Archive for September, 2013

Maghreb news 2013-09-30

Security | 2013-09-30

Tripoli schoolgirl abductions raise questions

Libyan officials are downplaying kidnapping reports as Tripoli teachers rally to raise awareness of the issue.

Security | 2013-09-30

African experts warn of terror revival

Terror groups in the Sahel and Sahara have been “paralysed” by security crackdowns, an Algiers forum said. Now the job is to keep them from making Nairobi-style “statement” attacks. (more…)

Nouaceur: HM The King Inaugurates ‘Midparc’ Industrial Platform, Launches Building Works Of Bombardier-Maroc Plant

MAP

Nouaceur: HM the King inaugurates 'Midparc' industrial platform, launches building works of Bombardier-Maroc plant

Nouaceur – HM King Mohammed VI, inaugurated, Monday in Nouaceur, the “Midparc” integrated industrial platform for aeronautics, and launched the building works of the first plant in Africa by Canadian aerospace company “Bombardier”, which will give impetus to the national industrial strategy “Plan Emergence”.

30 September 2013
The projects give a strong signal of the sovereign’s firm will to spur the competitiveness of the aeronautics sector, reinforce industrial infrastructure, and give more visibility to national and foreign investors.
The Midparc industrial platform, worth 887.6 million dirhams, is built over a surface area of 124.4 ha. It seeks to create a platform for the aeronautics industry and related activities, in-car electronics and industrial logistics and has the status of a free export zone. (more…)

At UN General Debate, Morocco calls for more aid, investment for Africa

Saad-Eddine El Othmani Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

MoroccanForeign Minister Saad Dine El Otmani took to the podium of the United Nations General Assembly today to decry the lack of international aid and other obstacles that prevent Africa from reaching its full potential.

“We remain concerned at the precarious development situation in a large number of African countries due to the low level of public aid for development, the reduction in volume of foreign investments and the difficulties linked to access to international markets for their products,” he told the General Assembly as it began the second week of its annual General Debate. (more…)

Morocco phosphate exporter OCP’s profit slumps as prices drop

Reuters

RABAT, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Morocco’s Office Cherifien de Phosphate (OCP), the world’s leading phosphate exporter, posted a 46 percent drop in its first half net profit to 3.6 billion dirhams ($426 million), it said in a statement, as global prices of the mineral fell.

Prices of phosphate rock, an essential ingredient for producing fertiliser, fell to $145 per tonne in 2013 from around $185 per tonne in 2012.

OCP’s sales declined to 24.5 billion dirhams from 28.24 billion in the first half of 2012 although the company continued to boost its output with an aim to reach 47 million tonnes in 2017 in crude phosphate rock from the current 34 million tonnes. (more…)

Bombardier begins construction of Morocco parts plant

Reuters

RABAT, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier on Monday began construction in Morocco of a $200 million plant to make parts for its Learjet 70 and 75 and CRJ aircraft, the state news agency said.

EADS, Boeing, Safran and other companies also operate parts plants in Morocco, attracted by favourable government terms for overseas investors.

Bombardier has been making parts in Morocco since February at a temporary facility at Mohammed V airport in Nouaceur, near Casablanca.

Bombardier’s permanent plant is scheduled to open in June, 2014 and will create 850 full-time direct jobs, the state news agency said.

Gaps in Graduates’ Skills Confound Morocco

New York Times

Reuters

Young unemployed graduates during a protest in 2011 against unemployment and the cost of living in front of the Moroccan Parliament in Rabat.

By AIDA ALAMI

RABAT, Morocco — Morocco spends about a quarter of its state budget on education, a high proportion by any standards. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation andDevelopment, the average in developed industrial nations is about 13 percent.
Yet the results have not saved the country from some serious soul searching. (more…)

Imagining a Remapped Middle East

New York Times

By ROBIN WRIGHT

THE map of the modern Middle East, a political and economic pivot in the international order, is in tatters. Syria’s ruinous war is the turning point. But the centrifugal forces of rival beliefs, tribes and ethnicities — empowered by unintended consequences of the Arab Spring — are also pulling apart a region defined by European colonial powers a century ago and defended by Arab autocrats ever since.

A different map would be a strategic game changer for just about everybody, potentially reconfiguring alliances, security challenges, trade and energy flows for much of the world, too.

Syria’s prime location and muscle make it the strategic center of the Middle East. But it is a complex country, rich in religious and ethnic variety, and therefore fragile. After independence, Syria reeled from more than a half-dozen coups between 1949 and 1970, when the Assad dynasty seized full control. Now, after 30 months of bloodletting, diversity has turned deadly, killing both people and country. Syria has crumbled into three identifiable regions, each with its own flag and security forces. A different future is taking shape: a narrow statelet along a corridor from the south through Damascus, Homs and Hama to the northern Mediterranean coast controlled by the Assads’ minority Alawite sect. In the north, a small Kurdistan, largely autonomous since mid-2012. The biggest chunk is the Sunni-dominated heartland. (more…)

Arab Spring facing problems: Emir

The Peninsula

The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani addressing the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday.
DOHA: The Arab Spring revolutions are now facing difficulties but things will not revert in the Arab world since the people have become more aware of their rights, the Emir
H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said yesterday.
Addressing the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, the Emir said that Qatar aimed to become a hub for dialogue and not a party in the regional and international conflicts. (more…)

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