Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

Morocco News meets the World

older | 1 | 2 | 3 | (Page 4) | 5 | 6 | .... | 65 | newer

    0 0

    Is the tension between 2M and the Islamist PJD nearing an end?

    By Jawad Maniani

    Morocco World News

    Casablanca, May 22, 2013

    What is going on now between 2M and the Minister of Communication, Mustapha ELKHALIFI, reeks of a deep conflict that started since the arrival of the islamist Party of Justice and Development to power, a conflict that is clearly felt in each party’s statements.

    2M’s director of news department, Samira Sitayl, known for her modern tendencies, has plainly and openly been against the specifications that Mustapha Elkhalfi drafted to rectify Moroccan’s public television. She argued that these specifications, instead of contributing to developing Moroccan public television, will in fact “tighten and crush the freedoms that channels needs to offer their viewers a good and up-to-the level programs”.

    A source from inside the department of news states that the “ Party of Justice and Development' deputies’ statements at the parliament, which accuse the channel of not being unbiased and subjective in its programs, are very dangerous." The same source added that “HACA, as the highest institution of the media, would have addressed 2M if it had noticed that the latter is biased and not objective.”

    The source further added that “the the Party of Justice and Development’s speech reeks of hostility and grudge, and that the party is trying to turn public mood against 2M and its journalists, a speech that 2M and all the Moroccan society should be cautious of.”

    On the other hand, Mustapha Elkhalfi, the Minister of Communication, implicitly referring to 2M and its program Mubachara Maakum’s last episode, devoted to discuss the government’s decision to stop the implementation of 15 billion dirhams of investment budget, said that “the TV reports which some channels are broadcasting, are giving wrong information to the public opinion about the government’s failure in encouraging investors and reinforcing investments, and that these inaccurate reports will threaten the country’s economic stability."

    Abdssamad Hiker, a member of the Party of Justice and Development, accused the channel of being “a tool to spread discord in the country” and of acting “against Moroccan identity” and of being “at arm’s length from Morocco’s reality.”

    Far away from the exchange of accusations between the two parties, we will try to offer a point of view to objectively determine whom to side with. To begin with, we will start by the following questions: Does 2M really reflect the Moroccan reality with all its aspects? Is it contributing to educate and help create generations able to be effective and active in their society? Is the Party of Justice and Development genuinely trying to reform the media pole, or is it simply striving to get nationwide popularity by these actions?

     Two years ago, and especially during the Arab spring when many Moroccans rallied on the streets on February 20th to call for large-scale reforms, most analysts argued that 2M, and especially the department of news, was biased towards the official narrative and gave it insufficient coverage. Most Moroccans shifted toward foreign channels to follow what was going on at home, while 2M was busy advertising for new Mexican and Turkish soap operas.

    Aljazeera was at the time Moroccan’s most reliable source of information, a shift that may leave room for foreign channels to shape Moroccan’s public mood according to their agendas. 2M could have gained widespread popularity if it had genuinely been close to Morocco’s harsh realities.

    A close look at 2M’s films and programs shows the mediocrity and the alienation that it is inculcating in Moroccans’ minds. The Mexican and Turkish operas, with their dubbing into Darija, are fast invading Moroccan’s houses and minds. These shows will result in generations of mentally alienated individuals who are unable to find their places in their society. These programs will no doubt create schizophrenic generations with two opposed cultures in their mind.

    The Justice and Development Party, which reaps the fruits of the Moroccans who took to the streets to demand deep and radical changes in the country’s institutions, highly relies on these reforms to honor the promises it made during its election campaign. Moroccans are yet to see these reforms.

    The war between the two parties is still going on and will only be brought to an end once Moroccans decide which party to side with.

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


    0 0

    Morocco, a “model” of reforms, progress and fighting terrorism: US congress hearing

    Washington, May 22,2013 (MAP)

    Morocco stands as a model of reforms, progress and fighting terrorism, in a region targeted by the covetousness of Al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups and gangs of human trafficking and drugs, said Rudolph Atallah, eminent member of the Michael Ansari center for Africa of the US think tank, Atlantic Council. Thanks to a successful holistic approach in an increasingly volatile region because of the terrorist threat and its implications on the international community security, Morocco is emerging as a model of reforms, progress and fighting terrorism, noted Atallah at a hearing held Tuesday in the sub-committee of the US House of representatives foreign affairs committee. Warning against the more and more evident nexus between the polisario and criminal organizations active in Algeria, Mauritania and Mali, the retired military officer underlined the Moroccan anti-terrorism strategy and efforts to upgrade the judiciary system while focusing on prevention to bar the way before violent extremism and organized crime through a train of economic, political, social, religious and education reforms. These wide-ranging reforms have favoured the development of a culture of democracy, pluralism and equality in Morocco, he said. The expert warned that populations of what the UN is calling +the African arch of instability+ extending from the Tindouf camps in south-western Algeria to the Aouzou band in Chad- are at the mercy of various political actors and of the terrorist Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its allies. From drug-trafficking to arms trafficking, to terrorist and kidnapping activities, these plagues abound in the region, and are a recipe of a time-bomb endangering international security and US interests, he concluded in his testimony titled “conflict and instability in the Sahara and the Sahel: local dilemmas, international implications”.


    0 0

    Republic of Seychelles withdraws its recognition of Polisario’s SADR

    By Youssef El Kaidi

    Morocco World News

    Fes, May 22, 2013

    The number of states withdrawing their recognition of the so called “Sahraoui Republic” has been on the rise in the last two decades and the latest country to withdraw its recognition of the Polisario’s so-called republic came from the Republic of Seychelles. The Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean Paul Adam, reiterated Tuesday, May 21st in Addis Ababa his country's support for the territorial integrity of Morocco and for the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco as a feasible solution for the Sahara conflict.

    Speaking after a meeting with his Moroccan counterpart, Saad El Dine Otmani, the Seychelles official noted the important role of Morocco on the African scene and praised the efforts of the Kingdom in the Security Council, noting that his country is “willing deepen its bilateral relations with Morocco.

    Paul Adam, on the other hand, announced a forthcoming visit to Morocco for the signing of several agreements in the fields of tourism, vocational training and fishing, besides a sister-cities agreement between Rabat and Victoria.

    Mr. El Otmani arrived on Monday in Addis Ababa as part of a tour on the sidelines of 21th summit of the African Union (AU), organized under the title “Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.”

    In spite its use of human rights rhetoric to weaken Morocco’s position, the called “SADR” has failed to convince the wider international community of its claim to statehood. More countries are withdrawing their recognition of the “Sahraoui Republic” as they come to the conclusion that he last thing the region of the Maghreb needs is a failed state. Morocco’s autonomy plan, which was presented to the Security Council in April 2007, is viewed as a “serious and credible” proposal for the resolution of the conflict, which lasted for more than three decades.

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


    0 0

    Morocco joined on Tuesday the Organization of economic cooperation and development’s convention of mutual assistance in fiscal matters.       A statement of the Moroccan embassy in Paris stresses that Morocco is "making a new step in its ambition to benefit from advantages of increased multilateral cooperation."      This is a "new commitment" from Morocco to "build a more inclusive and fair society", the Moroccan statement adds, "renewing commitment to facilitate international cooperation and improve national fiscal legislation in the respect of tax-payers’ fundamental rights".      The Convention facilitates international co-operation for a better operation of national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers. The amended Convention provides for all possible forms of administrative co-operation between states in the assessment and collection of taxes, in particular with a view to combating tax avoidance and evasion. This co-operation ranges from exchange of information, including automatic exchanges, to the recovery of foreign tax claims.      It was developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the OECD in 1988, before a Protocol amending the Convention was  opened to all countries in 2009. Over 60 countries have signed it.      The Moroccan ambassador in Paris, Chakib Benmoussa, recalled during the signing ceremony Moroccan efforts to face challenges of macro-economic balances, public debt, and consolidation of the Moroccan economy competitiveness.  He explained that reforms of the Moroccan taxation system is part of a model combining development, lasting public resources, efficiency and competitiveness in a way that secures quality services for citizens and economic operators while consolidating social solidarity and cohesion.       The OECD secretary general noted that Morocco, which has adhered to several multilateral instruments of the organization, is also playing a leading role within the development center and contributing to the activities of several committees: territorial development, public governance, education and agriculture.      He also pledged to intensify this cooperation and bring his support to the ongoing reforms in Morocco in order to achieve prosperous, inclusive and sustainable development.

    PARIS, May 22, 2013 (MAP)

    Morocco joined on Tuesday the Organization of economic cooperation and development’s convention of mutual assistance in fiscal matters. A statement of the Moroccan embassy in Paris stresses that Morocco is "making a new step in its ambition to benefit from advantages of increased multilateral cooperation." This is a "new commitment" from Morocco to "build a more inclusive and fair society", the Moroccan statement adds, "renewing commitment to facilitate international cooperation and improve national fiscal legislation in the respect of tax-payers’ fundamental rights". The Convention facilitates international co-operation for a better operation of national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers. The amended Convention provides for all possible forms of administrative co-operation between states in the assessment and collection of taxes, in particular with a view to combating tax avoidance and evasion. This co-operation ranges from exchange of information, including automatic exchanges, to the recovery of foreign tax claims. It was developed jointly by the Council of Europe and the OECD in 1988, before a Protocol amending the Convention was opened to all countries in 2009. Over 60 countries have signed it. The Moroccan ambassador in Paris, Chakib Benmoussa, recalled during the signing ceremony Moroccan efforts to face challenges of macro-economic balances, public debt, and consolidation of the Moroccan economy competitiveness. He explained that reforms of the Moroccan taxation system is part of a model combining development, lasting public resources, efficiency and competitiveness in a way that secures quality services for citizens and economic operators while consolidating social solidarity and cohesion. The OECD secretary general noted that Morocco, which has adhered to several multilateral instruments of the organization, is also playing a leading role within the development center and contributing to the activities of several committees: territorial development, public governance, education and agriculture. He also pledged to intensify this cooperation and bring his support to the ongoing reforms in Morocco in order to achieve prosperous, inclusive and sustainable development.


    0 0

    Highlights of Moroccan editorials, May 22

    Rabat, May 22, 2013 (MAP)

    The government performance and relations between officials and the media are the major topics commented this Wednesday by editorialists.

    In an editorial titled “what’s the use of governments”, Le Soir Echoes surveys the history of governments in Morocco since independence in 1956, stressing that education reforms have made Morocco waste several years as they deepened social gaps while health and justice are experiencing several problems.

    In addition, it goes on, economic management, water management and youth issues have been neglected, insisting that this is a reminder to those in charge of the real priorities.

    The government needs to restore to political commitment its spirit of sharing and society improvement and come back to simple values like solidarity, mutual help and the respect of basic democratic values, the editorialist argues, insisting that “time has come to re-conquer the heart of young people by involving them in a unifying project, instead of leaving them wondering on the use of governments”.

    In an editorial titled “thank you boss”, Aujourd’hui le Maroc comments on the advice by the head of government and leader of the country’s first parliamentary forces to members of his party to abstain from reading newspapers.

    This is a surprising remark from the leader of a party which is holding the communication ministerial portfolio, it notes stressing that the Moroccan press “only crime” is doing its job in looking for information.

    The editorialist recalls the major part played by the press, quoting the British former prime minister “criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things”.

    “Our politicians ought to meditate this quote”, the editorialist says.


    0 0

    Morocco's investment Roadshow in Shanghai and Mumbai

    Rabat, May 23, 2013 (MAP) More than 40 major companies interested in investing in Morocco’s are expected to visit the Moroccan investment roadshown co-organized by the Moroccan Investment Development Agency and the Financial Times paper this May 28 and 30, respectively in Shanghai and Mumbai. The initiative seeks to enhance the status of Morocco as a destination for international investments, and strengthen the confidence of economic and financial decision-makers around the world in the country's potentials, a statement of the Moroccan agency says. Panels organized on this occasion will be moderated by the Financial Times correspondents in the visited countries in the presence of industry, trade and new technologies minister, Abdelkader Amara. The program features a discussion on the potential of Morocco as a competitive platform to access European markets, Africa and the United States, thanks to the free trade agreements signed by the Kingdom.
    The statement said that participating companies represent car, chemical, food and textiles and clothing industries, in addition to enterprises operating in energy, mining, telecoms, information technology, retail and banking.
    According to the same source, the co-sponsorship of a reference business media is likely to attract major decision-makers to this tour that will also include later this year six other major cities: Milan, Sao Paulo, New York, Frankfurt, Seoul and Tokyo.

    0 0

    Highlights of Moroccan editorials, May 23

    Rabat, May 23, 2013 (MAP)

    Inter-government divisions entailed by the decision by a coalition member, Istiqlal party, to withdraw from the government and the announced fusion between three leftist parties are the major themes commented this Thursday by Moroccan editorials.

    Aujourd'hui le Maroc notes that while the Istiqlal party leader’s criticism of the head of government’s “party for justice and development” can be understood, his criticism of ministers from his own party are less understandable.

    The editorialist notes that the Istiqlal party has its own structures that can evaluate objectively the performance of the ministers belonging to the party and give them a chance to defend their action, deploring that the harsh criticism of the party leader might be considered as a means of settling his own accounts with the party’s figures who had supported his rival at the party’s elections of a secretary general.

    For Akhbar Al Yaoum Al Maghribia, the government crisis is still persisting as the Istiqlal party secretary general continues to kindle the conflict while the head of government continues to affirm that the government is sound and that the majority is very sick at a time the two parties are waging a fierce war against each other in the media.
    The two men claims are irreconcilable, the editorialist writes, noting that the Istiqlal party leader is claiming a total overhaul of the government composition  in order to get rid of the Istiqlal ministers who had supported his rival during the elections for the position of secretary general, take hold of some ministerial departments held by other parties and postpone the local elections to 2015. Meanwhile, the editorial goes on, the head of government is calling the Istiqlal party’s leader to renounce his bellicose language, propose new minister-candidates from his party, respect the head of government, and behave like a leader of a majority party rather than like a union leader threatening to call it quit every time his grievances are not met.

    For Al Ahdath Al Maghribia, the crisis in Morocco knows no limits, especially at the economic level. The editorialist notes that while leaders of western countries are taking a series of measures to limit damages, in Morocco, the government crisis continues to affect the management of public affairs.

    The editorialist added that the government crisis threatens to hamper the quest of solutions to the economic problems and jeopardize the pursuit of the people interests.

    On the same topic, Le Soir argues that the electoral system is to be blamed for the current crisis as this system makes it impossible for a single party to win absolute majority and be thus able to manage affairs coherently with its own program and to be accountable for it, explaining that the present system, designed to protect the pluralism and diversity of the Moroccan society, entails the shattering of voices among tiny parties that do not have any fundamental ideology.

    It stresses, in this regard, that the fusion of three leftist political parties, announced on Wednesday, illustrates the irrelevance of shattered programs.

    It is time to start examining the electoral system issue, and hence electoral, warding and set a timetable for a deep reforms, supervised by neutral circles and think-tanks instead of waiting until elections are near.

    For L’Economiste, the fusion shows that the left parties are more worried than they actually show, calling on the Socialist union for popular forces (USFP/opposition) to be more aggressive, as only two leaders are emerging now in the political landscape.

     The editorialist also warns small parties of dangers of extinction unless they merge with other parties.

    Annahar Al Maghribia which runs an editorial titled « the return of socialist forces » sees that the components of the socialist family have set aside their divergences and decided to be a real opposition to face the political, economic social, cultural and liberties regression. The editorialist considers that the start of the fusion process between the USFP, the Labor Party and the Socialist party will put the left unification train on the right track, calling other parties of the left to join the family, as unification has become a must.

    0 0

    Morocco enjoys immense moral credibility in Israel to make progress in peace in Middle-East: US magazine

    Washington, May 23, 2013 (AFP)

    Morocco enjoys immense moral credibility in Israeli society to make headway with the peace process in the Middle-East and broker talks between Palestinians and Israelis, US magazine "The National Interest" said on Thursday.

    "The Kingdom of Morocco stands out as a country well positioned to play the role of an Arab mediator," said the magazine in an article entitled: "Arab Peace Must Come First". It recalled that King Mohammed VI, as chairman of Al Quds Committee, "has endowed schools, hospitals, and other charitable projects for the benefit of the needy among the city’s (Al Quds) Arab population," in addition to the fact that the monarch’s grandfather has been credited with saving his country’s large Jewish population once 265,000 strong from the Nazis. The article, authored by Ahmed Charai, also recalled that King Mohammed VI received a phone call two weeks ago from President Obama, during which the American leader invited him to visit Washington as he is in a position to play a special and pivotal role.

    0 0

    Dedication of African unity square in Rabat, a token of Moroccan unshakable African identity

    Rabat, May 24, 2013 (MAP)

    As part of celebrations of the Africa day in Morocco, marking the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African unity, a square in Rabat was named on Friday "African unity", a token to confirm Morocco’s will to consolidate its African identity.

    Dedication of African unity square in Rabat, a token of Moroccan unshakable African identity 24 May 2013 The square was dedicated at a ceremony chaired by minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Saad Dine El Otmani and dean of the African diplomatic corps in Morocco, ambassador of the Republic of Central African, Ismaïla Nimaga. The Moroccan official stressed that this event illustrates the resolve of Morocco, under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, to give a continuous and constant trait of its solidarity with Africa, promote south-south cooperation, establish peace and stability in the continent and guarantee lasting development in all African countries. After the battle for independence, Africa should endeavour for unity and comprehensive development, he urged. On its part the dean of the African diplomatic corps underscored that Morocco has always been standing by Africa, expressing the hope that the Kingdom will return to the African family fold.


    0 0

    Morocco: Technology has changed our life for ever

    By Aissam El Hani

    Morocco World News

    Tetouan, May 26, 2013

    I still remember when I was a little kid we used to live in the country side. A lot of us used the old made in Germany gas lamps as a lighting system inside houses. We used to communicate a lot with our families. Our fathers and mothers used to tell us fairy tales before we sleep or even when we ask them to do so. Sometimes we enjoyed the stories and other times we spent nights full of horror as they were speaking about strange creatures that we still recall even as grownups.

    We used the radio a lot. Most of the family was ordered to stop talking in order to know about what is going in the capital and in the country. Having a local Radio at that time was a science fiction. Next, and despite no electricity, a new technology has come into existence and made a shift in our lives. Black and white television was a new means of entertainment for all the family. We used to wait for our special soap-opera Guadalupe that has witnessed an endless success in Morocco. Our national TV used to broadcast only few hours per day, but we were eager to watch the whole time and sometimes we switch off the TV to keep the battery life longer.

    Living in the north of Morocco we were lucky enough to watch the Spanish television TVE. It was restricted for us youngsters. We were allowed only to watch news with our parents. Sometimes we switch on the TV in their absence to see what we were not allowed to and then we discovered  that we really shouldn’t watch with them scenes, such as kissing and even love-making.

    Communication with families either inside or outside the country was very hard, especially since there was no phone and most of people used to be illiterate. Family members who immigrated to Europe used to record cassettes and send them via post. Most of the time those cassettes didn’t reach their final destinations.

    The telephone was good news for everyone and   it made it a bit easier for families to send and receive news. There used to be one phone in the neighbor’s apartments and people used to book appointments and meetings to reach their families. People could not afford to spend long hours in telling every detail of their daily life.

    Morocco introduced satellite receivers in the end of 90s and since that time peoples’ minds and behaviors changed forever. After that a big change took place as people opened their minds on other cultures and other behavior starting from the way of dressing to even the way of kissing.
     Our lives have dramatically changed after Moroccans started using Internet and cell phones.  We can divide people here into main three categories. The first one is the majority that uses Internet or smart phones for normal communication without having a very deep understanding of the gadgets they are using.

    The second on is more technology-savvy. This category of people use internet and smart phones to read news and watch news, upload and download documents. The third one is the more advanced category that uses this tool in all the daily routines starting from making phone calls to blogging and web mastering.

    A very interesting point to shed light on is before it was hard to speak about some serious social problems that were considered taboos and they are still somehow. For example, in the past it was hard to tackle the issue of the single mother in public or in Mass -Media. However, thanks to TV and internet people have raised this issue and gave it exposure to the point that the government finds itself more compelled than ever to take women’s demands more seriously.

    Moroccans are among the most users of internet and social media in Africa. However, very little of them use it for educations and scientific research as some reports claim that the word sex and prone come in heading research of Moroccans and other people of the Arab world.


    0 0

    Moroccans’ mixed feelings towards Mawazine Festival

    By Omar Bihmidine

    Morocco World News

    Sidi Ifni, May 27, 2013

    For several years now, a large number of Moroccans are slamming the Mawazine Festival on the grounds that it should not be Morocco's priority for the time being. Irrespective of their principles and leanings, these Moroccans agree on disagreeing with celebrating this festival, particularly in the presence of the current economic crisis.

    Yet, no sooner does the opening of the festival begin than thousands of Moroccans hurriedly head towards it in a state of excitement, enjoyment and utter ecstasy. At this point, some of the festival attendees themselves once added their voice to those criticizing the event and the fortune spent on it, but their attendance can only be a sign of schizophrenic uncertainty.

    With the number of Moroccans sharing pictures and caricatures mocking the Mawazine festival among themselves, you’d think that the event would be attended only by very few Moroccans. Yet on the opening ceremony of the festival, 150,000 people flocked to attend Rihanna’s show.

    At a time when some Moroccans are left in hospitals to suffer in heart wrenching situations and when many families barely make ends meet, others are enjoying life at the festival and clapping hands in felicity and apathy.

    Prior to the event, nearly all Moroccans speak negatively of the event, depending on their own reasons. Once the event kicks off they applaud the affluent singers. After the event, they regret their attendance, saying that they were seduced into it.

    No one claim that those who are sharing these videos and pictures are the same people who criticized the lavish way in which foreign artists are paid with hard currency, but what is sure is that Moroccans have mixed feeling towards this festival.' "The Mawazine Festival does not represent Moroccans; we always hope it will not take place at all, but the organizers don’t care about the majority of the people" a graduate student from Rabat, who asked to speak on the condition of anonymity told MWN.

    "Shame on our government that allows such festivals to take place in a country where poverty and illiteracy are still common," another one said.

    “Instead of spending money on this event, they could have helped many poor Moroccan people,” Safaa el Ouidali, a student from Agadir, said

    At first glance, these statements may lead us to wonder about who the attendees are. They are certainly Moroccans. But do they represent all the Moroccan masses who suffer from unemployment and deprivation? If Mawazine does not represent Moroccans, why are so many of them attending it?

    "This is the problem of Moroccans; before the start of Mawazine, they ask for change and criticize squandering money on such trivialities. Yet, they cannot help being part of these trivialities," a Moroccan teacher told MWN.

    It is high time Moroccans reconsidered the change they are seeking. The question is: Are they making the Mawazine Festival a success or succeeding in deteriorating their own standards of living? The heart of the matter is that if they took to the street in thousands in the same number of the festival attendees, they would at least demand their rights and help in bringing about the change they are seeking.

    Moroccans want to see the change. But few of them are ready to be the change they want to see in their country. So far, the change many of them want to see is the organization of the Mawazine Festival. And it is the only change actually taking place.

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy

    © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed


    0 0

    Morocco's permanent delegate to the UN in Geneva

    Geneva, May 28, 2013 (MAP)

    Morocco has called the international community to take urgent action to end violence in Syria and find a political settlement to the crisis in this Arab country.

    The international community should not remain inactive. It is its duty to act rapidly to end violence and find a political and peace settlement to the crisis, said Morocco's permanent delegate to the UN in Geneva, Mohamed Hilale, during a general debate of the human rights council.

    The Moroccan diplomat underlined that Morocco shares the concerns of the UN high commissioner for human rights, Mme Navi Pillay, regarding the upsurge of violence in Syria, voicing regret that the monitoring team did not have access to Syria.

    He also converged with the UN high commissioner as to the vital role of non-governmental organizations in promoting and protecting human rights, stressing that measures taken to reduce effects of the world economic crisis have a direct impact on basic rights such as the right to health, to education, to food and decent housing.

    These measures, he went on, are affecting mostly vulnerable populations, such as migrant workers, stressing the need to abide by international obligations in times of crisis.

    The UN human rights council opened on Monday its 23rd session that will look into over 100 thematic reports, including the report of the international investigation commission on Syria.


    0 0

    Situation in the Polisario-run camps, a breeding ground for terrorists

    Washington, May 29, 2013 (MAP)

    Weapons, human trafficking, political unrest, the activism of Al Qaeda’s affiliates, and the presence of the violent Polisario front (southwestern Algeria) are turning the North Africa region into “a breeding ground for new generations of terrorists”, writes the US “Washington Post” daily.

    In an article titled “North Africa: Breeding grounds for terror”, the paper writes that “President Obama and his critics agree that North Africa has become a hot spot for terrorism.”

    “In a region awash with weapons, human and drug trafficking and political unrest, al-Qaeda’s local affiliates, especially al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), are flourishing. Throw into the mix the violent separatist Polisario Front, which seeks independence for the Western Sahara while maintaining squalid refugee camps in Algeria, and you have a breeding ground for new generations of terrorists”, the story authored by Jennifer Rubin states.

    Quoting authors of a recently released book “Perilous Desert: Insecurity in the Sahara”, the story noted that “most regional and Western defense strategists agree that urgent efforts are needed to address the frozen conflict in the Western Sahara” and, therefore, cut “organized criminal activity in the Sahel and the growing reach of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)”.

    The Washington Post also relays concerns of the UN Secretary General, who recently “warned about the vulnerability of some of the Sahrawis in the Polisario-controlled refugee camps in North-West Algeria to radicalization and terrorist infiltration.”

    “All governments consulted raised serious concern over the risk that the fighting in Mali could spill over into the neighboring countries and contribute to radicalizing the Western Saharan refugee camps,” Ban Ki-moon said in a report to the 15-nation Security Council.

    The paper underlines that terrorism and transnational crime are “operating in the region’s most fragile states, exploiting widespread corruption, weak government capacity, crushing poverty, and entrenched social and ethnic tensions. The unrest spills over borders and aggravates protracted regional crises.”

    Describing the situation in the region as a “ticking time bomb”, the story goes that “organized criminals and extremist groups will continue to exploit the fragility of states, frozen conflicts such as the Western Sahara, and the lack of regional security cooperation”.

    It also notes that “the great powers, including the United States, dread the prospect of the creation of another weak state”, arguing that “fragile and failing states pose real threats to international security”, “are ideal locations for radical, violent organizations to recruit disenfranchised and alienated youth” and “can exacerbate protracted regional crises and reignite violent conflicts”.

    The book, published by the Washington-based think tank “Carnegie endowment for international peace,” warns of increasing inroads by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its allies in terrorism and trafficking across the Sahara/Sahel region, including in Libya, Mali, Mauritania, and the Polisario-run refugee camps near Tindouf in Algeria, which represent "a tinderbox waiting to explode."

    According to the authors, north Africa experts Frederic Wehrey and Anouar Boukharst, "while the world's attention was fixed on the momentous events in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya after the outbreak of the +Arab Spring+, the desert states to the south were undergoing their own transformations with major global implications." Although "long overlooked by policymakers and scholars," the "states of the Sahara suffer from a 'perfect storm' of afflictions -- weak governance, rampant corruption, endemic poverty, ethnic and societal cleavages, and inaccessible terrain -- that give room for transnational crime and Islamist militant groups to proliferate and flourish."

    The recent "series of high-profile events," including the murder of a US Ambassador in Libya, French intervention after the al-Qaeda-backed conquest of N. Mali, and hostage seizure and shootout at the Algerian gas facility, "point to a new front in the struggle against al-Qaeda -- what some have called 'an arc of instability' stretching from Western Sahara to Somalia and north into the Sinai."

    The book provides an "in-depth analysis of the factors shaping the Sahara" -- with chapters on Libya, Mali and Algeria, Mauritania, organized crime in the Sahel, and the Western Sahara conflict -- all of which contribute to increased instability and insecurity that "raises urgent concerns for the broader Sahara and the West."


    0 0

    Park of Exhibition in Casablanca

    by Loubna Flah

    Morocco World News

    Casablanca, May 29, 2013

    The Casablanca Park of Exhibitions hosts on May 29-30 the International forum for the very small Businesses.

    Small businesses are characterized by a reduced number of employees, a small capital and asset availability.

    “This forum will be an opportunity for the participants and visitors to discuss the latest managerial approaches relevant to this kind of enterprises,” the president of the forum, Ms. Amal Cherif Houwat, was quoted by the daily Al Massae as saying.

    The forum aims at initiating a new platform of exchange among economic partners and different stakeholders both in the private and the public sectors.

    The forum is also an opportunity to exhibit all the services and activities related to small enterprises. The venue constitutes also an unprecedented chance for the participants to set partnerships with other small and medium enterprises.

    Ms. Houwat mentioned a number of problems plaguing small businesses in Morocco, namely the lack of monitoring and training that may boost their performance and help them to cope with a high competitive market.

    Ms. Houwat added that the participants will have the chance to explore new experiences in the world in the management of very small enterprises.

    Many sectors will take part in this event including, digital technologies, traditional industry, industry and media. The forum is expected to receive 5000 visitors with the participation of more than 200 experts and 50 exhibitors.


    0 0

    jacksons in mawazine

    By youssef Sourgo

    Morocco World News

    Casablanca, May 30, 2013

    Mawazine Festival: the brothers give a concert in memory of Michael Jackson On Tuesday night, The Jacksons, the legendary soul figures from Tamla Motown label, gave a spectacular show on the Souissi stage in Rabat, as part of this year’s Mawazine Festival.

    The Jacksons injected an incredible energy into their audience, as they gave a soulful show in memory of their brother, the legendary Michael Jackson, whose inimitable voice contributed to the heyday of Jackson Five in the 1970s. The legendary American soul group combined both the energy of pop music and the sensibility of soul melodies to impart a special feeling to the numerous fans who attended their show. “The Jacksons remind me of my childhood,” shared a Moroccan fan in a nostalgic tone. “The fact that a lot of ordinary people were able to enjoy this quality concert by The Jacksons for free,” shared a foreign festivalgoer, “demonstrates that the festival organizers care also about people who can’t afford to attend other concerts. I don’t think any other international festival in the world would allow those who cannot afford concert tickets to attend such great concerts,” she added. The Jackson brothers kicked off their concert with "Can You Feel It" before moving on to an array of medleys and a series of reinterpretations of the biggest titles of their musical careers, namely "Good Times", "ABC", "I Want You Back" and "I Will Be There." The Jacksons culminated their unforgettable concert with their mega-tube “Shake Your Body,” which they sang along with their faithful fans in Morocco, who did not hesitate to imitate the Jacksons’ dance moves as they rocked the stage one last time.

    0 0

    Hijab in School

    by By Yassir Yousfi

    Morocco World News

    Meknes, June 1, 2013

    A few weeks ago Fatima Zahrae, Nisrine, and Asmae, three junior high school students at Ibn Sina in Tangier, were suspended from school for one week for wearing the headscarf.

    Upon hearing of this ordeal, I wondered whether it occured in Morocco or in some secular country. I could not conceive of, nor have I ever heard of such things occurring in an Islamic country like Morocco.

    This suspension is an insult to these students’ culture. Morocco has become a battleground where educators fling bitter and unjustified accusations at innocent, veiled girls. We cannot accept this behavior as being as being pursuant to individual and collective freedoms.

    If we want to scrutinize the matter from a legal perspective, the principal of the junior high school committed a grave mistake. If the law were applied properly, the principal would be punished and he would lose his job, for he did not follow the correct procedure, and took it upon himself to mete out punishment. Correct procedure means that he would first refer students to the disciplinary board where they would weigh the evidence and determine what should be done.

    There is no legal text that requires a uniform dress code at these schools and there is certainly no regulation in the school that bans head coverings. Moreover, according to the reformed constitution, particularly in part 2, which provides a range of rights including the right for education, the way a person dresses has no bearing on a person’s education,. The suspension also violates international agreements that support Human Rights, especially the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is the full of rights for children in to learn and enjoy their freedom.

    As long as other girls are permitted to wear tight and skin-bearing clothes, girls who wear the hijabs should also have the right to dress as they please. The students’ parents have the right to speak out against this unconstitutional action on one hand and against the unlawful abuse of power by this poor educator on the other hand.

    I appeal to civic society in all its different groups to sympathize with these girls.

    No doubt, the principal’s behavior only adds fuel to the flames to the crisis between the people and the state. We have enough problems with territorial integrity and artificial conflict over the Moroccan Sahara. We don’t need more headaches from juvenile arguments over a piece of clothing.

    To the principal, do not be swayed into making decisions that are totally unfounded. You are a man of authority in an educational institution. Instead of punishing the girls for wearing the hijab, you should applaud them for exercising their rights and freedoms, both of which are enshrined in the constitution and international law.


    0 0

    Moroccan investment development agency

    Rabat, May 3, 2013 (MAP)

    The Moroccan investment development agency (AMDI) was elected by “The European Magazine” in London best Foreign direct investments promotion agency in the Mena region for 2013. The “Mena awards 2013” was given to AMDI following a vote of the magazine readers. The Agency also says it has received in Rome the 2013 Euromediterraneo prize for its TV, print and digital campaign "Morocco, more Business". Co-sponsored by Confindustria Assafrica & Méditerraneo and the Italian Association of public and institutionnal sectors, the prize rewards, the quality and relevance of the media campaign as well as the work of the Agency’s office in Rome


    0 0

    Turkish PM

    RABAT, June 03, 2013 (AFP)

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Rabat on Monday at the start of a tour of the Maghreb region, an AFP photographer reported, as unprecedented anti-government protests swept Turkey.

    Erdogan, who is accompanied by several ministers and a large delegation of businessmen, landed at Rabat airport at around 14:00 GMT.

    The Turkish premier is due to hold talks with his Moroccan counterpart Abdelilah Benkirane, who like Erdogan hails from an Islamist political grouping called the Justice and Development party.

    He is also scheduled to meet Morocco's Foreign Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani and chair a forum of business leaders from both countries.

    Ankara and Rabat signed a free trade agreement that came into force in 2006 and bilateral trade more than doubled by the end of 2011 to reach $1.3 billion, according to the Turkish ambassador to Morocco Ugur Ariner.

    Erdogan is expected to leave Morocco for Algeria on Tuesday morning before travelling to Tunisia on Wednesday, where he will take part in the first meeting of the Turko-Tunisian strategic cooperation council, according to his office.

    He is due to return to Turkey on Thursday.

    The Maghreb tour comes on the fourth straight day of protests that have turned into the biggest outburst of anger at Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government since it took power more than a decade ago.

    The demonstrations started over an unpopular building project in Istanbul but boiled over into general anti-government protests that spread to dozens of cities across Turkey, after a heavy-handed initial response by the police.

    The protesters have denounced Erdogan as a dictator and accused him of seeking to impose conservative Islamic values on Turkish society.

    But the prime minister has remained defiant, vowing before his departure on Monday to "stand firm" against the protests, and saying the demonstrators should show their discontent at the ballot box, while admitting "mistakes" by the police in their initial response.

    Turkey's President Abdullah Gul struck a more conciliatory note on Monday, urging calm and promising the anti-govern


    0 0

    Banque Populaire

    By Youssef Sourgo

    Morocco World News

    Casablanca, June 05, 2013

    The Moroccan “Banque Populaire” (BP) was named best retail bank in Africa at the 7th edition of the African Banker Awards held in Marrakech, held on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the African Development Bank (ADB).

    This award recognizes the bank that offered the best retail services to African consumers, recorded a remarkable financial performance, introduced innovative practices in the banking sector and expanded its retail services to a wide network of consumers.

    "These are the criteria that Banque Populaire has particularly exemplified, and which have allowed it to gain more than 530,000 new customers in 2012, bringing its portfolio to 4.2 million customers," said Banque Populaire in a press release.

    Banque Populaire is actively deploying its expertise in sub-Saharan Africa since 2012, following its takeover of Banque Atlantique.

    BP had already received the prize of the "Best Bank in Financial Inclusion in Africa", awarded by the same organizers at a ceremony held last year in Arusha, Tanzania.


    0 0

    Ashton

    Brussels, June 07, 2013 (MAP)

    Morocco is a key partner in the EU neighborhood, as recognized by its Advanced Status, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said. In statement to the press following her meeting, Thursday in Brussels, with foreign minister Saad Dine El Otmani, Ashton "welcomed the positive steps taken in recent months by Morocco to intensify our existing cooperation." She recalled mainly the agreement of an EU-Morocco Action Plan 2013-2017, the first round of negotiations for a Deep & Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) and the political declaration for a Mobility Partnership, which will be signed on Friday in Luxembourg. Ashton also commended the Moroccan Government's commitment to an ambitious reform program. "I am following with close interest planned reforms concerning women's issues, including a Government Plan for Equality." "I encourage the Moroccan Government to move swiftly towards implementation of these and other key reforms to which it is committed, in the fields of justice, the economy and the media," she said, noting that the EU will continue to support Morocco's reform process through European neighborhood funding, of which Morocco is the largest recipient, and other instruments such as the European Investment Facility. Ashton thanked Morocco for its continued constructive approach to international efforts to resolve instability in the Sahel and in Syria, including its recent contribution for development and reconstruction in Mali


older | 1 | 2 | 3 | (Page 4) | 5 | 6 | .... | 65 | newer