France says it will help build-up Morocco’s tech industry through training and development, ensuring a “win-win” for both countries.
The French State Secretary for Digital Affairs Cedric O has stated that France will offer support to Morocco’s tech industry, helping build the capacity of Moroccan start-ups through training and development.
O addressed the Moroccan Press Agency (MAP) at the annual Vivatech conference in Paris, a technology exhibit bringing together more than 9000 start-ups and 1900 investors from all over the world.
Sixteen Moroccan start-ups attended Vivatech this year, raising Morocco’s international profile in the tech industry.
O acknowledged that France benefits greatly from Morocco’s tech expertise and indicated it would give back to Morocco.
“Today, in tech, France can rely heavily on Moroccan talents, but this must done in a win-win way,” O told MAP.
In 2017, France launched the French Visa Tech program, which simplifies visa procedures for French companies wanting to hire expertise from overseas.
Over 10,000 French companies are eligible for the French Visa Tech program and many have already been hiring Moroccan talent.
O met with the Moroccan Minister of Industry Moulay Hafid Elalamy at Vivatech and explained that through a win-win partnership, France would continue to benefit from Moroccan talent, but that France would also “come to Morocco to help Moroccan companies develop and train staff.”
“We are working towards this,” O confirmed, without providing more information on a specific time frame for this initiative.
Morocco has been pushing a digital strategy forward, recognizing the transformative role that technology has on its economy. In 2017, the Ministry of Industry set up the National Digital Development Agency (ADD) to support digital initiatives in public administrations, as well as in the private sector.
“We will make sure our young people who are interested in innovation and the digital sector are properly supported and have possibilities and opportunities including the internationalization of their start-ups,” Elalamy said at Vivatech.
Brain drain is a concern for Morocco. According to a 2018 survey by Moroccan employment company Rekrute, 91% of Moroccans want to work overseas, to improve their quality of life and their work environments.
According to Salwa Belkeziz Karki, the president of the Moroccan Federation of Information Technology, 8000 managerial level employees in the IT sector actually leave Morocco every year, reported Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Youm last year.
Some Moroccan companies are working hard to stop the digital brain drain.
IT giant Everis, with offices in Casablanca and Tetouan, has recently set up set up a flexible work program for its employees. By promoting better work-life balance through flexible work hours and remote working, it hopes to retain its best staff.