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Morocco

The universal language of trade

Will Stebbins's picture
Also available in: Français
There was a brief moment of confusion at the opening of the ministerial workshop on regional trade in the Maghreb. Habib Ben Yahia, the secretary general of the Arab Maghreb Union, wondered out loud about which language he should use. Before him was a diverse audience that he could address in Arabic, French, English? What to choose?  Sitting next to him, the Moroccan minister of transport and equipment, Aziz Rabbah nailed it: ‘Speak the language of trade! ’

Growth strengthens in MENA, but vulnerabilities persist

Elena Ianchovichina's picture

Our latest regional outlook shows a two-track path for growth in MENA. In 2012 oil exporters are likely to fare much better than oil importers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Growth of MENA’s oil exporting countries will be strong and rise from the average of 3.4 percent in 2011 to 5.4 percent in 2012. The new Regional Economic Update presents the outlook for MENA in the context of rapidly-evolving global and domestic environments, recognizing the linkages that matter for shaping country-specific outlooks and the multiple risks that could alter them.

Why would you go to an infrastructure policy forum? Why not?

Raymond Bourdeaux's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

World Bank | Arne Hoel Why 13 governments, 10 ministers and 270 people decided to gather for policy discussions on infrastructure in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the role of the private sector. (And no, it wasn’t the fact that the forum was in Marrakech because none of us left the hotel). I was really inspired by the enthusiasm generated by the March launch in Rabat of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability – Arab World. The event brought civil society people from across MENA together and demonstrated a real ability to shape and further a debate around the issues of participation and youth. 

Enabling employment miracles

Caroline Freund's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
World Bank | Arne Hoel | 2011How can policymakers engineer enduring reductions in unemployment? Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) Regional Economic Update confronts this question head on. It looks back historically to examine how countries have generated episodes of swift, significant, and sustained unemployment reductions. These we call employment miracles. And to make miracles happen the analysis unambiguously points towards prudent macroeconomic management, sound regulation and good governance as critical enablers of job creation.

Tourism: For those looking for shovel ready projects

Omer Karasapan's picture
Also available in: Français
World Bank | Dale Lautenbach | 2012Tourism is one of the world's largest and fastest growing sectors, making up 5% of the world's GDP and 30% of the global export of services (over $1 trillion). In 2010 alone, there were some 1 billion tourists worldwide, 60 million of whom traveled to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. International Tourism receipts amounted to $900 billion - MENA's share making up roughly 6% of the total, around $50 billion. Overall, MENA tends to underperform slightly, not only in terms of the number of visitors and monetary inflows, but also in its potential to generate employment.   

Am I the native under your magnifier? I need a JOB, not a dissection!

Amina Semlali's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

“I am sorry, I am so very sorry, I did not mean to be disrespectful,” the young man says as soon as he has blurted his story out. He fidgets nervously with his little notepad. He is young, but the deep lines that crease his face reveal the hard life he has led.  This is his story: “Do you know what it is like to wake up feeling ashamed every morning, feeling deeply ashamed that I cannot help support my aging parents,” he says, “that I cannot go and buy a bit of fruit for my little sister since I do not have a single coin in my pocket?  I went to school, I did well, I went to university, I did even better but what was it good for? Nothing! Here I am, I cannot afford to get married. I cannot even look my mother in the eyes as I spend the nights in the street drowning my sorrows.” The young man lifts his head, his eyes welling up with tears.  “I have been stripped of my manhood, or maybe I should say, I was never even allowed to become a man.”

Universities measuring up

Inger Andersen's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français

World Bank | Arne HoelKnowledge is as vital as oxygen. It drives innovation, allowing economies to grow and countries to prosper. As one of the primary creators and disseminators of knowledge, universities play a critical social role. Their proper management should be a top concern of governments everywhere.  Much as the failure of a major organ affects the entire body, a malfunctioning university system has widespread consequences.

ANSA-Arab World: Networking the excitement of a new MENA mindset

Najat Yamouri's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
World Bank | Arne Hoel | 2012In Rabat recently, civil society, private sector, media and government representatives from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region warmly greeted each other. They asked about family and friends, customary to the region’s tradition, but there was something unique about this gathering: the participants talked about the region’s transition, youth movements, activists, constitutions, and reforms – sharing each other’s dreams and concerns.

Morocco: When governance, transparency, integrity, accountability, & public procurement entered the Constitution

Laurence Folliot Lalliot's picture
Also available in: Français
Although many events from the Middle East and North Africa region have enjoyed large press coverage and headlines, one has remained, to date, a rather well-kept secret: the inclusion of governance and a dedicated provision on Public Procurement in the new Moroccan Constitution, adopted by referendum on July 1, 2011. In doing so, Morocco has joined the very small list of countries (i.e., South Africa and the Philippines) to grant a constitutional status to this rather technical field, the impact of which will be progressively felt in the world (even outside the small world of procurement lawyers), as it affects how government money is converted into goods and works like roads, schools, vaccines, etc.

Morocco lights the way to a clean-energy future

Inger Andersen's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
Some countries of the Middle East and North Africa region are once again lighting up a new path. Following the social revolutions which showed the world the effect of combining non-violent protest with new media technology, an energy revolution is now underway. It also utilizes cutting-edge technology with the potential to lead the world into a new energy era. Pointing beyond fossil fuels, this revolution aims to harness an older and more abundant resource: sunshine.

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