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Morocco Week in Review 
January 8, 2022

Virtual Magazine of Morocco on the Web

Akhannouch: Morocco’s Green Plan On Track to Reach Its Strategic Goals

Akhannounch highlights the role of Morocco’s Green Plan in the socio-economic development of rural areas.

Souad Anouar Jan. 05, 2022

Rabat Morocco’s Head of Government, Aziz Akhannounch, has extolled the achievements of Morocco’s Green Plan, arguing that the North African country is well on track to achieve its strategic sustainable agriculture goals 14 years after launching the plan.  Addressing the parliament on Tuesday as part of a monthly plenary session on general policy, Akhannouch said: “Since its launch in 2008 by His Majesty the King, Morocco’s Green Plan has constituted a real mechanism for economic and social development, in particular for the benefit of the different categories of farmers who form the bulk of the rural population.” 
Morocco’s Green Plan aims to place the agriculture sector as the core driver of Moroccan economic growth. Its goals include investing in sustainable agricultural production, doubling the national GDP, creating 1.5 million jobs, and multiplying the value of exports of sectors where Morocco is competitive.
The plan was implemented by the Agricultural Development Agency, which is responsible for ensuring the development of a modern and solidary-driven Moroccan agriculture with a focus on high productivity and added value. …

Morocco Eager to Support Media in Digitalization Transitions

Morocco’s Communication Minister says “press enterprises need a new economic model based on the ongoing digital transition and technological changes.”

Issam Toutate Jan. 05, 2022 Fez

Morocco’s Culture, Youth, and Communication Minister, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, has pledged to support Moroccan media organizations in their digitization efforts and related endeavors amid the COVID crisis. Morocco’s “press enterprises need a new economic model based on the ongoing digital transition and technological changes,” he said, arguing that Moroccan newspapers should not be left behind in the ongoing digital transition. As “media enterprises’ profit remains small,” he said, the “time has come to approve a new tax model for the media enterprise.”  Bensaid made the comments earlier today during his first consultative meeting with media organizations and journalist trade unions at the Rabat-based Higher Institute of Information and communication. Welcoming the representative of the press corps and the  Moroccan national council for press (CNP), Bensaid spoke of the government’s readiness to support the digital transition in the information industry. Themed “National Press: Options to Face New Challenges and Qualify,” the meeting constituted an opportunity for media professionals to “think of a general vision on press companies and journalists,” said the Moroccan minister. ….

Essaouira: US Delegation Visits Beneficiary Schools of 'Secondary Education' Project

06 January 2022 Essaouira

The provincial directorate of national education, preschool learning and sports in Essaouira is multiplying meetings and field visits to ensure the monitoring of the optimal implementation of the project "Secondary Education" which is part of the 2nd program of cooperation "Compact II", concluded between the government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the government of the United States, represented by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). In this context, a US delegation led by the resident director of the MCC in Morocco, Richard Gaynor, recently made a field visit to schools benefiting from this project in the province of Essaouira, in order to learn more about the upgrading of infrastructure, conducted under the project. In this regard, the US delegation visited the Jabir Ibn Hayane high school (commune of Sidi Ishaq) and the Mohamed Zerktouni high school (commune of Ounagha). This visit allowed members of the US delegation to take note of the progress of the implementation of actions planned under this project, said the provincial directorate in a statement. Worth 111.4 million US dollars, the project "Secondary Education" aims to improve the quality and relevance of secondary education programs and ensure equity of access to this education.

Morocco’s Startup Funding Reached All-Time High in 2021

Despite reaching an all-time high level of $29 million, the startup ecosystem in Morocco still faces significant obstacles hindering its growth.

Jihane Rahhou Jan. 06, 2022 Rabat

Moroccan startups raised a record figure of MAD 269 million ($29 million) in 2021, according to Techcabal, a leading platform in African startup news.
The figure attests to the pro-market business environment Morocco has been cultivating in recent years. Still, it remains relatively low in comparison to the $100 million startups raised in Egypt, according to the same source. Hostile bureaucracy and lack of Fintech innovation are among the factors accounting for the margin between Morocco and Egypt, explains the report…..

Morocco Commits to 80% Renewable Energy Use by 2050

Morocco’s new goal of 80% renewable energy by 2050 illustrates the nation’s commitment to sustainable development.

Souad Anouar Jan. 04, 2022 Rabat

Morocco’s Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development has submitted to the UN a long-term low greenhouse gas emission strategy for 2050, renewing the country’s commitment to sustainable development and sustainable energy.  The strategy, which the government finalized in October 2021, suggests raising by almost 30% Morocco’s current clean energy ambitions.  While the current objective aims for 52% renewable energy in the total installed capacity by 2030, the new roadmap suggests raising the share of renewable energies to 70% by 2040 and 80% by 2050 in the electricity mix, in terms of both energy and capacity. …..

Significant Ruins of Early Jewish Community Found in Morocco

Jihane Rahhou Dec. 28, 2021 Rabat

An expedition team of Moroccan, French, and Israeli archeologists succeeded in unearthing ruins of a synagogue in the Atlas mountains, revealing remnants of Morocco’s Jewish community. The team excavated ruins of the synagogue in a small town at the foot of the Atlas mountains bordering the Sahara. The synagogue adds to an existing body of evidence suggesting the town was home to a Jewish community known as Tamanart between the 16th and 19th centuries. Researchers unearthed scriptures, ritual artifacts, amulets -religious charms that protect their holders from bad luck-, and other items. Some had significant damage likely caused by natural factors and looting.

The researchers located the synagogue after conducting field research, including interviews with locals who offered information about their Jewish neighbors. The locals estimated their Jewish neighbors migrated from the area about 70 years ago. The salvaged texts were then transferred to research centers in Morocco to piece together the scripts using artificial intelligence.  With royal sponsorship, the researchers are now following leads to locate and interview people with ties to the Jewish community who once lived in the same village. Researchers are hoping for help in reconstructing the texts. Setting eyes on a nearby village next, the excavation will be widened to the whole region. The goal is to find more evidence and further map the history of the Jewish community in the region.  Located on the outskirts of Ifrane, a small village is thought to be home to some of the most ancient Jewish communities in North Africa and the oldest one in Morocco.

In recent years, Morocco took multiple measures to revive and showcase its Jewish heritage on the legislative and academic levels. In the 2011 constitution, Morocco recognized Jewish heritage as part of its national identity.  Many doctorate dissertations focusing on Morocco’s Jewish heritage were published in recent years, showcasing Morocco's growing interest in valuing its Jewish heritage.

Morocco’s Spiritual City Fez Celebrates Its ‘Annual Day’

Fez, a city where antique and modern sites harmoniously blend, celebrates its annual day, marking a history exceeding 12 centuries.

Elmahdi Echabouch Jan. 04, 2022 Fez

Morocco’s spiritual capital Fez celebrates today, January 4, its annual day proclaimed in January 2011, marking a rich legacy with influence reaching all the corners of the globe. Since its establishment in 808, Fez’s exquisite lifestyle has drawn international attention, with considerable numbers of tourists visiting the city each year to experience an unprecedented mixture of antique and modern sites and landscapes. The city’s annual day has become noted for debates and initiatives that explore all the aspects of the city’s development. Civil society associations take the opportunity to discuss and evaluate recent advancements in diverse fields ranging from heritage preservation to sustainable development.


Moroccan Scholar Comes Second in Qatar Global Prize for Dialogue Among Civilizations

Morocco has also advocated for other worldwide anti-hate measures through the United Nations in the past.

Issam Toutate Jan. 05, 2022 Fez

Moroccan Scholar Comes Second in Qatar Global Prize for Dialogue Among Civilizations

Abdelkrim Elkellali, a professor at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fez, won on January 3 the 2nd Qatar Global Prize for Dialogue of Civilizations.
Elkellali presented his research entitled "the role of the media in preventing hatred and building civilizational cooperation on the horizon of establishing cooperative civilizations."

The Qatar Committee of the Alliance of Civilizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized the 3rd edition of Qatar Global Award for Dialogue Among Civilizations under the theme “the role of Da'wah (advocacy) and Media in Consolidating Values of Coexistence and Reducing Hate Speech.” The jury withheld the first prize due to the absence of a work that “achieved the standards of excellence worthy of its value, symbolically and materially.” The third prize went to Ali bin Mubarak from the Community College of Qatar with research on hate speech and the problem of civilized communication.

An incentive prize was granted to research on the role of civilized communication in promoting coexistence by Khalif Mustafa Hassan Gharaibeh from Al-Balqa Applied University in the Kingdom of Jordan. Another incentive prize went to professor Abdul Salam Rayaah for his research on social networks and its effects on activating discourse to reduce hate speech and enhance coexistence. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chairman of the Qatar Committee for the Alliance of Civilizations, stressed on this occasion that the Qatar Global Award for Dialogue among Civilizations 2020-2021 falls within the implementation of his country’s objectives set out in the Qatar Plan for the Alliance of Civilizations (2018-2022). #####################################

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