Rabat - Though Morocco is on track to economic growth, the country’s model continues to suffer from five limitations that “block the path to better performance,” says Economy and Finance Minister, Mohamed Boussaïd.
Rabat – Though Morocco is on track to economic growth, the country’s model continues to suffer from five limitations that “block the path to better performance,” says Economy and Finance Minister, Mohamed Boussaïd.
Boussaïd identified these limitations during a conference-debate organized by the Damir Movement in Casablanca on October 27, reported Les Inspirations Eco.
GDP Growth Faced with Low Employment
The disjunction between GDP growth and job creation in Morocco is the first limitation announced by Boussaïd, as “employment does not follow the evolution of growth.”
The minister noted that 320,000 jobs were created between 2000 and 2007, while the average growth during this period was at 4.2 percent.
Between 2010 and 2016, when GDP growth was at 3.2 percent, only 26,000 jobs were created, recalled the minister.
The latest figures by the High Commission for Planning (HCP) show that unemployment is still strong. During the second quarter of 2017, the unemployment rate increased from 9.1 to 9.3 percent nationally and from 13.4 to 14 percent in urban areas.
Gender Inequalities in Job Market
The average employment rate between 1999 and 2014 was 68.7 percent for men, against 23.7 percent for women, said Boussaïd.
The minister assured that gender parity is “clearly not respected” in the labor market. Women are also particularly present in “low productivity sectors, especially the agricultural sector.”
For the International Monetary Fund, Morocco is currently losing a significant share of income because of gender gaps in the market.
The study states that gender segregation currently costs the kingdom 46 percent of income per capita compared to countries where women are more present in the labor force market and entrepreneurship participation.
Morocco is “deficient” in all its free trade agreements, said Boussaïd.
The deficit is particularly flagrant with the European Union, Turkey, and the member countries of the agricultural agreement, according to Les Inspirations Éco.
For the Minister of Agriculture, Aziz Akhannouch, the impact of the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), is potentially “catastrophic” for sales of Moroccan fruit and vegetables.
For example, Moroccan tomatoes exported at a price of MAD 2 are sold at MAD 4 making the price of Moroccan products uncompetitive.
Incompetent Human Capital
For the minister, a lack of developed skills is “a handicap to economic and social development,” particularly the poor performance of primary school students.
A 2015 report by the High Committee for Education has shown that the number of dropouts is still high, indicating that 4 million students have quit school in the past 12 years, 3 million of whom left before finishing middle school, 500,000 before finishing primary school, and 300,000 before finishing high school.
With respect to scientific subjects, Morocco ranked second-to-last in the list.
This low ranking is ascribed to students’ inability to achieve an average grade in mathematics and physics and their difficulties in mastering Arabic.
Poor economic and social governance
Boussaïd said that this limitation is due to “endemic” corruption in the country, recalling that Morocco scored of 3.7 out of 100 in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
Meanwhile, Freedom House rated the Functioning of Government with 3 points of 12 points, stressingthat corruption is “rife in state institutions and the economy,”andthat “despite the government’s rhetoric on combating corruption, it has a mixed record on enforcement.”
Though the government has made sure to publish the annual budget and other financial information online through the past years, including the national press in the public debate on the matter, for the NGO, “overall transparency is limited.”