Morocco :The reform of justice

Rabat – The reform of justice is one of the most important structural projects examined by the government, according to the six crucial reforms laid down by HM King Mohammed VI in his August speech, on the occasion of the revolution of the king and the people, Prime minister said on Monday.

El Fassi, who was presenting at the Lower House the results of government’s action at the end of its mid-term mandate, said several draft bills were formulated to institutionally reinforce the independence of justice. He added that facilitating legal procedures and guaranteeing fair trials would boost the citizens’ confidence in the country’s judicial system.

The justice sector’s budget increased to strengthen its capacities, mainly human resources and basic infrastructures, and spur its modernization aimed at upholding democracy, the sense of responsibility and the primacy of law, he noted.

Knowing that good governance is necessary for the country’s development, the government spared no effort to fight corruption, moralize public life, and bolster the transparency of economic management, El Fassi added.


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Morocco :The results of the government action

Rabat – The difficult global situation and the effects of the economic crisis “did not weaken the government’s willingness to remain committed to its social choice,” Prime Minister, Abbas El Fassi, said on Monday.

El Fassi, who presented at the House of Representatives the results of the government action at the end of its mid-term mandate, said the government has adopted a new form of governance of public social policies, which is based on the principle of social and territorial approach ensuring the efficiency of interventions, part of the large-scale anti-poverty program, the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH).

The Prime Minister welcomed the positive results achieved by INDH, which has helped create more than 18,500 projects that contributed to the integration, upgrading and improvement of the income of over 4.6 million beneficiaries in the poorest regions, particularly in rural areas.

El Fassi said that the government has developed new solidarity mechanisms targeting the poorest and most vulnerable citizens, by improving their access to medical care and reducing the hospitalization costs.

Regarding the development of rural and mountain areas, the government has increase the investment budget earmarked to these areas from 8.3 billion dirhams in 2007 to 20 billion dirhams in 2010, the Prime Minister added.

Morocco, he said, has reduced the unemployment rate from 9.8% in 2007 to 9.1% in 2009, representing a very positive average amid the global economic crisis.

Regarding education, El Fassi stressed that Morocco is making significant efforts to encourage education among different age categories, citing satisfactory results in this field: 94.8% for primary education, 75.4% for secondary education.

The Premier also stressed that the rate of maternal mortality has decreased (132 deaths per 100,000 births in 2009 against 227 in 2007).

He said the government has developed a comprehensive purchasing power approach with a view of improving the citizens’ incomes.

The government has allotted more than 50 billion dirhams in 2008 and 2009 as part of the compensation fund to subsidize consumer goods and control the rate of inflation that has not exceeded 1% in 2009, he added.

As part of a participatory approach and in partnership with associations and organizations of civil society, the government has developed integrated strategies for improving children’s conditions and rights of the elders and the disabled, said the Prime Minister.

Regarding women’s rights and gender approach, El Fassi stressed that the government has developed an equality strategy in 2010-2012, aimed at achieving gender equity in programs and policies implemented as well as fighting violence against women.

He also expressed the government’s determination to create a social solidarity fund.

By the same occasion, The Prime Minister highlighted the particular importance attached to the Moroccan community abroad, in terms of providing social services and preserving the Moroccan identity, in addition to efforts made in the area of investment to cope with the effects of the global economic crisis.

In the field of sports, El Fassi recalled the program contracts signed with the sports federations as part of the new governance aiming at upgrading infrastructure, setting up new sports facilities that match the international standards and developing the legal framework.

Morocco Better Resisted Financial Crisis

Cairo – Thanks to its diversified economy, Morocco has better resisted the global financial crisis, IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said.

“Countries with diversified economies, such as Morocco, have better resisted (the global financial crisis) and could have a strong rate of growth,” Strauss-Kahn said in an interview published on Wednesday by the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram Hebdo.

“Morocco is a very good example. This country has successfully overcome the crisis. It will have a strong growth,” he said.

Strauss-Kahn noted that one of the problems in some African countries and other parts of the world is “having an economy insufficiently diversified or completely energy-based.”

The IMF boss mentioned some cases such as Nigeria, where the contribution to the GDP (excluding oil GDP) got less and less important in recent years and it is more difficult for the country to resist the crisis.

In this sense, he stressed the need for the integration of economies in the global market with a wide variety of products, underlining that he is “optimistic” for Africa after the global financial crisis.

“Overall, Africa has overcome the crisis better than expected. Now we notice in most countries a return to growth,” he said.

Morocco :Solar Energy Project

Doha – Energy minister Amina Benkhadra called, here Sunday, on Arab companies to contribute to Morocco’s large-scale solar energy project, launched in November 2009.

Speaking at the opening of the 9th Arab Energy Conference, the minister showcased Morocco’s energy strategy, particularly the Kingdom’s $9 billion mega solar project. Based on public-private partnership, the project includes five stations with a total capacity of 2,000 mega-watts and will cover by 2020 some 10% of Morocco’s electricity demand, representing with other renewable energy sources 42% of the energy capacity.

“I seize this opportunity to call all concerned Arab institutions to contribute to this project, which could serve as a unique model in the field of solar energy in the Arab region, which boasts huge potential in this field,” Benkhadra said.

Benkhadra underlined that the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy, created to oversee the production of solar electricity, launched in March an international call for expressions of interest to carry out the first project near the southern city of Ouarzazate, with a 500 MW power by 2015.

“This project can serve as a prototype for developing green electricity from solar energy in the Arab world, which can enable the region meet its growing demand for electricity,” she said.

Benkhadra also said that Morocco’s integration into the global and regional economy, particularly the Arab and Euro-Mediterranean regions, is a fundamental part of the Kingdom’s development strategy in general, and particularly in energy.

In this respect, she commended the fruitful cooperation between Morocco and the Arab countries in the field of energy, notably with the UAE, Algeria and Libya.

Benkhadra also recalled that Morocco imported nearly 80% of its oil needs from Saudi Arabia and Iraq and some 50% of its liquefied gas needs from Algeria in 2009.

Speaking about other projects planned as part of Morocco’s energy strategy in the mid-term, the Moroccan official said that the North African country will build by 2020 new large power plants using mainly coal as well as renewable energy to contribute to national electricity production.

For the long-term, Benkhadra stressed that all options are open, including the use of nuclear power, exploitation of oil shale, and the use of organic waste and bio-fuel.

The three-day event is an opportunity for Arab Energy ministers to tackle several issues related to the inter-Arab cooperation in the field of energy.

 

Morocco’s Oil Bill Reaches over $ 900 mln up to April

 Rabat – Morocco’s oil bill stood at some 8,18 billion dirhams (about $ 912 million ) up to April 2010, compared to 3.93 billion dirhams a year before, Morocco’s Exchange Rate Monitoring Office said.

During the same period, Morocco imported 1.75 million tonnes of crude oil against 1.43 million tonnes a year earlier, the Rabat-based Office said.

According to the same source, Saudi Arabia tops the list of Morocco’s suppliers of crude oil with some 3.66 billion dirhams followed by Irak (2.58 billion dirhams) and Russia (1.94 billion dirhams).

Imports of all energy products rose by 51.8% to stand at some 21.2 billion dirhams, said the Office.

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