Moroccan budget is largely dependent on investors to subsidise its large deficit. Two of its best partners are a couple of banks not quite known in the Western world. Until now.
Bill Gates has his hands deeply in both of them. And this sting is now hurting Morocco and costing it $3Billion a month.
I’m just scratching a surface here, but you can peep in now. Something like this might be happening in your country too.
Completed in my 9th day of hunger strike, under an insane and scientifically unjustified lockdown in Morocco. It was important to publish it now, while I still can, and if my destiny is generous, I will perfect it. The point is made anyway.
UPDATE: On December 22, 2020 this investigative endeavor found its closure and many of the questions I raised found an answer. I added the newest evelopments at the end, but when all this was written I didn’t know what the punchline will be, I only had hunches, so I left the end open.
The African Development Bank (ADB / AfDB)
Veteran banking partner of Morocco, The African Development Bank Group or Banque Africaine de Développement is a multilateral development finance institution.
The AfDB was founded in 1964 and comprises three entities:
The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. – Wikipedia
CEO: Akinwumi Adesina (Sep 1, 2015–)
Headquarters: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Founded: September 10, 1964
Leader: Akinwumi Adesina
Subsidiaries: African Development Fund, Nigeria Trust Fund, and more
“In this first academic study of the ADB, Karen Mingst argues that the bank is a political institution, not the functional, economically neutral organization originally envisioned. Using bank archives and extensive interviews with ADB personnel, contractors, the economic development community, and national government officials, Mingst analyzes the changing political relationships in the ADB in three arenas: intraorganizational politics with effects on the secretariat and on policy issues, political relations with other development organizations, and hegemonic politics among politically and economically powerful state members.”Amazon Books review of “Politics and the African Development Bank” by Karen A. Mingst
How much African is this African Development Bank?
Not much, by voting powers according to African Development Bank’s own internal documents, as of December 2014.
However, I suspect some big voters are not on that list, are not even countries, but are richer than some countries. Riddle me this…
Did you know?
Bill Gates’ fortune in 2017 was roughly equal to Morocco’s GDP.
The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)
Not a new actor on the local market either, IsDB is a multinational based in Saudi Arabia and it describes itself as “a multilateral development bank (MDB), working to improve the lives of those we serve by promoting social and economic development in Member countries and Muslim communities worldwide, delivering impact at scale.
- We provide the infrastructure to enable people to lead better lives and achieve their full potential.
- We bring together 57 member countries across four continents – touching the lives of 1 in 5 of the world’s population.
- We are one of the world’s most active MDBs, and global leaders in Islamic Finance, with an AAA rating, and operating assets of more than USD 16 billion and subscribed capital of USD 70 billion.
- We are a truly global institution, headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with major hubs in Morocco, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Senegal, and gateway offices in Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
- We foster collaboration between our members nations in a uniquely non-political environment, as we focus on the betterment of humanity.
IsDB Official website
IsDB seems to have earned contract after cotract with the government, too many to mention, they’re seriously competing AfDB.
Competing or completing…
Until 2017, Morocco has received a total of USD 7.6 billion from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) group since its establishment in 1974, according to Bandar Al-Hajjar, president of the IDB.
You know who else is an even more “fervent” collaborator for IsDB?
I mean so close they should share offices?
Yeah, Bill Gates, of course.
THE TIMELINE (incomplete)
June 4, 2009
World Bank, the African Development Bank, Gates Foundation, and DEG set up “Health in Africa Fund” under Chinese management
From the official press release: “IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the German development finance institution DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH announced June 4, 2009 that they have created a new private equity fund that will invest in Africa’s health sector.
The Health in Africa Fund, managed by Aureos Capital, will invest in small- and medium-sized companies in sub-Saharan Africa, such as health clinics and diagnostic centers, with the goal of helping low-income Africans gain access to affordable, high-quality health services. The fund will be measured not only by fiscal performance but also by its ability to cultivate businesses serving the poor.
The Health in Africa Fund is part of IFC’s Health in Africa Initiative under which IFC intends to mobilize up to $1 billion in investment and advisory services over five years, following publication of its 2007 Business of Health in Africa report, which focuses on how to improve people’s lives by partnering with the private sector. Besides the equity vehicle, IFC is improving access to long-term financing for smaller companies involved in health care through local financial intermediaries. Together with the World Bank and other partners, IFC is working with governments to help them better harness the private sector to achieve national health goals and is producing the first biennial report on Africa’s health care investment climate.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year.
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
DEG, a member of KfW Bankengruppe (KfW banking group), is one of the largest European development finance institutions. DEG invests in profitable projects that contribute to sustainable development in all sectors of the economy, from agribusiness to infrastructure and manufacturing to services. DEG’s aim is to establish and expand private enterprise structures in developing and emerging countries and thus create the basis for sustainable economic growth and a lasting improvement in the living conditions of local populations. In 2008 DEG invested around 1.22 billion euros which is about 1.6 per cent more than the previous year.
- About Aureos Capital Limited
Aureos Capital Ltd. is a private equity fund management company which specializes in providing expansion and buy-out capital to unlisted small to mid-cap businesses across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Since its establishment in 2001, Aureos has increased its funds under management to over $1 billion and established 15 regional private equity funds. It has extended its geographical footprint to over 50 emerging markets covering Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Investors in Aureos funds include institutional investors, bilateral and multilateral development finance institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, fund of funds, family offices and foundations, and high net worth individuals.”
Yeah, but what they don’t tell you…
The phosphate industry gets some love. But who’s the phosphate industry?
Morocco’s state-run phosphate, OCP Group, (Office Cherifien des Phosphates) has received a $150 million loan from IsDB to improve its infrastructure and repair facilities at Jorf Lasfar, a deepwater commercial port located on Morocco’s Atlantic coast.
Phosphates are “Morocco’s white gold”, according to Bloomberg, the main natural resource for export in Morocco.
“King Mohammed VI owns more than half the world’s phosphate reserves. James Prokopanko, chief executive officer of Plymouth (Minn.)-based fertilizer giant Mosaic (MOS), has called Morocco the Saudi Arabia of phosphate, with all that implies about the King’s power to influence prices and economies.”
If you want to harvest some billions, you need to seed some millions
According to Morocco World News, in 2014, the IDB amounted to $0.18 billion to Morocco in order to carry out drinking water supply projects in the regions of Agadir and Chtouka Ait Baha, as well as the olive sector for small farmers.
In the same year, oil refiner Samir received a loan of $240 million to finance crude oil imports. Which allegedly refines oil from a company that belongs to the minister of Agriculture, coincidentally Morocco’s richest man, besides the King.
By the way, agriculture loves oil and phosphates.
The IDB has also embarked on signing agreement with partners to invest in Morocco. In 2014, it signed a joint agreement with Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) to invest in Moroccan private sectors.
And so forth
February 25, 2015
Moroccan Government employs AfDB to diagnose economy
“Working in close collaboration, the Kingdom of Morocco, African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), have conducted an exhaustive study on constraints and strengths impeding the country’s determination to promote a strong, sustained and shared growth. The study, entitled Morocco’s Economic Growth Analysis: Identifying Constraints to Broad-Based Growth* is derived from in-depth data-driven analysis supported by consultations with all government ministries, private sector, academia and civil society in Morocco. Its objective is to clearly identify constraints to private investment in Morocco and identity priority issues to be addressed in order to grow a strong, dynamic economy.”
This report was officially launched on February 25, 2015 at Rabat Conference Centre. AfDB president Donald Kaberuka participated in the event alongside the Head of the Government of Morocco, Abdelilah Benkirane, and the Ambassador of the United States of America to Morocco, Dwight Bush (a banker as well), among others.
“The 2015 Growth Diagnostic conducted by Morocco, the African Development Bank and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) identified education and certain aspects of the legal framework (taxation, the justice system and land ownership) as major constraints to the development of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The size of the informal economy has also been regularly blamed. The new “self-entrepreneur” status created in 2015 and the gradual extension of social benefits to the self employed should allow some of those operating in the informal economy to move into the formal sector.”, reports African Economic Outlook
March 11, 2015
AfDB Board approves The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust Fund
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 in Abidjan approved the establishment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Trust Fund to be hosted by the Bank.
The Fund’s US $2.4 million initial contribution will support forward-thinking on the issue of concessional finance in development by an African Development Fund (ADF) Policy Lab. It would also support other future Bank activities.
It is the first bilateral fund with a non-sovereign entity, and the first bilateral fund with the Foundation aimed to provide structure to the long-standing collaboration with the Bank and scale up areas of intervention.
The Bank currently manages about 39 trust funds most of which are depleted.
There was overwhelming support for the collaboration, which fits squarely with the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy. The Strategy looks to engage in strategic partnerships to disseminate knowledge and lead new policy initiatives.
The ADF Policy Lab will complement the Mid-Term Review of the ADF, which is the pool of concessional resources dedicated to less endowed Regional Member Countries.
The Bank has been involved in multiple interactions with the Gates Foundation. In 2011, the Foundation contributed US $12 million to the African Water Facility (AWF) to support sanitation services to some of Africa’s urban poor. It also contributed US $15 million towards implementation of the Action Plan for improved statistics for food security in Africa in 2013.
And and then…
March 23, 2015
Bill Gates joins Monsanto in an attempt to take over Africa’s food with GMO’s
If you think Gates has a passion or obsession for medicine, I’m afraid that’s just one of his many tools for control and power grabs. An even more powerful tools in this kit is food, so of course Billy Boi has been long involved in this too.
The other mega-company that shared his views almost in verbatim copy is the infamous Monsanto.
So no one should be surprised that The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation met Monsanto to discuss business behind closed doors in London, in March 2015.
Which event even sparked street protests at the time, the Gates Foundation getting picketed in several locations.
Bill Gates visits Morocco and unveils collaboration with IsDA, becomes news sensation
Gates’ Foundation representatives attended a meeting with the regional head of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region and representatives from the Islamic Development Bank to discuss Bill Gates’ first visit Morocco in the coming months.
Bill Gates’ trip to Morocco comes after a two-month long effort made by Ilya El Omari, head of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima and President of the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) to convince Microsoft’s founder to visit the North African country. The information was not denied by the PAM.
It seems however, that news, which went viral and was published by most news outlets, including Morocco World News, is not accurate.
According to an email sent by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Moroccan journalist Anas Bendrif, the “media reports about funding of projects in Morocco are not correct.”
While the Foundation’s did not deny the visit reported by Moroccan media, it pointed out, however, that that no investment is being planned yet in Morocco, adding that any decision in this regard is made by the Islamic Development Bank.
“The Bill and Melinda Gates works with partner organization around the world, including the Islamic Development Bank, to explore new ways of cooperation on initiatives that will help lift the poor out poverty and provide then with brighter future. This includes on-the-ground visits to various communities and regions to learn more about their greatest needs, which may benefit from our joint initiative: the Lives and Livelihoods Fund,” Cecilie, the foundation’s representative said in the email.
“We have no confirmed any projects at his time in Morocco, but we continue to explore potential opportunities wen we will announce those once they materialize.” – Source
Bill Gates Foundation grant for African Development Bank
November 16, 2018
The African Development Bank announces a new initiative to promote innovation and citywide inclusive sanitation services for sub-Saharan Africa’s urban inhabitants. The Bank’s Africa Urban Sanitation Investment Fund Program, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is funding the initiative designed to focus on the poor.
The Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, showcased the new initiative at the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing from 6-8 November 2018. The Reinvented Toilet Expo brought together private and public-sector leaders pushing for faster adoption of innovative, pro-poor sanitation technologies in the world’s developing regions.
“Support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation enhances the Fund’s ability to address sanitation in urban areas for greater outcomes, including in health, nutrition, environment, and employment,” bank officials said.
“The Bill & Melinda Gates Trust Fund funded a study on how to improve connectivity between payment systems and create greater financial inclusion for West Africans, as well as an investment to the Africa Digital Inclusion Fund. Originally $2.4 million, the trust fund now tops $17.9 million due to additional funding by the Gates Foundation.” reports Devex
Meet Rodrigo Salvado
“Before joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rodrigo worked for the African Development Bank Group where he was in charge of the Performance Based Allocation System of the African Development Fund”.
So AfDB is so bad-ass it has people in Gates’ Foundation?!
Salvado holds a Master in Public Administration in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Master in Economics from the Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros in Madrid, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Argentina.
26 March 2018
AfDB reveals it’s also in cahoots with the Rockefellers and Soros
ABIDJAN — Purse-string tightening by traditional international development donors in recent years has prompted the African Development Bank to cast a wider net in seeking aid funding. One of the areas that has seen success, the bank told Devex, is securing financing from philanthropic organizations.
In February, the Rockefeller Trust Fund provided an initial $3 million to support two of the AfDB’s “High 5” development priorities. The financing will go toward the Leadership for Agriculture Platform — in alignment with the “Feed Africa” pillar — and a youth coding skills training program in connection with the “Improving the Quality of Life for People in Africa” pillar.
The department is currently developing relationships with other socially responsible NGOs including the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations (George Sorors). But Dabady added that the AfDB needs to better communicate the tangible results produced from funding in order to sustain and form partnerships with private foundations.
May 17, 2018
African Development Bank drops 200 million Eu in Morocco’s Agriculture
Rabat – African Development Bank (BAD) has outlined EU 200 million loan dedicated to finance the program of support for the inclusive and sustainable development of agricultural sectors in Morocco.
The new operation aims to support job creation in rural areas through the inclusive development of agricultural value chains, the African bank said in a statement.
The country manager of the BAD in Morocco, Leila Farah Mokaddem, highlighted how the project is projected to boost Morocco’s exports revenues to MAD 45 million by 2030 and save 990 million cubic meters of water. By 2020, it aims to mobilize MAD 4 billion of private investment in the agricultural sector to create thousands of jobs for young people and women in rural areas.
While Africa still doesn’t have clean water, Gates and AfDB bestow it with “digital financial services”. For the people
In 2019, the Bank partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Government of Luxembourg and Agence Française de Développement to set up the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI). ADFI is a blended finance vehicle that aims to scale up digital financial services in Africa to accelerate financial inclusion and ensure that digital financial systems include and empower everyone, especially women.
January 22, 2019
Moroccan Government sign a new agreement for Agenda 2030 implementation
Rabat – “The Moroccan high commissioner for planning (HCP), Ahmed Lahlimi Alami, the deputy resident representative at the UN Development Assistance Framework, Martine Therer, and 10 UN agencies in Morocco signed an agreement in the framework of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)on Tuesday.
During a ceremony at the HCP headquarters in Rabat, the two officials discussed the agreement which is also part of the UNDAF 2017-2021 framework.
The agreement will facilitate the tracking of and reporting of SGD progress in the country to better “inform the policymaker and the public on the progress” of sustainable development in their country.
The agreement is valid for three years and will focus on the following objectives: “The use of performance and statistical data of the Sustainable Development Goals program, the preparation of periodic reports concerning the progress of these goals on national and regional levels, with the help of consultation mechanisms put by the program and through south-south cooperation networks.”
Morocco has made advances in a significant number of SDGs, according to a report by the Economic Commission for Africa released in November.
The report, however, entailed that youth employment, climate change, food security, and industrial transition were some of the complex challenges that Morocco still needs to address.”
Apr 3-6, 2019
Islamic Development Bank holds annual meeting in Morocco, discusses Agenda 2030
The event convenes the bank’s Board of Governors each year to discuss institutional and development issues, pulling in experts and development specialists from around the globe. 2018’s event took place in Tunis.
This year, the meeting’s slogan is “Transformation in a changing world,” a reference to the new development strategy the bank’s president Bandar Hajjar will unveil. The new strategy dovetails with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to IsDB.
“Morocco is one of IsDB’s most important partners. The institution has worked extensively with the kingdom, most recently launching a multimillion dollar fund for science and technology in Morocco.” reports local media.
In February, lauding Morocco’s use of private-public partnerships, one of the new “core pillars” of the IsDB, Hajjar called the North African country a “model and a reference” for its other member countries, writes MWN.
Allow me to translate:
Private-public partnerships is code for “siphoning public funds”.
New “core pillars” of the IsDB is code for “Morocco’s budget has become our main provider now”.
Who else loves Agenda 2030 and works to implement it?
If you think Bill Gates, you’re not wrong, but if you think Morocco’s government you’re also right.
And then Covid-19 hit
May 18, 2020
Economy Minister: Lockdown Costs Morocco MAD 0.1 Billion a Day
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Economy, Finance, and Administration Reform, Mohamed Benchaaboun, stated that the country loses up to MAD 1 billion ($100 million) during each day under lockdown, noting it is expected that the two months of quarantine will cause the national economy to lose 6 points of GDP growth for 2020.
“The loss would have been greater if financial support had not been provided by the COVID-19 pandemic management fund, which was created on royal instructions,” explained Benchaaboun in the weekly session dedicated to parliamentary questions on Tuesday.
On the fiscal level, he added that “the economic recession is expected to cause a shortfall in Morocco’s treasury revenues of approximately MAD 500 million per day during the quarantine period.”
Benchaaboun went on to say that Morocco has been largely affected by the repercussions of the health crisis at the economic and financial levels, as shown by a set of economic indicators.
Meanwhile, the small-time local bankers get pushed around by Covid too
Rabat – International ratings agency Fitch Ratings has downgraded three Moroccan banks’ outlooks from “stable” to “negative.”
The study included Attijariwafa Bank (AWB), BMCE Bank of Africa (BOA) and Credit Immobilier et Hotelier (CIH).
The evaluations follow Fitch Ratings’ latest revision of Morocco’s outlook to “negative” from “stable” on April 28, due to the coronavirus crisis.
Fitch Ratings indicated that AWB and BOA are classified as domestic systemically important banks (DSIB) in Morocco, and believes that the government would have a high propensity to support them if needed.
However, the ratings agency classifies the overall probability of Moroccan support as moderate, given the negative repercussions of the pandemic on Morocco’s economy.
Despite Morocco’s proactive response to address the negative shocks of the pandemic, Fitch expects the Moroccan economy to contract 4.5% in 2020. The agency also predicts general government debt to rise to 58% of GDP in 2020 from 52.5% in 2019.
If the projection proves true, it will interrupt 22 successive years of growth – Morocco World News
May 20, 2020
Heavily impacted by the lockdown, a significant number of Moroccan companies have declared bankruptcy
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Mohamed Benchaaboun, has called on companies to resume their activities after the end of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, to revive the lockdown-stressed national economy.
The economic resumption concerns companies that have not been prohibited from continuing their activities, and the proposed measure does not include companies that opted for remote work.
Companies excluded from the call are those active in catering services, hotels, and places of gathering.
Benchaaboun made the request during a Parliament session dedicated to the government’s economic and financial measures to mitigate the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis on Tuesday, May 19.
Seizing the opportunity, Benchaaboun shared with parliamentarians an update on expenses of the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19. The minister also highlighted measures the government implemented to support companies, employees, and impacted citizens.
He stated that the fund’s revenues reached MAD 32.7 billion ($3.27 billion) as of Monday, May 18. He added that more than MAD 2.2 billion ($220 million) was allocated to upgrade the health sector while a further MAD 11.5 billion ($1.15 billion) was dedicated to the Economic Watch Committee’s (CVE) measures in favor of impacted businesses and employees.
May 27, 2020
COVID-19: African Development Bank Allocates €264 Million to Morocco
If you had enough influence over a cuntry’s rulers to persuade them to implement some suicidal measures, just so you can appear as saviour later, would you do it?
Historically speaking, banksters are usually quite inclined towards such opperations, not t mention Gates.
But I digress, check the latest news:
Rabat – The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved today In Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire the financing of €264 million for Morocco, as part of its COVID-19 response support program (PARC-19).
“With rapid deployment of resources, PARC-19 contributes to bolster the Kingdom’s response efforts to the health, economic and social crisis triggered by the COVID-19 epidemic,” the AfDB said in a press release.
“Faced with this unprecedented situation, we are doing everything in our power to support Morocco to curb the spread of the virus and mitigate its economic and social repercussions,” said AfDB Director General for North Africa, Mohamed El Azizi.
AfDB indicates that protecting the population requires the primary objective of stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The first step also includes improving the effectiveness of the authorities’ response, as well as increasing the number of virological tests.
“The second objective of this operation is intended to help preserve the purchasing power of Moroccans. In this perspective, the program will support public financial support measures, which benefit employees in the formal and informal sectors during the lockdown period,” said the AfDB.
“It will also reinforce [the] government’s efforts to provide support to 4.3 million households in the informal sector as well as 800,000 employees affiliated to the National Social Security Fund (CNSS),” the Bank added.
“Faced with this unprecedented situation, we are doing everything in our power to support Morocco to curb the spread of the virus and mitigate its economic and social repercussions.”African Development Bank
From the document above, by AfDB:
II.ECONOMIC ANDSOCIAL IMPACT OF COVID-19AND GOVERNANCE
“2.1.Recent Developments:Alongside South Africa, Egypt and Algeria, Morocco is among the African countries with the highest COVID-19 cases. The first case was detected on 2 March 2020 in Casablanca, before spreading to all other regions in the country. On 4May2020, Morocco reported 5,053confirmed COVID-19cases, 179 deaths and 1,653 cured cases. With 1,306 confirmed cases, the Casablanca-Settat region is the most affected region, followed by Marrakech-Safi (1,076 cases), Fès-Meknès (662 cases) and Daraa-Tafilalet (548 cases) (Technical Annex4& 5).
At the onset of the COVID-19pandemic, the Moroccan authorities declared a state of emergency, adopted confinement measures, including isolation, suspended all international passenger flights, prohibited public gatherings and closed all mosques,schools, universities, eateries and cafés. Similarly, they limited urban/inter-urban land transport and downsized Government and corporate staff.
Compulsory confinement, which started on 20 March 2020 and was later extended to 20 May 2020 (and then to 10th of June – writer-s note), has had a significant adverse impact on the national economy.Donors mobilised to support Morocco address the crisis. Under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL 2018-2020)agreement concluded with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Morocco withdrew all resources under this line, equivalent to USD 3billion.For its part, the World Bank disbursed a loan of USD 275 million.
Like its key trading partners, Morocco’s economy was hard hit by the crisis caused by COVID-19. The tourism sector has lost an estimated MAD 34.1 billion in turnover in 2020, with nearly 6 million fewer tourists,according to the Moroccan Tourism Confederation(CMT). In the automobile sector,the crisis affected the 250 equipment manufacturers operating in the country, leading to a significant drop in
Morocco’s balance of trade. The automobile sector accounted for 27% of total exports in 2019, making itthe leading export sector. In the long run, this might impact the 180,000 jobs in the industry. The textile/dress-making sector is also affected by disruptions in supplies, especially from China and falling foreign demand particularly in the European Union. The textile sector, which employs over 160,000 individuals in 1,200 firms, is threatened.With the double shock of drought and COVID-19, the real GDP growth rate will continue to decelerate in 2020. According to AfDB forecasts(Table 1), it will range from -4.6% to -3.3% in 2020, before rising to between 4.1% and 4.3% in 2021, based on worst-case and best-case scenarios. Various structural and contextual factors will contribute these scenarios. The economy will also suffer from the global recession, particularly in its four key economic partners (Spain, France, Italy and Germany) who make up 76% of its external trade”
The most painful reality here is that most, if not all of this is as legal as obvious. You can watch the money flow, witness the suffering of the people, get enraged, but if the law is your moral compass, nothing happened, move on.
And if anyone ever gets arrested, it’s…
May 30, 2020
Test acquisitions are a scandal in Morocco, as everywhere else
Morocco’s Ministry of Health rebutted on May 30 reports claiming a single company with two government contracts worth MAD 400 million ($41 million) is responsible for the procurement of COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests.
The ministry said it signed a contract for two million rapid diagnostic tests worth MAD 212 million ($21.7 million) that did not entirely cover Morocco’s needs, according to the press release.
The agreement was in accordance with health emergency laws and in full compliance with the principle of competitive contracting, the health ministry explained.
The statement added that the ministry consulted “world-leading” companies in the field to ensure technical and financial evaluation of the offers.
The acquired tests are technically efficient and compatible with national laboratories’ equipment, rendering the purchase and cost of new screening equipment unnecessary, the statement continued.
The Ministry of Health said it benchmarked Morocco’s contract to those of other countries, with the statement explaining, “It is the same price paid by several European and Asian countries for the acquisition of quantities ranging from 6 to 10 million tests.”
The ministry affirmed that it “ensures exemplary application of all legal provisions in order to properly manage the resources placed at its disposal.”
The news comes amid Morocco’s efforts to curtail the spread of misinformation during the COVID-19 crisis.
In March, the Director of Epidemiology at the Ministry of Health, Mohamed Lyoubi, had to deny reports that Morocco purchased 100,000 COVID-19 test kits from a South Korean manufacturer. Basically accusing South Korean media and manufacturers of spreading fake news.
“Since the start of the outbreak in the country, Moroccan laboratories have conducted more than 200,000 tests on suspected carriers, of which 197,805 came back negative”, officials claim.
What Moroccan Government and most world governments have never done since the beginning of the crisis:
1. A risks & costs assessment of their Covid policies, prior to enactment
2. A side-effects assessment of of their Covid policies, post enactment
3. Transparent acquisitions
What did they all do?
Control of media narrative, repression of unaligned speech.
Morocco arrested an old woman for spreading panic by saying there’s no reason to panic. Among other dissenters. And this is the logic of all restrictive Covid-19 policies
Mi Naima literally said in a censored video “don’t be alarmed by the government and media, Coronavirus is a farce”.
“Fake news is the first cause of panic among citizens,” said Prime Minister Saad Eddine El-Otmai, in a press conference after Mi Naima’s arrest, comparing the spread of misinformation with the contagion of the disease.
Other people were arrested for opposing strict measures against public gathering, urging people to ignore them, or saying a lockdown had been implemented when it had not.
On the same day, the government approved a draft law governing the use of social media, aiming to deter fake news and cyber crimes undermining public order and the economy.
Rights groups have criticised Morocco for what they see as an increasing crackdown on free speech over the past year, including prison terms for people who have expressed dissent on social media, reports Reuters
Guess which is the only Moroccan business unaffected by Covid
If you paid attention, you guessed right: It’s the Royal phosphate business.
“With the exception of Morocco’s stable phosphates sales, the country’s major export sectors have suffered from the fall in world demand, the breakdown of supply chains, and the disruption of several activities in Morocco, all consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Morocco’s automobile exports fell by 39% at the end of April, textiles by 28%, aeronautics by 34%, and foodstuffs by 7%.
The losses range from MAD 1.8 billion to MAD 11 billion ($184 million to $1.1 billion).” – reports Morocco World News.
To be continued?
Probably so. I leave you with a mystery: How come Moroccan government approved a famous international Israeli spy and child trafficker like Epstein to land his jet (aka “Lolita Express”) on their airports? Official flight registries and press reports show that it happened at least twice.
Seeing that Gates and Epstein were partners, did they use Morocco as a secret meeting ground?
December 22nd, 2020:
It has all come together, finally:
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