Morocco at the Crossroads: Achievements and Challenges

The Maghreb Center, in collaboration with the World Bank’s InfoShop and Maghreb Department (MENA Region) invites you to a special presentation.

Morocco at the Crossroads: Achievements and Challenges

Tuesday, December 19, 2006, 12:30pm – 2:30pm

World Bank J Building- J1-050
701 18th St. NW (corner of 18th St. and Pennsylvania Ave)
Event is followed by a light lunch reception in the InfoShop

Read the abstracts from the meeting

Since the accession of King Mohamed VI to the throne in 1999, Morocco has engaged in  a social, economic and political reform process whose scope and intensity are considered unparalleled in the Middle East and North Africa, by a majority of specialists in the region. Major progress has been achieved on all these fronts, but a lot remains to be done. Adapting the governance system for genuine ownership and accountability; inducing sustained economic growth while narrowing disparities between segments of the Moroccan population, reducing poverty and continuing to improve social indicators; and dealing with the issue of unemployment, mainly among the youth; are some of the main challenges faced by Morocco on the path of sustained reform and progress. The purpose of the conference is to offer analyses of some of these issues, and recommendations on how to tackle them.

Chaired by

Nejib Ayachi
Founder and President of the Maghreb Center

Presented by

Marina Ottaway
Director of the Middle East program at the Carnegie Endowment for International

Marina S. Ottaway specializes in democracy and post-conflict reconstruction issues, with special focus on problems of political transformation in the Middle East and reconstruction in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and African countries. She is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Project, a research endeavor that analyzes the state of democracy around the world and the efforts by the United States and other countries to promote democracy. Her most recent book, Uncharted Journey: Democracy Promotion in the Middle East (co-edited with Thomas Carothers), was published in January 2005. Before joining the Endowment, Ottaway carried out research in Africa and in the Middle East for many years and taught at the University of Addis Ababa, the University of Zambia, the American University in Cairo, and the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. 

Ms Ottaway will address the governance and institutional aspects of reform in her presentation titled Governance in Morocco.

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Ted Ahlers
Director of the Maghreb Department at the World Bank

Mr. Ahlers was appointed Director of the Maghreb Department (Algeria, Libya, Malta, Morocco and Tunisia) in the Middle East and North Africa (MNA) Region in October 2002. A U.S. national, Mr. Ahlers joined the Bank in 1985 as an economist in the West African Country Programs Department. Since then, he has held several positions in the Middle East and North Africa, Africa, and Europe and Central Asia Regions, both in country programs and technical divisions, including as Country Director for Benin, Niger and Togo (1996-2000) and Director in the Office of the Vice President, Africa Region (2000-2002). Mr. Ahlers attended Tufts University, Fletcher School, and holds a Ph.D in development economics. His pre-Bank experience includes research and policy advisor positions in Madagascar, Cameroon and Haiti.

Mr. Ahlers will provide the World Bank Perspective on Economic Reforms: Achievements and  Challenges.

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Jon B. Alterman
Director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Jon B. Alterman is director and senior fellow of the CSIS Middle East Program. Prior to joining CSIS, he served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. Before entering government, he was a scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace and at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Alterman has lectured in more than 20 countries on subjects related to the Middle East and U.S. policy toward the region. Alterman is on the Board of Advisory Editors of the Middle East Journal, is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Transnational Broadcasting Studies, and is a former international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Alterman will talk about Reform in Morocco, and EU and US AID.

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Loubna Skalli Hanna
School of International Service, the American University

Ms. Skalli Hanna is a professor at the School of International Service at American University, Washington D.C. where she teaches gender and youth in international development. She is also an adjunct at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Her most recent publications include Through a Local Prism: Gender, Globalization and Identity in Moroccan Women’s Magazines (Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), and Vulture Culture: the Politics and Pedagogy of Television Talk Shows (co-authored, Peter Lang, 2005).

Professor Skalli Hanna will present Moroccan NGOs Approaches to Development and Women.

Comments by:

H.E. Ambassador Aziz Mekouar

Aziz Mekouar became ambassador of Morocco to the United States on June 19, 2002. Before his current assignment, Ambassador Mekouar served as ambassador to Italy(1999-2002). He was elected Independent Chairman of the Council of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in November 2001 and re-elected in 2003. He had previously been appointed ambassador to Portugal (1993-1999) and to Angola (1986-1993). Ambassador Mekouar has also served as minister plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Morocco(1985-1986), permanent representative of Morocco to the International Bureau for Information Technology (1978-1985), and first counselor and deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Morocco in Rome (1977-1985).

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