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Morocco Week in Review 
April 10 2021

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

US Delegation Visits Morocco’s Dakhla to Explore Business Opportunities

The visit of the US delegation to the region is significant as it is a signal that Washington has upheld Trump’s proclamation on the Sahara.
Rabat – A delegation from the Young Democrats of America paid a working visit to Dakhla, southern Morocco last week.
The visit sought to explore business opportunities in the region, as well as to discuss US-Morocco cooperation.  The visit is another signal that the new US administration will most probably uphold Trump’s recent proclamation on Western Sahara. The former president of the US recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over the region on December 10, raising eyebrows among Polisario supporters. Following Trump’s departure, Polisario’s sympathizers were eager to see Biden reverse the US’ position. The new administration confirmed it continued to support the decision the Trump …………………
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2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Morocco

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor March 30, 2021

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe Department of State will release an addendum to this report in mid-2021 that expands the subsection on Women in Section 6 to include a broader range of issues related to reproductive rights. Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary national legislative system under which ultimate authority rests with King Mohammed VI, who presides over the Council of Ministers. The king shares executive authority with Head of Government (prime minister) Saadeddine El Othmani. According to the constitution, the king appoints the head of government from the political party with the most seats in parliament and approves members of the government nominated by the head of government. International and domestic observers judged the 2016 parliamentary elections credible and relatively free from irregularities.

The security apparatus includes several police and paramilitary organizations with overlapping authority. The National Police Force manages internal law enforcement in cities and reports to the Ministry of Interior. The Auxiliary Forces also report to the Ministry of Interior and support gendarmes and police. The Royal Gendarmerie, which reports to the Administration of National Defense, is responsible for law enforcement in rural regions and on national highways. The judicial police (investigative) branches of both the Royal Gendarmerie and the National Police report to the royal prosecutor and have the power to arrest individuals. Civilian authorities maintained effective control over security forces. Members of the security forces committed some abuses.
The Kingdom of Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara and administers the territory that it controls. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO), an organization that seeks the territory’s independence, disputes Morocco’s claim to sovereignty over the territory. Moroccan and POLISARIO forces fought intermittently from 1975, when Spain relinquished colonial authority over the territory, until a 1991 cease-fire and the establishment of a UN peacekeeping mission. After resignation of Personal Envoy of the Secretary General Horst Kohler in May 2019, the UN Security Council returned to one-year renewals of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. As of December, the UN secretary-general had not yet appointed a new personal envoy and the mission mandate was extended for another year……………………
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Morocco Slides Down to 144th Rank in 2021 Global Gender Gap Report

By Toms Dumpis -  Apr 7, 2021 Rabat

Morocco’s fight for gender equality, much-lauded by local politicians, has not been overly effective according to the 2021 Global Gender Gap Report, which ranked Morocco 144th globally. The annual study, conducted by the World Economic Forum, “benchmarks the evolution of gender-based gaps” across four-axes, that of economic participation and opportunity, health and survival, availability of education, and political empowerment.

According to the study, another generation of women will have to wait for gender parity, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have set back achieving gender parity from 99.5 years to 135.6 years. Compared to last year’s study, Morocco has moved down one place, ranking 144th out of 156 countries total, and 12th in the MENA region. In Morocco, only 23.4% of women participate in the labor force, compared to the MENA average of 31%. Furthermore, in the North African country, 87.2% of all managerial positions are staffed by men. Looking at Morocco across the four axes, it has scored the best in political empowerment, ranking 113th globally. In educational attainment, Morocco ranks 116th, while when it comes to health and survival, it ranks 129th. In terms of overall economic participation and opportunity, Morocco ranks 148th.

Morocco to Include Agadir’s Igudar in UNESCO World Heritage

The name of Agadir originated from the Amazigh word Igudar, which are the collective granaries used as shelters for foodstuffs, livestock, as well as for harsh weather conditions. 

By Hamza Guessous  - Apr 7, 2021 Rabat

Morocco has launched a project to include collective granaries, called Igudar (the plural of “agadir”), to the list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. The Minister of Culture, Othman El Ferdaous, announced the news via a Facebook post on Monday. The ministry of culture organized a workshop with the objective of renewing the indicative list of national heritage proposed for UNESCO recognition, announced El Ferdaous. Historical sites featuring on the UNESCO world heritage list are recognized for the roles they played in society. The Igudar, in particular, were indispensable in the daily life of the Amazigh people……………………..

Moroccan, Israeli Embassies in US to Host First Joint Mimouna Celebration

The joint celebration of Mimouna is part of the broader push to cement Morocco-Israel ties in a wide range of fields, including politics and culture.

By Dina Toum-Benchekroun - Apr 4, 2021 Miami

In partnership with Sephardic Heritage International in Washington (SHIN-DC) and the Smithsonian Institution, the Moroccan and Israeli embassies in Washington are hosting the first-ever joint Mimouna.  Mimouna is a common tradition among several North African Jewish communities. Mostly associated with Moroccan Jews, it marks the end of Pesach or Passover. During Passover, the Jewish community traditionally abstains from consuming or owning leavened bread referred to as hametz and, on Mimouna, the holiday is celebrated by the return to eating leavened bread. …

Morocco’s Bakers, Millers Clash over Quality of Flour

Moroccan bakers and millers are clashing just weeks before Ramadan, the Islamic holy month when consumption of bread and other wheat-based food typically increases. 
By  Tamba François Koundouno April 8th, 2021

With Ramadan around the corner, the quality of the flour consumed in Morocco is at the heart of an acrimonious arms-wrestling between Moroccan bakers and millers.  The Moroccan Federation of Bakeries and Pastry Shops (FNBP) has said that the flour used in Morocco is unfit for human consumption. Dismayed by the comments, millers have suggested they are the victims of exaggeration and over-generalization. Mohamed El Giri, the president of the FNBP, lifted the bitter debate to its highest point when he said this week that “the flour consumed by Moroccans is not even suitable as fodder for livestock.”  El Giri’s comments earned the wrath of the National Federation of Flour Mills (FNM), who has threatened to take legal action against what they consider as wildly inaccurate and “defamatory allegations.” …

Morocco Organizes Africa’s First Summit for Education Through Sport

By  Salah Eddine Mazouz  - Apr 1, 2021 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of National Education and NGO TIBU Maroc announced on March 29 the first summit for education through sport in Africa.  The summit which will take place from April 3 to 6 under the theme: “Unleashing African youth potential through the power of sport,” aims to highlight how sports are an institutional necessity for emerging countries. The event is scheduled to take place in different Moroccan cities including Rabat, Casablanca, Dakhla, and Laayoune, and other African capitals. TIBU Maroc is a Moroccan non-governmental organization founded in 2010. It focuses its efforts on using sports, basketball particularly, as a means of education, social inclusion, and human development. Morocco’s Minister of Education Saaid Amzazi and TIBU Maroc President and Founder Mohamed Amine Zariat announced the organization of the first education through sport summit in Africa in a press conference in Casablanca. According to Morocco’s state media, the conference saw the presence of several actors including heads of diplomatic missions in Morocco, private actors, and civil society representatives……………

First International Student Voice Conference to Take Place April 8

By Toms Dumpis-  Apr 6, 2021 Rabat

The first international Student Voice Conference will be held virtually, on Thursday, April 8, in collaboration with a variety of universities and organizations. According to a press release, the event, “Student Voice Conference: Student Agency and Wellness in the Remote Environment,” is being organized by the International Conference on Education Quality (ICEQ), the Ibn Zohr University in Agadir, Morocco, and the International Collaboratory for Leadership in Universally Designed Education (INCLUDE), from the University of Worcester, in the UK…………………..

International Year for Elimination of Child Labor Launches in Morocco

1 April 2021 Rabat

Minister of Labor and Vocational Integration Mohamed Amekraz reitereated on Wednesday Morocco’s commitment to theInternational Labor Organization(ILO)-sponsored International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor. During a video conference, Amekraz laid out Morocco’s 10-year plan to combatchild laborwithin the country and cited the royal announcement on the issue during the Africities Summit of 2018 in Marrakech, state media reported.The summit takes place every three years and serves as the pinnacle of cooperation between African nations for globalization and urbanization. The next Africities Summit will take place in Kisumu, Kenya in November of 2021……………
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Rape Survivors in Morocco Struggle to Balance Trauma, Social Taboos

1 April 2021 Rabat

A group of lawyers in charge of defending rape survivors gathered today for a press conference in Morocco’s capital city ofRabat to highlight the struggle and difficulties that survivors face in their everyday life.Morocco has witnessed a significant number of rape cases recently, with several perpetrators now behind bars.During the press conference, the lawyers expressed their unconditional support for the sexually abused women and asserted that the Moroccan state and society lack moral and materialistic means for providing sufficient mental and financial support.The defense committee unanimously affirmed that the compensation the survivors received, who now suffer ongoing mental trauma due to sexual abuse, do not cover the harm or cure the burden they will carry for the rest of their lives.The conference was also an opportunity for storytelling with the aim of instilling moral values in civil society……………….
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Essaouira Day To Strengthen France-Morocco-Israel Economic Dynamics

1 April 2021 Rabat

Organizers announced “Essaouira Economic Day” on Wednesday during a web conference on investment that the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Morocco (CFCIM), Essaouira Innovation Lab, and Essaouira-Mogador Association jointly hosted. Essaouira Economic Day will take place on October 26-27 in the southern city in hopes to strengthen economic relations between France……………….
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