in the city offered a glimpse of the Kingdom’s culture, ancient past and future path creating a template for explorations in the north over the following two weeks.

Looking out from on top of the walls of the Kasbah (fortified city) onto the harbor and the Strait of Gibraltar with the Medina below it’s obvious why Tangier has occupied a prized location for nearly 7,000 years. To the original Berbers, Phoenicians and Romans it was an essential Mediterranean trading port with access to the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland and the British Isles beyond. A mere nine miles to the Iberian Peninsula it launched the Moorish conquest forever shaping the culture of what would eventually become Spain.

Whoever held Tangier controlled the front gate to the Mediterranean world, which is why during the rise of European empires in the 18th century it was hotly contested with France ultimately emerging as the dominant power spreading its influence and language throughout most of present day Morocco. Despite the end of the Protectorate in the 1950s, French remains the dominant second language of the Kingdom and a part of Moroccan culinary legacy.

Since this visit coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, Tangier epitomized the dichotomy of the Kingdom. Devout Muslims fast for 15 hours each day for 30 to 31 days – approximately 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Fasting means ingesting nothing by mouth, not even water.

Keeping cool during Ramadan

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle so the exact dates shift each year. In 2017 it straddled the end of May through the third week of June. Tangier, Rabat, Casablanca and other coastal cities averaged in the humid 80s (F) in June. Inland – Fes, Meknes, Marrakesh – temperatures soared into the low 100s (F).

Standing on that fortified wall of the Kasbah gave a birds eye view of the soon to be completed construction of Tangier’s new cruise ship terminal and fishing fleet port (commercial fishing remains a major industry in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar). Construction cranes dotted the modernizing city while just a few feet away stonemasons worked in the sweltering heat on major historic restoration projects – all without so much as a drop of water allowed.

This was not a sponsored trip for this travel journalist; it was a personal exploration. Accommodations and restaurants were not chosen with the expectation that they would appeal to all tourists although most of them should and they certainly shed light on today’s Morocco.

Bayt Alice interior

Bayt Alice is an art filled two hundred year old mansion in the ancient medina of Tangier masquerading as a budget hostel. Restored and operated by a retired French architect, Bayt Alice immerses its guest in the heart of ancient Tangier and attracts an international mix of travelers, many young. Yet good hospitality is infectious.

The roof top garden terrace was both the lounge and breakfast room where talks of adventures were exchanged and a sumptuous traditional Moroccan breakfast could be reserved at minimal cost. The rooms were not air-conditioned but the traditional design of the house allowed for adequate airflow and this journalist was provided with a fan on request.

Just outside the door were the twisting streets of the ancient Medina of Tangier ­– traditional shopping malls for this area of the globe. It was such a narrow maze of streets they would, and did, hinder invaders! Be prepared to get lost, although a properly equipped smart phone with a map app will be beneficial.

This chef journalist ate in small neighborhood cafes, often with much younger guests of Bayt Alice. Since this was Ramadan, many larger restaurants, with the exception of those specializing in the tourist trade, were closed, but street vendors and bakeries did a thriving business as locals bought food to break the fast after sundown.

From 7:30 p.m. any number of small cafes opened selling traditional tagines and couscous dishes along with salads and the copious varieties of pastries and sweets beloved by Moroccans.

Ask directions for Ch’Hiwat L’Couple a superb small neighborhood restaurant owned & run by Youssef & his wife Chef Hanane.

Sardines a la Chermoula at Rashid’s

Likewise seek out Rashid’s, a local hangout just around the corner from Bayt Alice, and savor such dishes as Sardines a la Chermoula -– each piece a sandwich of two fresh sardine fillets with cilantro, parsley, spices, lightly battered and pan fried.

In the evening take a taxi to Cafe Hafa, an institution without change since 1921 that attracted the great literary and political minds of the lost generation. Enjoy mint tea, the national drink, and the cooling breeze off the Strait of Gibraltar on its cliff side location above even the Kasbah. To drink something stronger one needs to visit bars in the larger hotels outside the Medina.

If shopping provides travel entertainment than Morocco’s Medinas will enthrall. If haggling thrills, the Medinas are akin to Las Vegas to attain that high. If on the other hand more peaceful activities are the agenda, Tangier provides.

The American Legation is the first and oldest American owned foreign property and the only one that’s a United States National Monument on the National Register of Historic Places. The Kingdom of Morocco was one of the very first to recognize American independence in 1777 and in 1821 the legation was established in the Medina of Tangier where it served as the embassy for 135 years. Still United States property it’s a beautiful building, a Moroccan cultural center and has an impressive art collection.

Dar-el-Makhzen was the 17th century Tangier palace of the Kings of Morocco prior to the French Protectorate (1912 – 1956). It remained a royal residence until the late 1930s. The beautiful palace now houses two museums, the Museum of Moroccan Arts and the archaeological Museum of Antiquities. Located at the highest point in the Kasbah, its gardens capture any breeze wafting though the city on a sultry afternoon.

There are popular excursions outside Tangier and should be arranged through licensed companies. Wide sand beaches abound and from both the Medina and newer downtown it’s an easy walk or taxi ride to the city beach. Nearly completed is the wide serpentine Beach Promenade well lit at night – all part of the vision of progressive King Mohamed VI to modernize both Tangier and the Kingdom.

American Legation, Tangier

It almost seems as if every Moroccan male over a certain age is a tour guide. They’re not. Taking a tour of any city in the Kingdom is well worth the modest expense if certified guides conduct it. Do ask your accommodations to help you arrange for an official guide and politely decline everyone else – certified guides don’t solicit on the streets or in taxis.

Over the following two weeks travels to the legendary “blue city” of Chefchaeouen, the Sufi holy city of Moulay Idress, the stunning ruins of the great Berber and Roman Empire city of Volubilis, fabled Fes, the former 17th century capital of Meknes and the rapidly modernizing current capital of the Kingdom, Rabat, reinforced the first impressions Tangier imparted. Morocco is determined to become a first world North African Kingdom balancing traditional values with modern progress.

Seventeen days in the northern Rif region of a multi-millennium old North African culture hardly makes a travel journalist an expert. Yet it opened a window of wonder onto the ancient Berber Kingdom of Mauritania, the Roman Empire, the spread of Islam, the Moorish impact of seven hundred years on the Iberian peninsula and the extraordinary continuity of the current 350 year old Alaouite Dynasty. “Welcome to Morocco” remained on the lips of the people fueling this travel journalist’s desire to return.

The Kasbah, Tangier

When you go: By ferry: Tangier is easily reached within one hour by high-speed ferry from the Spanish port of Tarifa. From the Spanish port of Algeciras the ferry runs to Tangier Med some 25 miles east of the city requiring a bus or taxi to reach Tangier. (The Algeciras ferries are convenient for visiting Morocco’s other Mediterranean coast resort cities) By air: international flights from major European cities land at Ibn Battuta Airport.

Travel with Pen and Palate every month to Greece and the world in the Hellenic News of America.

Travel with Pen and Palate returns to Greece September and October 2017. Follow his new Greek series starting with the October issue of the Hellenic News of America.

Bab Fass Gate to the Medina off the Grand Socco, Tangier

Katrina Kaif Is Taking Proper Surfing Lessons In Morocco To Surf Like A Pro!

Western Sahara Worldnews - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 15:22

PinkVilla
Home/Entertainment
Written By Upala KBR Mumbai

Katrina Kaif has been learning how to surf along the Atlantic Ocean coast.

… And no, Salman Khan is not learning this water sports!

If Salman Khan has been learning horse-riding in the ancient city of Essaouira, Morocco, Katrina Kaif is no less behind. She has been learning how to surf along the Atlantic Ocean coast but while Salman has been learning horse-riding for action sequences in the film, the actress has taken up a professional course of surfing as a hobby as she loves learning new and exciting things every day – sometimes for fun and sometimes for shoot sequence. She had done a water stunt with a seabob in Bang Bang and undergone training for the stunt for two days. Both Salman and Katrina been shooting for Ali Abbas Zafar’s Tiger Zinda Hai in Essaouira.

Says our source from Essaouira, “While Katrina has been learning for fun, she is also serious about learning it well. She has been taking wind surfing proper lessons every day from an instructor at Explora Watersports, which is the best surf and kite school in Essaouira. Salman has not been taking surfing lessons. His point of interest is only horse-riding. The surf and kite school is right across Katrina’s hotel and she walks across to it in the morning and takes lessons before shoot, whenever she gets time. Wind surfing is famous in Essaouira because it’s very windy along the coast.”

The source adds that Katrina had done her research before leaving for Morocco what Essaouira offered in terms of water sports. “She learned that Essaouira is one of the best beginner and mediocre wave surf spots in Morocco and a perfect spot for kite surfing. The instructors are certified and experienced professional teachers who help the surfers to push just that extra bit to catch a perfect wave. There are packages with daily yoga lessons given too and Katrina has taken that. So during sunset on the rooftop of the school she gets to stretch her sore muscles. It’s her second trip to Morocco and right now while she’s doing it for fun, whatever Katrina does she loves to be perfect the craft.”

When we asked the actress whether she wanted to learn how to surf like a professional, Katrina says, “Well it’s a hobby for now. Let’s see later…”

Death of Moroccan Peacekeeper in Central Africa: UNSG Extends Condolences to Morocco

The moroccan press - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 13:32

UNSG Antonio Guterres offered, on Monday, his condolences to Morocco following the death of a Moroccan soldier from the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) contingent of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), in an attack allegedly carried out by anti-Balaka militias in Bangassou.

"The UN chief offers his condolences to the bereaved family and to the Government of Morocco," said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, in a statement.

Categories: The moroccan press

MAP Board of Directors Approves 2016 Activity and Financial Reports

The moroccan press - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 13:28

The board of directors of Morocco's news agency MAP, convened on Monday under the chairmanship of culture and communication minister Mohamed Laaraj, approved the activity and financial reports of the year 2016.

During this meeting, attended by MAP managing director Khalil Hachimi Idrissi, the board approved its May 24, 2017 report and surveyed its recommendations.

Categories: The moroccan press

Al Hoceima: Six New Health Centers Built, 28 Revamped for 65.1 mln MAD, Official

The moroccan press - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 13:26

Health minister El Houcine El Ouardi said, on Monday in Al Hoceima, that six new health centrers are under construction and 28 others are being revamped in the city for an amount of 65.1 million dirhams.

These centers, under the "Al-Hoceima, Manarat Al Moutawassit" development program, will be completed by the end of this year or early 2018, said El Ouardi in a statement to the press during a field visit to get informed about the progress of projects aimed at reinforcing and diversifying health care offer in the province of Al Hoceima for a budget of over 500 million dirhams.

Categories: The moroccan press

State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Granted Audience by President Macky Sall

The moroccan press - Tue, 07/25/2017 - 13:24

Secretary of state for foreign affairs Mounia Boucetta was granted an audience, on Monday in Dakar, by Senegalese President Macky Sall.

"I am very honoured to be granted an audience by the Senegalese president, an occasion to highlight the agreements concluded by Morocco and Senegal in the different areas," said, in a statement to the press, Boucetta who is leading, upon the royal instructions, a Moroccan delegation, including representatives of the public and private sectors, on a visit to Dakar to supervise the implementation of agreements inked by the two countries.

Categories: The moroccan press

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