Rabat- The Centre Marocain de Conjoncture (CMC), a Casablanca-based economic research institute, has revealed in its latest annual report that “persisting social inequalities” are hurting Morocco’s economic growth, barring the country’s ultimate dream of asserting itself as a developed country.
Titled “Persisting Inequalities: An Impediment to Growth,” CMC’s 2018 report presents Morocco as a country of persisting socio-economic disparities.
According to CMC researchers, while the North African country’s economic path has gained international praise from investors and financial institutions, the gap between poor and rich Moroccans has “considerably widened” in the last decade.
Despite major investments in recent years, Morocco’s economy is still “fragile,” and collective welfare has not been positively impacted, the report argued. Instead, “social and territorial disparities have reached a worrying level.”
“In Morocco, territorial inequalities are still large and preoccupying,” CMC said, explaining that Moroccans’ socio-economic status, education level, and access to basic social services and necessities are “inextricably linked with where they live.”
Pro-poor economic model
A deep-seated and “internalized” culture of poverty has been holding Morocco’s potential back despite considerable efforts to invest in infrastructure and other economic sectors, according to the report.
“There is a negative relationship between the persistence of strong income inequalities and long-term national economic performance. Programs and strategies adopted in Morocco have not helped the country’s socio-economic development model.”
“They [the economic strategies] are now presenting signs of dysfunction, suggesting their limits to solve the country’s crucial problems.”
Among the “appropriate” strategies and measures to solve Morocco’s persisting problems, the Casablanca-based institute proposed an inclusive and pro-poor economic policy. The fight against poverty should entail the implementation of inclusive policies to confront the issues at their root, the report maintained.
Regarding the “way forward,” the report cited, among others, redistribution of wealth, a system of expansive healthcare, and quality education in public schools. For CMC researchers, huge investments in infrastructures and other “material” sectors cannot deliver on expectations when there is a “lack of investment in human development.”
“Poverty reduction is the pillar of sustainable development,” the report concluded.