Being considered the “backyard” for any country is not acceptable anymore. We have learned the hard way we should depend on ourselves more.
Marrakech – Moroccans have stood up to the COVID-19 test. They showed a great deal of support, awareness, and care for one another to a level which is unprecedented in our recent history. This is a blessing in disguise and an opportunity for reflection on Morocco’s future after COVID-19.
It is an opportunity we should not miss as a nation. The kind of mobilization we have observed in the government and various players in society has built deep trust between the people and the state.
This time is also an opportunity to start a new phase. For about a decade, the relationship between the people and the Moroccan state has deteriorated. A huge portion of society has low esteem for the government and its policies.
This crisis with the amount of solidarity it has generated is an excellent opportunity to rejuvenate that thread. People need to know they can change. They can be better. The current political sphere lacks leadership and many of the historical parties have dwindled and lost their status amongst the masses.
Public institutions should be reinforced with new blood. Young people should regain confidence in the political process.
The real crisis in Moroccan politics currently is the absence of ethical leadership, the kind of leadership that would attract people, particularly the youth.
Those who study pandemics know well that things drastically change afterwards. One view sees such tribulations as a chance for rebuilding and developing societies. It is likely our country will come out victorious from this hardship.
However, we, as a society, should take some time out for self-reflection and evaluation of this trial. We should assess our priorities in terms of how we invest, plan, spend, and behave both as individuals and institutions.
We know Morocco lacks strong financial ability that many countries of the “first world” enjoy. However, there is a lot we can do to strive to be our own boss and provide for every single citizen. This is why we should reconsider spending habits.
All attention and effort should focus on lifting up and improving the country’s economy, education quality, and health care services. It is not impossible.
If we have the right people in the bus, we can achieve great things. The one priceless asset we have in Morocco is human capital. It is high time they get the floor to prove and show their skills and expertise, both those inside the country and those who reside abroad. We have what it takes to make miracles.
The pandemic trial will definitely change a lot of things around us. It is a good lesson. Being considered the “backyard” for any country is not acceptable anymore. We have learned the hard way we should depend on ourselves more.
The great thinker and futurologist Elmehdi Elmanjdra long ago emphasized the importance of prioritizing education and scientific research. Had he gained the attention and recognition he deserved, we would likely have been in a much better shape today.
The six sectors we must invest in
It is never too late, though. The bottom line is we absolutely need to invest most of our financial capabilities and effort in six vital sectors.
First, education: It is critical to our development and continuity as a nation. Education is the tool through which we can develop and prosper in all domains.
We must also fund scientific research. Any field will not be very developed if we do not establish research centers locally, in every major city. It is critical for education, industry, agriculture, health, defense, etc.
Third, because all citizens have the right to receive high quality care when they step into a hospital, we must adequately fund the healthcare system.
Industry, after education, deserves a significant portion of our investment. Having the ability to produce, first provides jobs and serves different sectors and second generates more and high value hard currency.
Lastly, we should focus on food security. Morocco’s Green Plan has been very successful. The government should direct its focus to foods that are vital for people’s everyday consumption.
Today, a high percentage of people believe the state is not serious enough in tackling corruption cases in the public domain. Instead, courts ignored a number of cases or prosecutors withdrew them.
One way we could start this change is to hold anybody accused of misconduct accountable and reinforce social justice for all.
Another vital and urgent development should happen in economics and industry, the sector around which everything else revolves. The government must must encourage young professionals to stay in Morocco and limit the damage of the brain drain crisis. Hundreds of skilled and well-trained young graduates leave the country every single year.
Morocco should aim to gain the trust of people in public institutions and attract these young professionals.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial views.
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