Friday, February 12, 2016

Morocco - No Zika Virus, But On Alert


According to the Moroccan Ministry of Health no cases of the Zika virus have been found in the country


The Ministry issued a statement saying that after consultation and coordination with "the relevant partners" and the World Health Organisation, preventive measures have been taken by the department, in particular the strengthening of border controls aimed at detecting any infection from endemic areas.

Work has also been undertaken in supporting the capacity of the national public health laboratories and the mobilisation of necessary "medical tools."

Morocco has also decided to advise travellers to countries at risk and strengthen the fight against mosquitoes on airplanes and ships from countries affected by Zika. As a precaution, people from these countries will not be able to donate their blood for a period of 28 days after arrival in Morocco.

A hotline was available to travellers to and from these countries. The number is : 080 100 47 47.

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Ikea In Casablanca May Open Soon


Morocco's squabble with Ikea may soon be resolved. The Moroccan authorities have issued Ikea Morocco the document that was missing for the opening of the store at new Zenata Eco-City centre located on the eastern outskirts of Casablanca

On February the 11th Ikea received its "certificate of conformity" from the Moroccan authorities. The absence of this document was the official pretext for the cancellation of the opening of the Swedish furniture store. The commission responsible for issuing the certificate had conducted a monitoring visit in the store on the February the 10th.

The store still needs the endorsement of Inter Ikea Systems, the entity that manages the franchise brand around the world, to open the store. During a "test day" in the presence of the families of employees that will take place on 22 February, Inter Ikea Systems will decide whether or not it can deliver its agreement.

The hypothetical opening of the store does not automatically mean the end of the crisis at Ikea. Employees have been complaining about the "deleterious social climate" and plan to inform Inter Ikea Systems about what they feel is the pressure they are under from the top management. Employees have been quoted in the Moroccan media as saying "if the store is technically ready to open, morally it is a different story. We no longer want to work with those few people who do not respect the values ​​of Ikea or even labour law".


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Moroccan News Briefs #135


HM King Mohammed VI inaugurates seawater desalination barge

On February 8th in Dakhla HM King Mohammed VI inaugurated a seawater desalination barge, capable of transporting treated water to inaccessible coastal villages suffering from drought conditions.


Named Oued Massa, the craft, whose acquisition had been requested by the king following the floods that hit the south in 2014, desalinates and treats sea water. The process is done in three steps: filtration water (by sand or cartridge), reverse osmosis (which allows the removal of the salt, bacteria and viruses), followed by treatment with disinfectants. The barge has machines able to immediately control the water quality (salinity and PH).

This barge can produce enough drinking water for 75,000 people per day at a rate of 20 litres per day per person. Besides its 300 m3 storage capacity, it can directly transfer the amount of water produced on the platform, even at sea, " explained Youssef Eddai, Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Navy. The output can either be stored on board, or be pumped to land via pipes. Then Oued Massa is also assisted by a vessel (with a capacity of 100 m 3 ) to serve the coastal villages whose ports are difficult to access.


The Oued Massa barge was bought from the Dutch company Damen who claim."the method is particularly interesting because it can produce drinking water from almost any water source . It is also an efficient process in energy ".

The aim is to compensate for the shortage of drinking water given that Morocco which, according to the 2014 report of the World Resource Institutes which says the major part of Moroccan territory is on "high risk" drought alert with some areas classified as "extremely risky".


27.9% of young people from 15 to 24 have no work or training

According to the High Commission for Planning (HCP) the share of young people aged 15 to 24 who are neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET) represents 27.9% nationally, 45.1% among women and 11.4% among men.

It is 15% among young people aged 15 to 17 years (25.6% for girls and 5.7% for boys) and 34.4% among those aged 18-24 years (54.2% for girls and 14.5% for boys), said the HCP in an information note on the situation of the labor market in 2015.

The number of employed who work excessive working hours - exceeding 48 hours per week - is 41.4% nationally, 46.9% urban and 35.9% In rural areas it is 51.6% among men and 13.7% among women.

Approximately 91% of employees work during the day, 3% alternating day and night and 1% work only at night.

It is estimated that 1.3% worked less than 14 hours per week (or less than 2 hours per day on average) at the national level, 0.6% in urban areas and 2.1% in rural areas. This proportion was 0.6% among men and 3.4% among women.

Nearly two out of three employees (62.9%) did not have employment contracts. This proportion reaches 89.4% in the construction sector.

Eight employed persons in ten (79.4%) do not have medical coverage, 94% rural and 65.2% in urban areas. Among employees, this proportion stood at 59.1% nationally, 82.2% in rural areas and 50.4% in urban areas.


Morocco's love affair with shopping malls continues

At the same time as Morocco Mall broke its attendance record, Tangier is on track to have its own mega mall in March.


The Aksal group says that Casablanca 's Morocco Mall received 18 million visitors in 2015, an attendance increase of 11% over the 16 million visitors in 2012.

Tangier will finally have its shopping mall.  The opening of Tangier City Centre, which covers an area of ​​45,000 square meters, is scheduled for late March,


Nearly 80% of the commercial area of ​​the centre has been leased to 85 national and international brands. The centre promises to be a great space for relaxation and recreation, with incomparable views of the Straits of Gibraltar. The centre has parking for 1,400 vehicles

Their will also be two hotels  - Hilton Tangier City Centre (5 stars), with 180 rooms and 68 apartments with luxury hotel service, while the Hilton Garden Inn (4 stars) will offer 320 rooms. A residential component will be completed with 732 apartments.

The mall's Mégarama will be the 4th largest multiplex in the kingdom after those of Casablanca, Marrakech and Fez, with a capacity of 1,500 spectators and 8 screening rooms.

The ground floor will be occupied by Acima, a subsidiary of Marjane, with an area of 3,100 square metres. The large electrical goods retailer Electroplanet will occupy the remaining 5,900 square meters, with 40 other stores. The 1st floor will be installed 36 shops and upstairs an area of ​​9,000 square metres will be dedicated to catering and entertainment.

The Tangier City Centre is one of many projects of modernisation and development of the city, near the new railway station, which will soon host the first TGV in Morocco. In 2013, King Mohammed VI launched the "Tangier Metropolis" which includes the conversion of the Tangier city marina, a new fishing port and marina.

Contemporary dance in Marrakech

The 11th edition of the International Festival of Contemporary Dance "Is On", takes place from 1st to the 12th of March.


The event features a diverse programme of dance as well as video installations around Marrakech. There will also be discussions about contemporary dance and the future of the discipline and its organisation in Morocco. It is intended that a forum, bringing together both artists and cultural operators, will discuss the drafting of a charter to structure the medium of contemporary dance in Morocco.

Trained dancers will hold several master classes known as "Al Mokhtabar", literally the "laboratory". An open training programme for young artists and amateurs will be led by Tawfiq Izeddiou, co-founder of the festival and the Anania Dance Company.

The master classes will be marked by the input from big names in contemporary dance including Mathilde Monnier, director of the Pantin National Choreographic Centre in France and Pierre Droulers from Charleroi in Belgium.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

The festival will feature Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, the Moroccan-Belgian choreographer and director of Ballet Flanders, who will present a preview of its "4D" show performed with the Eastman company. Also taking part will be dancers from France, Tunisia, Palestine and Mali. Morocco will be represented by Khalid Benghrib and Youness Atbane, co-founders of the company 2K-far and Meryem Jazuli from Space Darja.

Exhibition of Saharan Art

The Caisse de dépôt et de Gestion (CDG) and the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH) has organised "Reflets South", a new exhibition about Saharan art.



This event opens today at  he Art Gallery Espace  CDG in Rabat, and runs to the 15th of February.


Eight artists from the southern provinces will have work on show, including Aijou Fatima Ahmed Bibaoune El Imam Dmiji and Toufa Harah. All were selected by the partner artist of the event Boucha El Hasani, following suggestions from artist, writer, poet and art critic, Brahim El Haissan,

Nabil Ayouch's film Much Loved gains more awards

Nabil Ayouch's Much Loved is not only a hit with the Moroccans who have downloaded copies, but also with the international cinema world. On February 8 in Paris, the film won the prestigious Prix Lumière 2016.



'Much loved' has won a string of awards. This latest film by Nabil Ayouch won the Francophone Film Award at the 21st cérémonie des Prix Lumière, which was held at the Espace Cardin in Paris. This is the second time the 46 year old filmmaker won the award, the first time having been for "God's Horses".

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Alright Gandhi - Free Concert in Fez


Berlin based group Alright Gandhi in Concert will give a free concert on Friday (February 12th) at 7 pm at the ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha


Alright Gandhi formed in Berlin 2014, a place where people come to from all over the world to do whatever they feel like and nobody minds. Kalle Enkelmann (DE), Pietro Fornara (IT) and Rosa Gerhards (UK) met each other in the chaos of underground jam sessions and psychedelic jazz nights to play music on wild and crowded weekdays.

Lyricist and singer Rosa Gerhards

The band became an intimate alternative, a little oasis of songs visited by friends and musicians recorded by Kalle as the songs materialise. Alright Gandhi exists by the same motto as its carefree environment: if it smells good tastes good sounds good, say yes! But it goes far away from heavy industrial Berlin. Full of acoustic, natural sound, it's the calm voice reflecting how all that freedom feels.

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