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Morocco Week in Review 
January 12, 2019

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Miami Teen Organizes Literature Drive for Moroccan Orphanage

By: Aya Hamza |January 4, 2019

Already having known I would have the privilege of touring the country this summer, I knew that great socioeconomic inequity plagued the rather dense population.
Seeing an adorable little girl no more than three years old, rendered dirty to the point where her face bore a grayish overtone, repeatedly tap on the glass of my bus’s window in Agra, India. In Athens, a boy searching for scraps under a car. In Delhi, a group of school-aged boys who although a few seconds earlier were giggling amongst themselves, continually begged my father and me for a few rupees to spare; justifiable by the means of wealth disparity and lack of access to education in India. For me to perkily globe-trot in clear view of childhood poverty, I couldn’t help but feel guilty although their living situations weren’t directly of my doing. The Tangier Tots Book Drive was an effort, thankfully supported by many amazing friends and family members, to create a minuscule change in this global epidemic.

Gender Gap : Morocco, one of the least performing countries in North Africa

Morocco is ranked 137th by the recently issued World Economic Forum report, the Global Gender Gap. Although the kingdom managed to better its positioning and score compared to last year, it remains one of the least performing countries in North Africa. Morocco is at the bottom of the ranking provided by the 2018 Global Gender Gap Report. The survey issued Tuesday, December the 18th, by the World Economic Forum ranks the Kingdom 137th among 149 countries in the world. Scoring 0,607 on a scale from 0.0 to 1.0 point, the country remains one of the worst performing states in the region.

Morocco Received Over MAD 30 Billion in Foreign Funds in 2017

Morocco’s external funding increased by 35.7 percent between 2016 and 2017, leading to MAD 332.35 billion in public external debt in 2017.

By Tarek Bazza Rabat

Morocco received MAD 30.4 billion in foreign funds in 2017, up 35.7 percent compared to 2016, according to the Treasury and External Finance Department (DTFE), daily newspaper L’Economiste reported January 2.

Moroccan NGO: Ban Virginity Tests, ‘Not Legally Required’ Is Not Enough

By Safaa Kasraoui -  Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. Jan 3, 2019 Rabat

Following campaigns targeting violence against women, Moroccan NGO Alternative Movernment for Individual Freedoms (MALI) has launched a campaign to ban premarital virginity tests for women in Morocco. Although virginity tests are not legally required before marriage, several Moroccan activists and feminists have condemned their widespread usage. In December, MALI posted a statement to announce their campaign “my vulva is mine.” ================================================

FAO Names Argan Water System in Morocco as Global Agricultural Heritage

The designated system features a rainwater reservoir dug into a rock

By Morocco World News -  Jan 9, 2019 Rabat

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) designated an agricultural system based on argan in Morocco as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) site, in November. The decision came following a proposal by Morocco’s Oasis and Argan Zones National Agency (ANDZOA). The agro-forest-pastoral system of Ait Souab-Ait Mansour, in the southern Chtouka Ait Baha province, relies on the “metfia,” a rainwater reservoir dug into a rock. Locals have been cultivating argan trees in the region for centuries. ================================================

Moroccans Are Pessimistic About Their Ability to Save Money in 2019

Moroccans are as pessimistic as ever about their ability to save money, expecting that food prices will continue to rise even in 2019.

By Ahlam Ben Saga Rabat
According to a study by the High Commission for Planning (HCP) based on interviews with Moroccan households, 82 percent of households said that they will be unable to save in the next twelve months. Describing households who do not expect to save as “pessimistic” about their financial situation, HCP showed the balance of opinion between households who expressed negative opinions versus the ones who expressed positive opinions. In the fourth quarter of 2018, the balance of opinion was –63 points, slightly better than the -65 points in the quarter before it, but worse than the -59 points a year earlier.

Study: Child Marriages in Morocco Are Increasing

HCP’s report based on the latest statistics from the Ministry of Justice found that the overwhelming majority of child marriage waiver requests are made for teen girls instead of for teen boys.

By Ahlam Ben Saga - Rabat

Child marriage continues to be an issue in Morocco despite the country’s attempt to curb underage marriage, especially for girls, by raising the legal marriage age from 16 to 18 in Article 20 of the 2004 Mudawana (Family Code). Child marriages can be legalized if the family gets a waiver for the minor. The number of waiver requests for minors increased to 41,669 in 2015, compared to 38,331 in 2007, according to the Moroccan High Commission of Planning (HCP). Ninety-nine percent of the requests were for female minors. Among the requests made, adouls (notaries) accepted 85 percent and rejected 15 percent.

The Evolution of Moroccan Immigration: a Lesson for All Countries

By Lahcen Elyasmini MARRAKECH, Morocco, Dec 13 2018 (IPS)

One of the reasons Morocco embraced hosting the Global Compact on Migration is because it is country in which the story of immigration is deeply embedded. The evolution of the Moroccan immigration phenomenon occurred during the second half of the 20th century. The first waves of migrants began at the end of the 1950s and at the beginning of the ‘60s, heading toward Europe—France, in particular.

Morocco Amends Law on Banned Plastic Bags, Adds Measures for Seizure

The government introduced amendments to the law banning plastic bags. Moroccan consumption of the raw material used in manufacturing plastic bags dropped by 50 percent since 2015.

By Tarek Bazza - Rabat

The Government Council adopted Bill 57.18  amending and modifying Law 77.15 on the ban of plastic bags on Thursday. Law 77.15 prohibits the manufacture, import, export, marketing, and use of plastic bags. The new bill “aims to establish a solid and flexible legal arsenal for the disposal of plastic bags,” Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said at a press briefing after the weekly government council meeting.

Australia Vogue: Morocco’s Chefchaouen, Top Destination for Tourists to Visit in 2019

Known as “Morocco’s blue pearl,” Chefchaouen’s blue, artistic beauty has always attracted tourists and locals alike.


 International magazine, Vogue Australia, has listed Morocco’s Chefchaouen first among top 12 destinations to visit in 2019. Although each and every region in Morocco has its unique beauty, Chefchaouen may be the city that could rival Marrakech, Morocco’s red city and one of the most popular travel destinations for tourists visiting the country. Vogue Australia has recommended Chefchaouen to international tourists who might have already visited Marrakech and are looking for a change. ================================================

How a backpacking holiday in Marrakech inspired a lifestyle brand

Hongkonger Tiffany Chan was unsure what to expect when she visited Morocco. When she found an artisan making embroidered sandals called babouches it sparked an idea for a business selling the handmade footwear

Wednesday, 09 January, 2019,

Last year Tiffany Chan Hiu-yung quit her job as the editor of a food magazine and decided to travel for a year. She went to places like Italy, Nepal, Australia and Canada to recharge and challenge herself, travelling with only a backpack, and even lived in a van for a month in New Zealand with a woman she met on the plane. In September in Marrakech, Morocco, Chan, 29, was entranced by the souks, or open-air markets where she met many artisans, not necessarily offering their products for sale but also whatever was on their stove in the shop, from tagine to mint tea.

Haves of Hercules the most northwestern point in Africa is an ancient cave surrounded by legends.

Economist: Morocco’s Political System Lying Between Authoritarianism, Democracy

Only one African country has reached “full democracy” according to last year’s Democracy Index by the Economist.

By Zakaria ouadghiri Rabat

Morocco ranks 100th out of 165 countries, with 4.99 points out of 10, in the Democracy Index 2018 by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Morocco, ranked third in the MENA region after Israel and Tunisia, falls into the category of hybrid systems between “authoritarian regimes” and “flawed democracies.” The report categorized Algeria and Egypt (9th and 10th in MENA) as authoritarian regimes.

North Park Eatery Brings Together Flavors of Morocco and Baja

Medina is scheduled for a February debut

by Candice Woo Jan 10, 2019,

A new concept making its debut on El Cajon Boulevard will put a spin on the cuisines of Morocco and Baja California by finding the crossroads between the two. Medina will open next month in North Park, where it replaces Cruiser Taco. Founder Alia Jaziri says the “refined fast-casual” eatery will be modern, colorful, and stylishly designed, featuring quick-service during the day and transforming into a lively beer and wine bar in the evening.

35% of Moroccan Electricity Came from Renewable Sources in 2018

Morocco produced 35 percent of its electricity mix from renewable energy sources in 2018 and has a plan to reach 52 percent by 2030.Rabat – Morocco produced 35 percent of its electricity output fromrenewable energy sources by the end of 2018 with an installed capacity of about 3,000 megawatts, Minister of Energy, Mining, and Sustainable Development Aziz Rabbah said Wednesday in Rabat at the ministry’s media day.

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