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Morocco Week in Review 
October 19, 2019

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Report: 9 Million Moroccans Poor or at Risk of Poverty

The World Bank report warned that the country’s economy “continues to operate below potential.”

By Safaa Kasraoui - Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. Oct 11, 2019 Rabat

The World Bank issued a report, providing a new overview of Morocco’s economy and the challenges impeding socio-economic progress in the North African country. The report indicates that Morocco’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to “slow further to 2.7% in 2019.” The World Bank explained that the slowdown of the GDP is due to a “decline in agriculture.” The  2018-2019 agricultural season in Morocco was poor, mainly due to weak rainfall.

Morocco’s King asks financial institutions make loans more accessible to the youth

October 12, 2019

King Mohammed VI said on Friday Morocco’s banking and financial sector should make it easier for young entrepreneurs and small and medium sized enterprises to access loans. He urged the government, Central Bank and commercial banks to develop a programme for that purpose, and decried the “limited financial support” for graduates and for creating small and medium-sized enterprises. King Mohammed is the ultimate voice of authority in Morocco with wide powers to influence policy. In July he said there should be a new development model to curb inequality and fight poverty. Morocco has one of the most advanced banking systems in Africa and its banks have invested heavily around the continent in recent years. However, only 60% of adult Moroccans had a bank account at the end of 2018, according to Central Bank data. One in three Moroccan graduates are unemployed according to the planning agency, which expects Morocco’s economy to grow by 2.7% this year after 3% last year

Real Life in Rabat, Morocco

“Rabat is my hometown- it is the city in which I feel at ease and happy.”

In North Africa, living in a capital city means enjoying the magical mixture of modernity and authenticity. Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is a true example of a city where life begins with a rich history, and grows with modernity. Majestic, discreet, and elegant, the peaceful capital of Rabat is connected to the city of Salé by a bridge. It is the third-largest city in Morocco with a population nearing 2,000,000. It is also a coastal city located in the central-western part of Morocco, around 90 km north of Casablanca. Rabat is the main political and administrative center of the country, and here you can find the royal palace, government buildings, embassies, and headquarters of national and international organizations.

The city has always been an administrative and calm city. In general, people wake up early and go to bed early as well; there is not too much entertainment in the evening. However, there are so many places to visit inside and outside the city. What you will love about the city of Rabat is the fact that it is located in the intersection of all the roads, which makes it accessible by all means of transport. In Rabat, you will find people from all nationalities who either study, work, or live in the capital. There are also people who work in Casablanca, but prefer to live in Rabat.

Individual Freedoms Advocacy Gains Ground in Morocco

By Tamba François Koundouno - Oct 16, 2019 Rabat

Solidarity with Hajar Raisouni, the journalist jailed for “illegal abortion” and sex out of wedlock, is morphing into a broader call from civil society for more individual freedoms and human rights. “In the beginning, we were just two, then 5, then 10, then 200… and now we are as many as 12,000 signatories,” said Sonia Terrab, a Moroccan writer turned activist. Late last month Terrab co-wrote a manifesto in defense of Raissouni.  Speaking at a conference in Casablanca on October 14, days after a Rabat court upheld the accusations against Raissouni, Terrab passionately talked about the role of social movements in the emergence of a new, rule of law-governed Morocco. ………………………….

Report: 340,000 Moroccans Suffer From Schizophrenia.

Many Moroccans still link mental disorders such as schizophrenia to superstitious beliefs.

By  Yahia Hatim  - Oct 17, 2019 Rabat

Around 340,000 Moroccans are suffering from schizophrenia, according to a report published by Chams and Sila, two Moroccan non-profit organizations for the promotion of mental health in Morocco. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self, and behavior. Symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions, abnormal behavior, disorganized speech, and disturbance of emotions. The study showed that 75% of Moroccan families with a schizophrenic relation don’t really understand the illness. As many as 25% of those households believe that schizophrenia is caused by supernatural reasons, such as witchcraft and djinns (ghosts).

New Higher Education Minister Says Morocco’s Future Depends on Effective Education System

Only after succeeding its educational reforms, both ministers argued, can the country expect to reach its dreamt development level.

By Tamba François Koundouno - Oct 11, 2019 Rabat

In his first public comments after the recent government reshuffle, Morocco’s newly appointed Delegate Minister for Education and Scientific Research, Driss Ouaouicha, said that his department holds the key to driving up Morocco’s performance in many other essential sectors for the country’s dream of effectively implementing its new development model. Ouaouicha, who was speaking at his installation ceremony in Rabat, on Thursday, September 10, spoke extensively about the “critical importance” of education, especially higher education and specialized professional training. Honoring the “royal vision” that underpins the recent government reshuffle requires a working formula to make Morocco’s learning institutions competitive and highly performing, he argued…..
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The Hidden Gems of Essaouira’s Cafe Scene

Like any seaside town, Essaouira is brimming with picturesque places to sip a coffee and modern chill spaces for smoothies and ambience. The hidden gems are well worth the finding.

By  Madeleine Handaji - Oct 14, 2019 Essaouira

I love cafes; I always have. My mother says that even as a toddler I was the first to suggest a cafe trip and to make judgements on the qualities of the place. There is a certain freedom and joy in sitting alone in a cafe with a book, reading a little, and watching the world go by.  A favorite Sunday activity of mine is to take a book and sit for an hour or so in a cafe in Essaouira medina (old city) and just be. Obviously now I have a child, there is a lot less reading involved, but my son, at 6 months, is already an avid people watcher.  However, there is difficulty in choosing the right cafe.

Minister of Education Announces Opening of 46 New Second Chance Schools

The new schools are expected to host more than 7,000 young students.

By Yahia Hatim - Oct 11, 2019 Rabat

The ministry of national education, vocational training, higher education and scientific research’s headquarters in Rabat hosted yesterday, October 10, the inauguration ceremony of the 2019-2020 academic year of second chance schools. During the ceremony, minister of education Said Amzazi announced the opening of 46 new second chance schools. Second chance schools are schools for young people, aged between 12 and 20, who dropped out of school and would like to get back to studying. They aim to offer vocational training in different industries, coupled with basic language, communication, and soft skills classes.

Moroccan Student Qualifies for Final Phase of the Arab Reading Challenge

A Moroccan nine-year-old participant won last year’s prize.

Safaa Kasraoui  - Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News. Oct 15, 2019 Rabat

Moroccan high school student Fatima-Zahra Akhiar has qualified for the final of the 2019 Arab Reading Challenge, aired on MBC TV since September 27.
The student, 15, qualified for the final phase of the competition along with seven other participants. The next episode of the show is set to be aired on Friday, October 18. Akhiar is the only Moroccan participant representing Morocco at the fourth annual competition organized by the International Foundation of Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum.

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