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Morocco Week in Review 
May 29 2021

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Morocco Vaccinated Over 8 Million People With 1st Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

Morocco is close to reaching five million people that received the second dose of the vaccine.

Safaa Karaoui, May 25th 2021 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Health announced that 8, 011, 014 people received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of May 25. The ministry vaccinated 4, 947, 483 people with the second dose. Morocco launched the vaccination campaign on January 28. The North African country seeks to reach herd immunity by vaccinating 80% of the population or 33 million people. The country uses Sinopharm and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines. In the past 24 hours, Morocco recorded 310 COVID-19 cases. The number brings the total cases confirmed in Morocco to 517, 423. Health authorities also confirmed three deaths. The death toll reached 9, 129. The number of active cases reached 2, 626. The number of recoveries mounted to  505, 668 after 276 patients recovered…
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342585/morocco-vaccinated-over-8-million-people-with-1st-dose-of-covid-19-vaccine
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US Embassy Commends Morocco for Efforts Against Gender-based Violence

Despite Morocco’s history of issues with gender-based violence and maternal mortality rates, US Charge d’Affaires David Greene applauded Morocco’s “extensive work to support the health of mothers and girls and address gender-based violence in Morocco. Rabat - The US Charge d’Affaires David Greene commended Morocco for its efforts in stopping gender-based violence and working to support the health of Moroccan women. Morocco’s United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative Luis Mora met with Greene to further the conversation on the topic. Morocco has been a big proponent in supporting women on issues such as maternal affairs and is actively working to reduce still prevalent domestic gender-based violence………………
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342649/us-embassy-commends-morocco-for-efforts-against-gender-based-violence
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Morocco Launches ‘Wladna’ Initiative to End Exploitation of Children

An estimated 30,000 children live on the streets of Morocco, according to an independent study by the SIT Graduate Institute.

Michael Sauers, May 25th , 2021 Rabat

The Ministry of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality and the Family announced “Wladna” (our children), the newest addition to Morocco’s ongoing plan to end the exploitation of children through begging. In December 2019, Princess Lalla Meryem worked with the National Observatory of the Rights of the Child (ONDE) to launch a multifaceted program for ending child poverty.  Wladna is the second stage of the program and seeks to expand government reach in combating child exploitation. As the current program is primarily based in Rabat, the new program aims to expand government child protection services to more cities throughout Morocco including Meknes, Tangier, Agadir, and Marrakech.  The government intends to nationalize the program by 2025. May 25 marks international missing children’s day and the international community recognizes the day as a reminder of the children that are abducted and face unfortunate circumstances at a young age. An independent study released by the SIT Graduate Institute in 2016 estimated that nearly 30,000 Moroccan children are homeless.  Difficult situations in Moroccan households such as substance abuse and prostitution lead to the exploitation of Morocco’s youth as street beggars. Moroccan state-media stated that the previous program rescued “142 children from precarious situations and 66% of these children were between the age of just a few months old to 4 years……
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342587/morocco-launches-wladna-initiative-to-end-exploitation-of-children
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Morocco’s New Development Model Presented to King Mohammed VI

After a journey complicated by the pandemic, the general report for Morocco’s new development model has been completed and presented to King Mohammed VI.

Toms Dumpis, My 25th, 2021 Rabat

The Chairman of Morocco's Special Commission for the Development Model (CSMD), Chakib Benmoussa, has finally presented the long-awaited general report on the Moroccan new development model. Benmoussa presented the multi-faceted, all-encompassing development roadmap to King Mohammed VI at the Royal Palace of Fez on Tuesday, May 25. “The renovation of the development model constitutes a new stage in the consolidation of the social project,” states a press release from the Royal Office.  The new model for human-centered approach to development has been in development for over a year now; it was originally announced in the 2019 Throne Day speech. The new development model will be considering serious reforms in education, health, agriculture, investment, as well as taxation…
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342592/moroccos-new-development-model-presented-to-king-mohammed-vi
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UN-Morocco to Launch ‘Reimagining a Better Future for Every Child’ Campaign

The global campaign’s main objective is to protect children’s rights.

Salah Eddine Mazouz May 24, 2021 Rabat

The UN mission in Morocco will launch the "Reimagining the future for every child" campaign tomorrow, May 25, celebrating UNICEF’s 75th anniversary, according to a statement published today by UNICEF-Morocco. The campaign builds on the symbolism of Morocco’s national children’s day celebrated every year on May 25 to conduct collective advocacy for every child to enjoy their rights. Starting from May 25, a two-week digital public advocacy campaign around children's rights priorities will be rolled out. It will be conducted with the participation of UN staff in Morocco, national partners, and open to the general public wishing to join, noted the statement. Through the campaign, the UN aims at strengthening joint mobilization to defend children’s rights. Through the campaign, the UN aims at strengthening joint mobilization to defend children’s rights. UN Resident Coordinator in Morocco, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, said of the initiative: “While capitalizing on the many achievements of children's rights in Morocco, it offers the opportunity to consider their future in light of the opportunities but also the emerging global challenges that no country is spared in terms of education, health, protection, or participation.”……
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342573/un-morocco-to-launch-reimagining-a-better-future-for-every-child-campaign
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Morocco Welcomes New Online Resource ‘Collision’ to Promote Literacy

Literacy guide service, Collision, provides Moroccans with facilitated access to books and local library resources in hopes to increase literacy rates throughout the country.

Dina Toum-Benchekroun May 22, 2021 Rabat

An investment in global literacy yields remarkable results, not only in the lives of those living in developing countries but for the future shared worldwide. Reading underpins the entire learning experience for a child and is undoubtedly the essential foundation of any educational enterprise. In fact, according to ReadyNation, it is crucial to acknowledge that “education is not only a key piece of the puzzle for poverty eradication. It is also crucial to develop the future workforce, foster innovation, and generate stable and more prosperous societies. [Businesses] need to take proactive roles in education, using their expert skills and interest in innovation to create shared value.  “In practice, this means raising educational performance levels, shaping aspirations, and creating a productive workforce.”
Increasing investment in literacy has a direct positive correlation with the rate and quality of future learning and is undoubtedly an influential factor in disrupting intergenerational cycles of poverty.

In Morocco, Collision co-founder Oussama El Hajjami and his team have launched a new literacy guidance service.––Collision will be the first cultural support service offering personalized book recommendations and facilitating access to libraries and literacy resources. Colli’profil, a section of the free online service, offers customers the option to organize a literary library where readers can adjust their goals and reading objectives while also saving and placing book orders. In this way, access to library book catalogs will become more accessible and enable an easier search process for readers that in the long run contributes to encouraging individuals to invest in reading…
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342548/morocco-welcomes-new-online-resource-collision-to-promote-literacy
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Morocco Seeks to Revamp Public Media After Decline in TV Ad spend

“We can’t continue in this direction,” said Morocco’s Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports Othmane El Ferdaous in an interview about the decline of public ad spend on TV marketing in Morocco.

Michael Sauers, May 25ht, 2021 Rabat

On Tuesday, Minister of Culture Othman El Ferdaous announced that SNRT, Morocco’s national television and audiovisual operator, will take over to control both 2M and Medi1 TV. El Ferdaous announced the creation of a “Public Media Holding,” which will make both 2M and Medi1 TV work under the aegis of the SNRT.
The minister presented the project to the Education, Culture, and Communication Committee at the House of Representatives. El Ferdaous said the restructuring of the  public audiovisual pole involves the regrouping of SNRT, 2M, and Medi1 TV. The merger is set to allow the state to manage its assets according to a strategic and integrated vision. Introducing the project, El Ferdaous said the process will go through different phrases. He said the project mainly seeks to improve the quality of product and to accelerate the digital transformation as well as to preserve public funding…………………………………………….
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342582/morocco-seeks-to-revamp-public-media-after-decline-in-viewership
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Unemployment and conflict: how COVID-19 has affected women in Morocco

Unemployment and conflict: how COVID-19 has affected women in Morocco

The Conversation  28th May 2021

Across the world, COVID-19 has completely disrupted lives. This includes the activities and social affairs within households. I wanted to explore how exactly it had affected gender roles, and the relationship between women and men, within households in Morocco. Morocco is basically a patriarchal society - laws codifying gender relations are based fundamentally on the supremacy of the male head of the family, considered the main provider and decision maker. Women's lives, choices and mobility are controlled by the male members of their families. Despite progress made at closing the gender gap in education, women are yet to reach decision-making positions, in the private and the public sphere. In a new study I wanted to explore how COVID-19 affected women and gender inequities.
I found that the pandemic has burdened women with more housework and duties at home, and that violence against them has risen. This is particularly the case among working-class women and housemaids, who are more vulnerable…
https://theconversation.com/unemployment-and-conflict-how-covid-19-has-affected-women-in-morocco-159144
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Morocco Discusses UN Sustainable Development Goals

Morocco’s leadership in the renewable energy sector is hard to deny, especially as a growing number of international organizations have begun to recognize the fact.

Tom’s dump May 27th, 2021 Rabat

The United Nations Special Representative for Sustainable Energy Damilola Ogunbiyi and CEO of Masen Mustapha Bakkoury discussed Morocco’s role in achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG’s) via video conference on Thursday. The two officials discussed Morocco’s membership in the Paris Climate Accords and noted the successes of the UN’s COP22 conference in Marrakech which took place in 2016. During the COP22 conference, King Mohammed VI covered issues specific to Africa regarding climate change and new sustainable energy initiatives.  The topic of the desertification of Africa as well as the negative effect of greenhouse gasses on the climate led the King to unveil Morocco’s new initiatives that are in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals.  One new initiative that the King mentioned in his COP22 speech was the Adaptation of African Agriculture (AAA) project, which “aims to reduce the vulnerability of Africa and its agriculture to climate change,” according to Morocco’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water, and Forests. ………
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342630/morocco-discusses-un-sustainable-development-goals
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Morocco Partners with Orange, Huawei to Donate Tablets to Students

Students in rural areas will receive tablets to ease the pressures of remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Sauers, May 27th, 2021 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Education partnered with telecom giants Orange and Huawei to donate preloaded tablets to students living in rural areas. The new initiative will send 1,500 tablets to students in the rural townships of Essaouira, Youssoufia, Rhamna, Sidi Bennour, Khenifra and Guercif. The tablets will come equipped with a monthly 20 gigabyte data allowance that will last for six months.  With the exception of the northeastern town of Guercif, all of the small municipalities fall within a 75 kilometer radius of Marrakech.  According to the Ministry of Education, the project “aims to support the use of digital technology by students and ensure equal access to students in rural areas by providing them with stimulating learning environments that contribute to their social and cognitive development.” The Orange Maroc Foundation has sought to support the digitization of Morocco’s education system  “Digital technology brings new ways of learning and facilitates access to people who are far from it for economic, health, geographic reasons, etc,” says the Orange Maroc Foundation on its website. 
Once they receive their new  tablets, students will have access to the state-designed TelmidTICE  application. The app allows students to connect with teachers virtually and access course materials. ……
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342629/morocco-partners-with-orange-huawei-to-donate-tablets-to-students
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Morocco Launches Ambitious New People-Centered Development Model

Morocco has presented a new 15-year economic plan that promotes female empowerment, green energy and technology, as well as massive social programs.

Jasper Hamann, May 27th, 2021 Rabat

Morocco's Special Commission for the Development Model (CSMD) unveiled its much-delayed 15-year economic plan on Wednesday, May 26. The chairman of the commission, Chakib Benmoussa, concluded the two year consultative process by presenting the council’s report to King Mohammed VI. Benmoussa elaborated on Morocco’s new development model in a press conference in which he outlined the basic pillars on which the country’s planning for the future will rest. 

People-oriented
The model presented appears to take a people-centered focus, calling for large-scale programs that aim to benefit and empower vulnerable people in Moroccan society and promote sustainable development across Morocco. In his presentation to the press, Benmoussa highlighted the importance of empowering Moroccan women by increasing their participation in the workforce as well as both basic and higher education.  The report highlights that the position of Moroccan women “remains very weak, with two-thirds of students not proficient in reading at the end of primary school and a school dropout rate which remains very high.” 
Morocco’s new development plan further aims to expand healthcare, highlighting that 38% of Moroccans have “no medical coverage,” leading to households paying for medical expenses.  The CSMD additionally paid specific attention to endemic poverty and inequality in Morocco, describing social protection as “still in its infancy.” The cost of private healthcare and education is a burden on the middle-class, while low social mobility and a lack of inclusion presents obstacles to the poorest in society………
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342618/morocco-launches-ambitious-new-people-centered-development-model
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Morocco Launches 303 Fully-Funded Scholarships for African Youths

By offering scholarships to African youths, Morocco aims to consolidate its position as a continental leader in higher education.

Hamza Guessous, May 11, 2021 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Higher Education announced on Monday the kick-start of “the Moroccan Scholarships for African Youths” program destined for African students wishing to pursue higher education in the country. Under the scholarships, Morocco aims to support African countries by providing training to their future elites in cooperation with public and private universities. The Ministry of Higher Education is offering 303 fully-funded scholarships across 119 specialties. African students in Morocco will also benefit from social advantages. The list of partner universities across Morocco involves the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fez (60 scholarships), Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (40 scholarships), the International University of Agadir-Universiapolis (38 scholarships), Mohammed VI Polytechnical University of Ben Guerir (30 scholarships), and Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences in Casablanca (25 scholarships). ……
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/341956/morocco-launches-303-fully-funded-scholarships-for-african-youths
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Morocco Tops List of Dream Wedding Destinations

According to data compiled from Pinterest, Morocco is the most sought-after destination for those planning their weddings.

Toms Dumpis, May 28th, 2021 Rabat

Even if most couples have put real-life ceremonies on the back burner due to COVID-19, among the people dreaming of getting married abroad, Morocco is the top wedding destination for wedding planners. A UK-based credit comparison company, Money, compiled a report on the latest wedding trends and aspirations using data pulled from Pinterest, a social image sharing platform. The company looked at top destinations, themes, and types of dresses. …….
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342637/morocco-tops-list-of-dream-wedding-destinations
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Bab Zouina: Where Tourism Meets Community and Community Means All

Bab Zouina or the “Door of Beauty,”’ is an eco-lodge/ retreat center encapsulating grace in all aspects of its operations: For the guests, the space, the hosts, and the world.

Aine Donnellan, May 29th, 2021

In the saga of our globalized world, tourism is both the villain and the hero. It has caused environmental damage, cultural commodification, and declined living standards for local communities across the globe. But tourism is also a source of joy, a key driver of socio-economic development in many countries, and has increased our collective environmental awareness. Bab Zouina is taking small steps to ethically integrate tourism into its local community. ………
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342642/bab-zouina-where-tourism-meets-community-and-community-means-all
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Morocco Takes Gold at the 28th Pan-African Mathematics Olympiad

Morocco was triumphant for the second year in a row at the Pan-African Mathematics Olympiad in Tunisia.

Michael Sauers, May 30th, 2021 Rabat -

Six high school students from different regions of Morocco participated in the 28th Pan-African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) hosted virtually in Tunisia on May 23-24.  According to the PAMO, the annual competition consists of two 4.5 hour rounds and participants must answer three questions per round. The event challenged students to answer advanced calculus and trigonometry questions…….
https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2021/05/342635/morocco-takes-gold-at-the-28th-pan-african-mathematics-olympiad
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