In Morocco 39% of the territory is made up of dry or partly-dry areas – the main cause of a number of social and economic problems, notably massive urbanization forcing tens of thousands to leave their homes every day and move to major cities along the coast to seek a better lifestyle, Moroccan High Commissioner for Water and Forests Abdeladim El Hafi told the local Map news agency in an interview marking World Day to Combat Desertification on Monday.
The territory’s progressive desertification is a complex problem, he said. Morocco has been trying to deal with it for a while now but today, considering the results so far achieved, the country needs to tackle them with a different approach and method. Confronting this issue however means implementing measures to boost development by taking into account the diversity of each region.
HM King Mohammed VI inaugurated Monday in Rabat the Maroc Telecom Tower, a high-tech building that enriches the capital city’s architectural heritage.
The Glass Tower which serves as Maroc Telecom’s new corporate head-office has been designed to reflect the expertise and know-how of Morocco’s first telecommunications operator in the Kingdom, and to integrate technology for better energy efficiency.
Several factors were taken into consideration while erecting this 23-story building, including the reduction of energy consumption, optimal water management, thermal and acoustic comfort, and safety. (more…)
Security | 2013-06-17
Renewed clashes in Benghazi
Blood continues to be spilled in Benghazi as the government struggles to assert control over Libya’s second largest city.
Culture | 2013-06-17
Hip hop festival promotes stability
Organisers of the Assalamalekoum Festival celebrating new hip-hop stars hope to see the event’s appeal radiate beyond Nouakchott.
Terrorism | 2013-06-17
AQIM confirms Abou Zeid death
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) on Sunday (June 16th) confirmed the death of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, ANI reported….
Terrorism | 2013-06-17
Gunmen kill Derna judge
Unknown Libyan gunmen on Sunday (June 16th) assassinated a judge in the eastern town of Derna, state news agency LANA reported…. (more…)
As the bigger and richer companies drive a new wave of exploration in Morocco, it will be the small cap explorers that provide the best gearing to any sector wide success, says GMP Securities.
In a 126 page tome focusing on Morocco as a new exploration frontier, the Canada-based broker initiated its coverage on a total of nine firms with exposure to the region.
Shining a light on what promises to be a busy period of exploration, with the number of wells reaching double figures over the next two years, GMP picks out high profile – or as it says ‘mainstream’ – players like Kosmos, Cairn (LON:CNE), Genel (LON:GENL) and Galp.
But, GMP also emphasises what it calls ‘lesser known’ explorers like Fastnet (LON:FAST), Longreach (CVE:LOI), Pura Vida (ASX:PVD) and Serica (LON:SQZ).
“With a lower base market capitalisation from which to re-rate, they are arguably more geared to success from this regional theme than their larger partners,” analyst Ritesh Gaggar said in the note.
Gagger stresses, however, that there are no stocks with ‘pure play’ exposure to Morocco and therefore its stock picks have to take into account the remainder of each company’s asset portfolio and the balance of risk/reward.
GMP sets out in the note a preferred basket of shares that it believes will allow investors to get the best exposure to the Morocco exploration play.
The ‘basket’ includes Longreach (rated as ‘buy’ with a C$1.40 target), Kosmos (‘buy’, target US$14.30), Pura Vida (‘speculative buy’, target A$2.60) and Cairn (‘buy’, target 400p).
It also initiates on Serica (‘buy’, target 50p), Genel (‘hold’, target £10.00), Chariot (‘hold’, target 24p) and Fastnet (‘reduce’, target 25p).
Two of the juniors, in particular, offer significant opportunities, according to GMP.
The broker says Longreach has a unique mix of low risk onshore and high-impact offshore exposure.
It will drill two of its own wells onshore later this year, as well as stakes in Cairn and Genel’s upcoming wells.
A success on either of the partner-led wells could add between 40-70% to the current share price, the broker said.
According to GMP, Pura Vida achieved the highest value farm-out in Morocco to date, with Plains Exploration taking 52% in the Mazagan Block in a deal worth US$230mln including two wells.
“This gives Pura Vida the highest carried exposure to drilling offshore Morocco of all the smaller players,” the broker said.
The first well will target the 1.5bn barrel Miocene Toubkal prospect and it is expected that drilling will start in the first quarter of next year.
A success here would be very significant. GMP’s ‘blue sky’ estimates point to upside of A$22 per share, which equates to a massive 4,500% of Pura Vida’s current price. (more…)
The June edition of the CSP Today Quarterly Update reveals that in the next five to ten years, the CSP capacity of the Middle East and Northern Africa is likely to surpass the 6 GW mark. Many of these projects, located in the UAE, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and Algeria are expected to release tenders and expressions of interests before the end of 2013 and early 2014, making it a busy third and fourth quarter for 2013.
The CSP Today Quarterly Update provides detailed analysis of twelve markets which have experienced the most change over the past quarter and are likely to remain central for the remainder of the year.
Coverage of the biggest developments since March 2013, including:
ACWA’s successful financial close of the 160 MW Ourzazate Project in Morocco and 50 MW Bokpoort CSP project in South Africa
Jordon narrows selection of CSP developers for the Ma’an region to two candidates (more…)
Veeramalla Anjaiah, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 06/17/2013 12:13 PM | World
Shared religious beliefs and values bring the people of Morocco and Indonesia closer, an envoy said, singling out education as one of the strongest pillars of the relationship.
“There is strong interest among Indonesian students to study [Islam] at Moroccan universities. We have been offering scholarships and currently, there are 200 Indonesian students studying in Morocco,” Moroccan Ambassador to Indonesia Mohamed Majdi told The Jakarta Post during an Association of Indonesian Alumni in Moroccan Universities in Jakarta gathering on Friday.
Morocco, a paradigm of religious freedom and tolerance in the Middle East and North Africa,recently earned praise as the most peaceful country in North Africa and Sahel with a 57th rank (out of 162) on the 2013 World peace Index from the Policy Mic organization. (more…)
Cassidian has completed the integrated security system for the protection of Tanger Med harbour in northern Morocco. The Integrated MARitime SECurity (IMARSEC) system is now in full operation. It encompasses video surveillance and video content analysis, maritime surveillance, an access control system that includes biometry and optical character recognition, a public address system, a communications network and a control room. The integrated security system combats illegal immigration, terrorist attacks and smuggling on the territory of Africa’s biggest port.
In addition to all the security measures that make up the system, Cassidian has installed its innovative port security management system, known as SecuriSyte, allowing the operators to manage the integrated subsystems with a single, unified interface.
The General Manager of the Tanger Med Port Authority (TMPA) Najlaa Diouri states: “We have chosen a world leader in aeronautics, space and defence as a partner to provide an efficient and innovative system, effective at any time and against any threat.” (more…)
Morroccan tomatoes remain subject to import tariffs
The European Commission has rejected suggestions a new trade agreement with Morocco has undermined fruit and vegetable prices for growers in the EU.
It said prices had largely remained stable since the agreement came into force in October 2012 and that it was not aware of any negative impact on the European fruit and veg sector. “EU agricultural prices, including for fruits and vegetables, have maintained a satisfactory level since the implementation of the new agriculture agreement, almost in line with the average of the last three years,” Commissioner Tonio Borg said in a written response to the European Parliament. (more…)
Terrorism | 2013-06-16
Tunisian politicians defend army chief
Amid clashes between security forces and terrorists in Jebel Chaambi, politicians debated a call for the government to dismiss Army Chief of Staff Rachid Ammar.
Terrorism | 2013-06-16
Six Libyan soldiers killed in Benghazi clashes
Clashes between elite Libyan forces and gunmen killed six soldiers in Benghazi on Saturday (June 15th), AFP reported….
Diplomacy | 2013-06-16
Algiers hosts conference on Mali
Civil society organisations from Sahel countries will gather for a two-day conference in Algiers on Sunday (June 16th) to discuss the current situati… (more…)
WAM GENEVA, June 16th, 2013 (WAM) — UAE Minister of Labour, Saqr bin Ghobash Saeed Ghobash, has met with the Moroccan Minister of Employment and Vocational Training , Abdelouahed Souhail, and discussed with him ways of sharing expertise experiments regarding manpower and the labour market.
The meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the 102nd ILO conference in Geneva, also covered the agenda of the conference.
Morocco will cut subsidy spending by 20 percent to 42 billion dirhams ($5 billion) or less in 2013 – depending on international commodities prices, the general affairs minister said on Friday, as an IMF delegation audits the country’s finances.
The Islamist-led government has been under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to start reforming its subsidy system in 2013, but Rabat has delayed the issue because of its political sensitivity.
Last August, the IMF approved a $6.2 billion precautionary line of credit for Morocco over two years while urging action to reform the country’s subsidy and pension system.
An IMF delegation is visiting the North African kingdom during the first two weeks of June to scrutinize its finances and see if it is still meeting the criteria of the precautionary credit line.
“We have agreed to ease the subsidy spending and will be at the limit of amount fixed by the national budget as it forecasts 40 or 42 billion dirhams” General Affairs and Governance Minister Mohamed Najib Boulif said in a statement carried by the state news agency. (more…)
Morocco kept alive their very slender 2014 World Cup hopes after a 2-0 home win over winless Gambia in Marrakech on Saturday night.
The four-time World Cup finalist shifted up the table from third to second in Group C to eight points ahead of leaders Ivory Coast’s visit to Tanzania whom the Atlas Lions have replaced in the No 2 spot.
Gambia’s teenage goalkeeper Boubacarr Sanyang was tested almost immediately out of the blocks by Morocco to deny Hamed Allah a first minute chance.
Three minutes later, Sanyang wasn’t so lucky as the Atlas Lions went ahead through Getafe midfielder Abdelaziz Barrada. (more…)
King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia cut his holiday in Morocco short and returned to Jeddah on Friday “due to the repercussions of the events that are currently taking place in the region,” the state news agency SPA reported.
These events are understood to inlude the American decision to provide military support for the Syiran opposition.
The United States’ announcement on Thursday was seen as a major shift in the Obama’s administration’s policy towards the Syrian crisis.
Senior U.S. officials have refused to elaborate on the kind of military aid Washington plans to offer the Syrian opposition forces.
Such military aid is classified and may be funneled to select Syrian rebels forces in a covert mission by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Associated Press reported. (more…)
UN leader Ban Ki-moon has called on Sahel countries to improve border security to counter terrorism and for rich countries to give the impoverished nations more help to battle the scourge.
Ban warns in a new report that conflicts in the vast region — running from Mauritania on Africa’s west coast to Eritrea in the east — will only worsen unless a more integrated approach is taken to security and lifting the fast-growing populations out of poverty.
The Sahel includes conflicts in Mali and Sudan’s Darfur, some of the world’s poorest countries. The vast and arid region sees regular climate crises and the population is set to “balloon” from 150 million to 250 million in 25 years, said the report sent to the UN Security Council late Friday.
The report reflects mounting international concern over the region. Japan announced last week that it would provide $1 billion dollars to help the “stabilization” of the Sahel.
“Nowhere is the development-security nexus more evident than in the Sahel,” Ban said in the study, largely drawn up by his special envoy to the region, former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi. (more…)
Entrusted to Advance Economic Integration and Trade Efficiency between the 57 Islamic Countries the ICDT Executes a Strategic Agreement with GCEL to Expedite and Enhance the Success of Its Mission
The Digital Economy Platform, provided at no cost to the end user, represents the required tools to reduce OIC countries’ annual trade costs by USD 75 billion, increase global trade by USD 1.2 trillion, create a new USD 6 trillion services industry market opportunity and generate nearly 100 million new jobs, with 32 million in the MEA region.
ICDT’s Director General Dr. El Hassane Hzaine and GCEL’s Co-Chairman Captain Samuel Salloum signed the Agreement. This MOU compliments similar partnerships between GCEL and pan regional organizations around the world including the League of Arab States and Organization of American States, as well as with major economies including G20 countries India and Indonesia.
Captain Salloum welcomed ICDT to the New Millennium Standard for Growth (N-MSG) Council stating, “The N-MSG Council is a global partnership that came together at a time of urgency to assist Aid For Trade on a global level with regional implementation thus delivering tangible economic results to our partners. The Council has the required agility and neutrality delivering a “New Message” to the world thus transforming hope to confidence and confidence into reality.” Captain Salloum elaborated, “Our N-MSG has four foundations: one, a defined and quantified economic target that meets our partners’ ambitions; two, a roadmap to reach the defined goals; three, the required tools when implementing the roadmap; and four, the global consensus that enhances and expedites the delivery of our program.” (more…)