By Siham Ali
By Siham Ali
Rabat- More needs to be done for young people in Morocco, a new government report release this week confirmed.
The country also needs to pay particular attention to the competitiveness of the national economy to face current constraints and international challenges and to improve investment opportunities on a world scale, Morocco’s Economic Social and Environmental Council (CESE) said in a report released on Monday (September 2nd).
The reforms being introduced in Morocco, particularly in taxation, benefits and pensions must be sped up if sustainable and responsible development is to be achieved, CESE Chairman Nizar Baraka told the press.
It is essential to increase the contribution made by SMEs to boost growth and employment, he added.
“The CESE’s recommendations are extremely convincing, particularly where the need to preserve the macro-economic balance and to promote competitiveness is concerned,” economist Mehdi Chtibi said. “Growth cannot be stimulated without improvements to the business climate and encouragement for SMEs.”
“The government needs to be courageous in launching its reforms, starting with the funding of benefits and pensions,” economist Bahia Ramili added. “But we also need to improve the business climate”.
In its report, the CESE also highlighted the public’s hope to see poverty and social exclusion eliminated, to improve health services and to increase the performance of the state education system.
Education remains the main factor holding back human development in Morocco, the council noted, due to its knock-on effects for efforts to reduce inequality and increase social cohesion.
“The beneficial effects of economic growth and social development in reducing social and geographic inequality still fall short of aspirations, particularly where women and young people are concerned, and especially those living in rural areas,” the document stated.
“A change of culture is needed to involve young people and women in the main challenges of economic and social progress and to increase their contribution.”
Young people’s contribution to public policy will continue to be shaped by their levels of qualification and their awareness of the key role they can play in the country’s future, the council noted, adding, “getting young people actively involved will involve a change of attitude towards young people among the various players, meaning they should see them as an asset, not a burden.”
“This depends upon efforts to spread the values of work and responsibility among young people, alongside the principle of rewarding effort, innovation and enterprise,” it added.
If these aims are to be achieved, then a major effort lies ahead not only for the government but also for families, teachers and civil society, sociologist Amine Nadir said.
“If we are to get off the ground, we need to understand that young people are the country’s greatest resource,” he added. “For cultural reasons, young people have been prevented from taking their rightful place. As the Economic and Social Council points out, we need to change attitudes in this area.”