Persistent inequality and poverty: the heel

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Moroccans are called to the polls on Wednesday, September 8, for team and local elections. The ruling Islamist party may lose its majority, in part because of its poor social record.

It is a dark spot on an otherwise quite positive economic balance sheet with the profound changes that the castle began. But the most disadvantaged Moroccans feel that their daily lives have not changed much since 2011, when justice and the development party took over in the heat of the Arab Spring. Inequality and extreme poverty are still very serious wounds, which the pandemic has exacerbated. Unemployment is close to 12%, that was 9% before the advent of Covid-19. The fight for jobs is a priority for most parties, but I am not sure that these promises will suffice. Those who live in odd jobs feel forgotten, despised by power and administration. Every time one of them is beaten by the authorities, it triggers a feverish outbreak in the population.

A wave of protests after a young man was burned by fire from the suburbs of Casablanca He could not find the cart that had been seized by him for health reasons, hence this gesture of despair. Often compared to that of the young Tunisian who caused Ben Ali’s fall. There were precedents in the coastal village of Hoceida in 2016, then around the mines in Jerada in 2017. Each time, these young victims of insurgency become representatives of everything invisible. Anyone who works hard without being declared. The informal sector accounts for 80% of employment in Morocco, according to the International Labor Organization. That is just under 30% of GDP according to the latest study published this year by the Central Bank of Morocco. A share in regular decline for twenty years but still higher than in comparable countries in the Maghreb.

Can the plan adopted at the beginning of the year to make Morocco a growth country by 2030 correct these inequalities? This is one of the stated goals. And that requires school and health reforms. Because the lack of education of the majority and the lack of access to health care today has become an obstacle to the country’s growth. In the field of health, the kingdom rather got points from the pandemic by making a massive commitment to vaccination against Covid. Almost every second adult has already received a dose, this is the best performance on the African continent and young people will in turn be immunized.

A volunteer that has included the development of the coronavirus Although a new wave came this summer, it is undoubtedly driven by visitors. In addition, aid quickly limited the most disadvantaged to the economic damage. After falling by 7%, GDP is expected to recover at least 5% this year. A recovery praised by all experts, and who also thank a lot for the good weather, favorable this year for agriculture while the harvests in 2020 were catastrophic. This sector still supports 40% of the population, a positive point for exports, but Morocco needs to further develop its industry to make its economy more inclusive.

BRIEFLY

A surprise in China where we learn that exports recovered this summer. August record + 25% compared to 2020. This is much more than analysts expected. This confirms the strength of the global recovery, with the rest of the world still fond of products made in China.

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