Contemporary Economic Policy in Morocco


In conjunction with

British Council in Morocco

Moroccan British Society

Contemporary Economic Policy in Morocco: How can economic reform work to create jobs?

Workshop, National Library in Rabat, 28 March 2014

The University of Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies, the British Council in Morocco and the Moroccan British Society held a workshop on job creation in Morocco for policymakers, academics, advisers and postgraduate researchers.


Since the advent of structural reform in 1983, successive Moroccan governments have followed the guidelines of international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, by encouraging free trade, instigating public sector reform, encouraging privatization of public services and investing in particular industries like tourism, to encourage growth. One consequence of such market reforms has been the rise of unemployment, particularly among educated younger generations of Moroccans, and declines in other social indicators as well. This has raised the question as to whether there is any linkage between the economic reforms undertaken and the social trends that have been noted since the reform programmes began.

Interestingly enough, pushed by European and other creditors in International Financial Institutions to reduce public debt, governing political parties, regardless of ideological affiliation, have not returned to the public sector to devise solutions to, for example, unemployment. Instead, the emphasis of aid agencies and Moroccan governments has been on training and specific schemes to counter unemployment – for instance, the loan scheme co-funded by the State in the 1990s for young entrepreneurs. At the same time, European and American initiatives toward the Mediterranean and the MENA region prioritize issues of concern to them, namely migration and free trade, rather than explicitly local employment growth.

This workshop will explore how economic policy can bring about job creation in the future, especially for younger Moroccans below forty years of age. Acknowledging that macro-economic policies have not generated acceptable levels of job creation, income distribution and declines in poverty rates, the workshop is intended to showcase empirical studies and suggest possible alternative approaches to the issue from those currently in force. The workshop aims to bring together scholars to discuss innovative methods of expanding labour markets across a range of sectors and industries. Finally, the proceedings of the workshop will be reproduced as an edited volume, and the workshop itself will provide the basis for the development of an academic network on economic policy and job creation in North Africa.

The workshop explored how economic policy can bring about job creation in the future, especially for younger Moroccans below forty years of age.  Themes included:

1)      Job Creation and Economic Development – Theory and Reality

2)      State-driven Job Creation

3)      Job Creation in the Private Sector

4)      Social Development

To view the full programme, please click here.

Click on the link for further information about Morocco: From World War Two to Independence

Click on the link for further information about Cambridge in Morocco: Perspectives on Islamic and North African Studies