By Tarek Bazza - October 20, 2018 Rabat
Christopher Shays, a former US Congressman, has shared an analysis about Morocco’s achievement in counterterrorism and security and how the US in missing investment in Morocco.
Shays’ article was published in the US magazine International Policy Digest on October 19.
Morocco, as one of US allies and long-standing partner in Africa, could be an opportune country for the US to achieve success in the continent.
Natural landscapes are declining worldwide. Approximately 30 percent of the world’s natural forests are expected to be lost by the end of this century. Further, 25 percent of all land on earth is currently under threat of desertification, resulting in severe soil erosion and falls in productivity, food security, and biodiversity. Morocco is no exception. Over 90 percent of Morocco’s historical forest cover has already been decimated due to the combined effect of overexploitation, overgrazing, and worsening climate. The disastrous extent of Morocco’s environmental degradation poses a major threat to the country’s flora and fauna. According to the IUCN Red List, over 223 plant and animal species in Morocco are endangered. In addition, severe erosion, water run-off, floods, and soil depletion are critical concerns for human well-being, particularly in the Atlas communities who depend on natural resources and are marginalized with most experiencing systemic poverty……….. http://www.mediaforfreedom.com/content/effective-practices-sustain-development-morocco
Friday, October 19, 2018
Morocco has tripled its budgetary allocation to the education sector in its 2019 appropriation from 700 million dirham to 2.1 billion dirham, Mr Mustapha El-Khalfi, the spokesman for the Moroccan Government and Parliament, has disclosed.
El-Khalfi made this known on Thursday in Rabat during a welcome meeting with participants attending the maiden News Directors’ Forum shortly after briefing the Moroccan media on the decisions reached by the central government.
The forum was organised by the Rabat-based Atlantic Federation of African Press Agencies (FAAPA).
October 11, 2018
Morocco’s 2019 draft appropriation bill will give priority to social development notably in the fields of education, health and employment, said a statement read out by Spokesman for the Royal Palace, Abdelhak Lamrini.
Morocco faces a dilemma common to many countries in Africa and the Middle East: given limited resources and large youth population, how does it overcome structural barriers to balanced and equitable economic growth and still achieve political openness?
This is a critical problem for Morocco because it is in a democratic process towards greater government power-sharing that should be empowering citizens and local officials. Yet, as Moroccans become more immersed in the country’s promised political openness, they don’t feel that their quality of life has improved, and may in fact have declined. This is equally true in Tunisia as well where after impressive strides in moving towards more democratic governance, the lack of equitable economic growth and setbacks in political reform are paralyzing its forward progress.
By Tarek Bazza - October 19, 2018 Rabat
The Moroccan government council has approved the MAD 443.206 billion 2019 finance bill, increasing spending across the board with particular increases in the subsidy fund and education.
The finance bill, Law 18.80, aims to achieve a growth rate of 3.2 percent in GDP, based on an assumption of a 70-million-hectare cereal crop and an estimated average price of $560 per ton of butane gas, according to a statement the government council released after its meeting Thursday………..
Food from these colourful markets, street-food stalls and cafes is not only delicious, it’s often cheap, too – and a great way to explore this bustling city. Eating out is one of the highlights of Marrakech. The place to start is the immense, teeming Djemaa el-Fna square, which every evening sees up to 100 food stalls set up with their makeshift kitchens, tables and chairs and serving counters groaning with a cornucopia of Moroccan dishes. Waiters can be pushy, prices seem a steal until the bill comes as the total mounts with additions you don’t recall ordering: olives, bread, tomato salad, mint tea. Most visitors will experience a meal there once, but there are many other places waiting to be discovered in the souks of the medina and beyond.
As global health organizations call for a worldwide ban of the practice, a Moroccan sociologist explains why it persists in her country — and how to stop it.
Ibtissam Ouazzani HuffPost Maghreb
A Moroccan sociologist is warning that “virginity tests” are dangerous and ineffective but will persist in her country as long as girls are viewed as vessels of family honor.“The value of a boy is tied to his sexual experience prior to marriage, while the value of the girl is tied to her virginity,” Soumaya Naamane Guessous, who has extensively studied women’s sexuality in Morocco, said in response to a global campaign launched earlier this month to end the practice.
By Morocco World News - October 21, 2018 Rabat
The UN agencies, UN Human Rights, UN Women along with the World Health Organization (WHO) have called for a ban on the virginity testing for women and girls worldwide.
Virginity test still exists in Morocco. It is generally required of young girls and women about to marry.
UN agencies and WHO said in a joint statement that the virginity examination has no scientific basis.
By Oumaima Fassi Fihri - October 22, 2018 Rabat
The Ministry in charge of Moroccans Residing Abroad and Migration is launching an Amazigh (Berber) theater tour throughout the world on Monday.
The launching ceremony will take place on Monday at the international conferences center in Skhirat, near Rabat, at 6 p.m.
Over 12 Amazigh troupes will give 50 performances on the tour for Moroccans residing abroad (MREs). The tour is an effort to diversify the cultural activities offered to the MRE and to promote the Tamazight languages and cultures as a Moroccan heritage.
Jean AbiNader Sunday 21/10/2018
A comprehensive strategy for youth development that integrates military service, national service and educational reform should be a priority.
To many, Morocco’s proposed law on national conscription is less about enabling young people and more about protecting the country’s power structure.
Morocco has a large, well-trained army that is expensive to maintain. Having thousands of young people rotating in and out on an annual basis may not be the most efficient use of its capabilities. Some warn that giving weapons training to those not committed to a military career may create a security risk, especially if there are few economic prospects for those people when they complete their year of service.
By Ahlam Ben Saga - October 19, 2018 RabatThe mandatory military service will significantly increase Morocco’s spending over the medium term, according to the latest Fitch Group report. The report by Fitch Solutions Macro Research, a unit of Fitch Group, forecasts that Morocco’s budget deficit is expected to be 3.4 percent of GDP for 2018, compared to 3.6 percent in 2017. However, the report anticipates that “the recent re-imposition of mandatory military service poses the greatest upside risk to spending over the medium term,” which will disrupt the country’s fiscal consolidation.
By Ano Shumba
Canadian organisation Marchande d’Idées Interculturelles (MDI) and the Embassy of Canada to Morocco will for the first time premiere a short film at the fifth edition of the Visa For Music conference in Rabat, Morocco from 21 to 24 November.
Titled Résonance Culturelle, the 13-minute film is an intercultural exchange between Canada and Morocco that features musical acts such as Daraa Tribes (Morocco), RedTail Spirit Singers (Canada) and Sacred Wolf Singers (Canada). Produced by MDI, the documentary explores the benefits of musical collaborations and contributes to the strengthening of cultural ties between the two countries.
“I am really proud to present the result of the collaboration between Canada and Morocco at the fifth edition of Visa For Music,” MDI president and founder Nathalie Lévesque said. “It is thanks to the openness and the development of these exchanges that we can really enrich each other.
“Through music and the arts, I develop intercultural exchanges between groups of musicians from different cultures and countries. We establish favourable conditions to help them explore each other’s know-how, customs and cultural heritage.” Lévesque told Music In Africa that the film helps to foster healthy relationships among artists.
By Morocco World News - October 16, 2018 By Mohammed Bella Rabat
The 2018 Marrakech International Film Festival (FIFM), November 30-December 8, will honor the two eminent women.
The festival will honor American actress Robin Wright and French director Agnes Varda, along with the iconic Godfather of cinema, Robert De Niro.
By Morocco World News - October 14, 2018 Rabat
The French Agency for the Promotion of Higher Education, Hospitality, and International Mobility, “Campus France,” has ranked Moroccans as the largest foreign student community in France during the 2017/2018 academic year.
French newspaper Le Monde shared the agency’s statistics regarding foreign student communities in France.
According to the statistics, the number of Moroccan students enrolled in French higher education institutions is 39,855 students.
By Morocco World News - October 11, 2018 Rabat
The “One Million Schoolbag Initiative” launched by King Mohammed VI for the 2018-2019 back-to-school season has benefited 4,365,000 children. The annual program that started in 2016 at the demand of King Mohammed VI aims to help less fortunate children by distributing schoolbags full of school supplies.
The initiative reflects the Moroccan plan to support the educational sector, promote schooling, and generalize elementary schooling. It also denotes efforts to give equal chances to Moroccan children, regardless of their social backgrounds.
October 18, 2018
Susquehanna University students have the option of embarking on a new Global Opportunities (GO) program that will take them to the northwest African country of Morocco.
In the GO Morocco program, students will examine the country's overlapping cultural histories of indigenous Berbers and Arabs, with West African and European influences. Students will also study the varied traditions and practices in the multi-lingual nation during this GO Short, three-week experience.
Mosa'ab Elshamy, Associated Press Thursday, October 25, 2018 RABAT, Morocco (AP)
In Morocco's Middle Atlas mountains, an ancient tradition is fading. The distinctive tribal tattoos that indigenous Amazigh women acquired in a coming of age ritual are slowly disappearing as their bearers age and die.
Strictly observant Muslims and women who want to be modern have shunned the practice, which dates to pre-Islamic times. Today, the tattoos largely are found on older Berber women who farm in rural areas.
Amazigh tattoos, whether simple or elaborate, usually consist of lines, dots, triangles and circles. Girls get their first ones during puberty; those who tolerate the pain are considered mature enough for the adult responsibilities of life in the rugged mountains.
October 24, 2018
A new campaign aimed at tackling sexual harassment has launched in Morocco, in the aftermath of a spate of high-profile sexual assaults in the country.
Masaktach, meaning “I will not be silent”, has been described as Morocco’s version of the #MeToo movement, by encouraging women to be vocal about their experiences of abuse in the North African Kingdom.
The movement started following media reports of a girl, identified only as Khadija, who revealed that she had been kidnapped by a gang in June and held for two months, during which she was repeatedly raped, tortured and forcibly tattooed. Footage of Khadija showed expletives, crude drawings and even swastikas tattooed across her body alongside cigarette burns and bruises, prompting public outrage.
Zineb Belmkaddem, one of the organisers behind #Masaktach, said the campaign was subsequently started to show solidarity with other Moroccan women who were subject to male sexual violence: “We began the campaign to raise the voices of women and point to how they had been either ignored or silenced and even attacked.”
By Kerstin Opfer
Natural landscapes are declining worldwide. Approximately 30 percent of the world’s natural forests are expected to be lost by the end of this century. Further, 25 percent of all land on earth is currently under threat of desertification, resulting in severe soil erosion and falls in productivity, food security, and biodiversity. Morocco is no exception. Over 90 percent of Morocco’s historical forest cover has already been decimated due to the combined effect of overexploitation, overgrazing, and worsening climate. The disastrous extent of Morocco’s environmental degradation poses a major threat to the country’s flora and fauna. According to the IUCN Red List, over 223 plant and animal species in Morocco are endangered. In addition, severe erosion, water run-off, floods, and soil depletion are critical concerns for human well-being, particularly in the Atlas communities who depend on natural resources and are marginalized with most experiencing systemic poverty. http://www.highatlasfoundation.org/blogs/953-effective-practices-to-sustain-development-in-morocco?mc_cid=863ca68c0d&mc_eid=LWt2yvsFeq
Since 2012, the Moroccan Jewish community has been helping local farmers by donating land around ancient cemeteries for the planting of fruit tree nurseries. The aim: ending systemic rural poverty by transitioning from grain to crops more suited to local growing conditions. By Yossef Ben-Meir, director of the High Atlas Foundation In 2010 Morocco launched a national project to restore its Jewish cemeteries. Approximately six hundred Hebrew "saints" are buried in various parts of the kingdom. Many were laid to rest over a millennium ago and 167 of the sites have seen work begin on the preservation of graves and their immediate surroundings. Starting in Marrakesh, the Jewish community began lending land to the High Atlas Foundation near seven of these cemeteries, with the idea of planting organic fruit tree nurseries for the benefit of farming families and schools.
Other public and private donors to the High Atlas Foundation community tree nursery initiative include the Moroccan High Commission of Waters and Forests and the Fight Against Desertification, provincial offices of the Ministry of Education, as well as universities and co-operatives. Yet it is the land contributions that are vital for the success of sustainable, organic and integrated agricultural development using community tree nurseries.
Ask an American college student what they want to do in their life and inevitably, at some point, they will say some version of “to make a difference.” Ask a young professional why they are transitioning in their careers and you are likely to hear “I want to find more meaning in my work.” Despite high levels of education, we young Americans struggle to find opportunities to create positive change in the world.
In 2014, Unesco ranked Morocco among the 21 poorest countries in education. According to USAID, the likelihood of a first grader going on to complete high school is less than 15 percent. But there is no shortage of opportunities to create lasting change here. This week, on a volunteer trip with the High Atlas Foundation to distribute school supplies donated by Fre Skincare, I had the opportunity to meet a woman who was doing just that.
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