Morocco

  • Area 710,850 kmq
  • GDB 103.08 billion $
  • Population 33,848,242
  • Inflation 1,50% (2015)
  • Average age 27,5
Rabat (AFP) Parched Morocco which is heavily dependent on its agricultural sector is to hold prayers for rain Friday in mosques across the country under a royal decree. “Water is becoming more and more scarce. We keep having to dig deeper to find any,” said Houcine Aderdour, president of a producers’ federation and an orange farmer in the Souss region of southern Morocco. Like its Iberian neighbours to the north, Portugal and Spain, Morocco has suffered a severe shortage of rainfall since the end of the summer. Moroccan university studiesRead More
Rabat (AFP) Morocco’s currency regulator has announced a ban on transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies, in a country where foreign exchange flows are tightly controlled. “Transactions via virtual currencies constitute a breach of regulations, punishable by penalties and fines,” the Offices des Changes said in a statement on its website. The announcement came a week after Moroccan digital services company MTDS said it would accept payment in bitcoin. MTDS said it was the first time the regulator had taken a clear position on bitcoin payments. MTDS head KarlRead More
Essaouira (Morocco) (AFP) Mourning relatives on Monday started burying the victims of a stampede that killed 15 women during a food aid delivery near the popular tourist town of Essaouira on Morocco’s coast. “It’s a tragedy,” said the husband of one of the victims, breaking down in tears after burying her. Hundreds of women had gathered on Sunday at a marketplace in the village of Sidi Boulaalam, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) northeast of Essaouira, for an annual distribution of food aid organised by a benefactor from the region. ARead More
Rabat (AFP) At least 15 women were killed and five injured Sunday in a crush as food aid was distributed near the coastal tourist town of Essaouira in western Morocco, authorities and witnesses said. The accident happened in the village of Sidi Boulaalam, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) from Essaouira. A witness told AFP that hundreds of women had gathered at a village marketplace for a distribution of flour organised annually by a prominent benefactor from the region who lives in the commercial capital, Casablanca. “This year there were lotsRead More
Chefchaouen (Morocco) (AFP) Huddling against a hillside in northern Morocco is a tourist town famed for the striking blue of its buildings, and now the mayor is mixing in another colour — green. Chefchaouen — known locally as Chaouen — wants to become a model for sustainable development at a time when the northwest African kingdom has shone a spotlight onto its commitment to the environment and a greener future. Take Aziz, a local council employee in his forties. He whizzes silently around town on an electric bicycle doing hisRead More
Rabat (AFP) A Moroccan court has sentenced two members of a northern protest movement to 20 years in prison each for torching a police building earlier this year, their lawyer said. Rachid Benali told AFP the verdict was issued on Tuesday by a court in Al-Hoceima, a port city in the neglected northern Rif region which was rocked by protests for social justice. The court sentenced two members of Hirak al-Shaabi, or “Popular Movement”, to 20 years in jail and four others to prison terms ranging from one to fiveRead More
Rabat (AFP) Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has ruled out any peace deal that allows for the independence of the Western Sahara as the United Nations renews efforts to resolve the decades-old dispute. A UN peacekeeping force has been deployed in the former Spanish colony since 1991 with a mandate to organise a referendum on its independence or integration with Morocco. Morocco agreed to the vote in a 1988 agreement with the pro-independence Polisario Front that ended 13 years of conflict but has since blocked it being held, saying it willRead More
Tiznit (Morocco) (AFP) An unexpected gust of cool air greets visitors to the new archives centre in Tiznit in the mountains of southern Morocco, even without air-conditioning despite extreme heat outside its walls. That is thanks to the ancestral building methods used by Salima Naji, a French-educated Moroccan architect who specialises in construction that blends in with the environment and local traditions. Rather than concrete, she used adobe and mudbrick, and built in high air vents for circulation. “First I look at what’s available on the scene, rather than bringRead More