Entries by Jean AbiNader

Moroccan Elections Focus on Economic Issues

In this second in a MATIC series looking at the role of economic growth issues facing Morocco, we review the party platforms published in advance of the November 2011 elections to describe the economy as a dominate theme in the elections. Despite the overwhelming approval of Morocco’s new constitution in July 2011 referendum, some demonstrations […]

Confronting Challenges to Economic Growth in Morocco

In the coming months, MATIC will take a look at a core issue being confronted by the new government in Morocco: the challenges to economic growth ranging from a mismatch between the educational system and the job market, to issues facing entrepreneurs, investors, and the government in attracting much needed investment dollars. While the previous […]

Muslim voices Challenge Qualms of Islamists in Power

Representatives from Islamist parties in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia came to Washington last week to talk about the future of democracy under Islamist-led governments. They were uniformly impressive and well-prepared to challenge key concerns being voiced about Islamists in government: support for human rights, gender equality, protection of minorities, and the direction of their […]

Disbelief & Discomfort about Immolations as new Gov’t program debated

I spent much of my day talking with taxi drivers, business leaders, friends, and waiters about two topics that are unfortunately related: the self-immolation by five graduates over lack of jobs and reactions to the programs being announced by the new government. Disbelief and discomfort seem to permeate everyone’s remarks about the immolations, particularly “nothing like […]

Some like it not: no emerging consensus on the new government

I returned to Rabat two months after the election that brought in a moderate Islamic party to lead the new coalition government. Having spent the last three days at a conference in Marrakech, I was astounded by the news of five young graduates who immolated themselves during a protest for jobs. When one contrasts the hopeful […]

Words into Actions: Theme and Challenge for NAPEO conf. on Economic Growth

It’s hard to form a simple conclusion about the second day of the second regional NAPEO conference in Marrakech. Based on quality of presentations/discussions and strong and effective presenters and participants, the overall program merits a strong A. Those who attended last year’s launch in Algeria were struck at how much had been achieved in one year. And […]

Emphasis on Youth and Women a major Pillar of the NAPEO Conference

The presenters at this year’s PNB-NAPEO conference in Marrakech are impressive. Most speakers have demonstrated expertise in a variety of enterprises or are enablers of ingredients for building businesses and jobs: venture capital, training, angel investors, and entrepreneurs. Most of the achievers are from Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, while the enablers are from the US–a heady mix of visionaries and realists intent […]

US-backed program hopes to build youth employment opportunities

At Marrakech, the US and its regional partners are hosting the second “US-Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference”to build the capacity of local entrepreneurs to meet demands for economic growth and jobs. And by ‘local’, they mean the countries of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia. With more than 400 people in attendance beginning on January 17, there is very strong interest to […]

Now you see them … the case of the disappearing dissidents

In the run-up to the 13thCongress of the very undemocratic Polisario Front in Tifariti 15-21 December, something akin to an Arab Awakening occurred to interrupt 30+ year reign of the General Secretary Mohamed Abdelaziz. It has been reported in intelligence press reports that young people are calling for a change to the Polisario’s Politburo-like behavior. […]

Understanding Morocco: Opportunities for Business and Trade

Jean Abinader, speaking at the Global Economics and Business Seminar of the Washington Semester Program of the American University. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjJB3-ZZ67g] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-yxAhZX2Rw] These videos were originally posted on Morocco News Board.