Morocco’s contribution to peace and stability in the Mediterranean highlighted by the 5 + 5 Dialogue

The Foreign Ministers of the 5 + 5 Dialogue in the Western Mediterranean adopted at their 16th meeting on Thursday the Tunis Declaration which highlights the strategic positioning of Morocco, under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, within the framework of this Cooperation Forum as well as its decisive contribution to peace and stability in the Mediterranean.

This Declaration reaffirms the appreciation of the 5 + 5 Dialogue countries of the role played by His Majesty the King as Chairman of the Al Quds Committee for the preservation of the specific character, the spiritual dimension and the particular identity of the Al Quds city. . They also welcomed the Royal initiative for the signing of the Appeal of Al Quds, with Pope Francis, on March 30, 2019, which confirms the commitment and leadership of His Majesty the King in the preservation of the status, identity and singular character of the holy city. The Declaration also underlines Morocco’s important contribution to the search for a comprehensive and lasting political solution to the Libyan crisis, based on the Skhirat Agreement of December 2015. It also underlines the involvement of the countries of the Maghreb region. which constitutes an essential guarantee for the success of political efforts to resolve this crisis.

In this sense, the 5 + 5 countries welcome the positive outcome of the talks recently started between the Libyan parties, under the aegis of the United Nations, in Bouznika. Regarding the Sahel, the Declaration supported Morocco’s call for the need to support the stability, security, resilience and sustainable development of the countries of the region. She endorsed Morocco’s vision of the interdependence between the Euro-Mediterranean region and that of the Sahel. On the other hand, the Declaration encourages the mobilization of the 5 + 5 countries for their action in favor of the stability and security of Mali as well as a peaceful political transition for the benefit of the Malian people, echoing the important initiatives taken by Morocco in this sense.

The Declaration reiterates the appreciation of the Dialogue countries for Morocco’s initiative to hold the 8th Marrakech Conference on Migration and Development, in March 2020, which resulted in the adoption of a Declaration and ‘a Roadmap that laid the foundations for effective and united cooperation on the various dimensions of migration.

This Declaration reaffirms the support of the Dialogue countries for Morocco’s vision regarding the need to promote a comprehensive and balanced approach based on the principles of shared responsibility and solidarity to tackle the migration issue. In this sense, they undertake to ensure fair and equitable treatment of migrants settled in host countries and to guarantee respect for their legitimate rights. In addition, the 5 + 5 Dialogue countries support Morocco’s continental leadership on this issue, which was manifested by the setting up in Rabat of the African Migration Observatory. They also reaffirmed their appreciation of the leadership and co-chairmanship of Morocco of the GCTF (Global Forum Against Terrorism), while welcoming the considerable efforts made at the continental and regional levels by Morocco to fight terrorism. as part of a cooperative and united approach, as evidenced by the recent signing by Morocco and the UN of an Agreement establishing a UNOCT Program Office for counter-terrorism and training in Africa. The 5 + 5 countries supported the Moroccan proposal to consider a strong and structured cooperation at the health level given the magnitude of the challenges induced by the COVID pandemic. The proposal calls for close cooperation between authorities in 5 + 5 countries to ensure universal and equitable access to equipment, treatment and vaccines as part of a fundamentally humanist approach.

Faced with the scale of the consequences of the economic and social crisis caused by Covid-19, the 5 + 5 countries have supported the Moroccan proposal to strengthen the socio-economic resilience of the countries of the region and promote the development of investments and trade to create the conditions for an inclusive and mutually beneficial economic recovery.


The bill reorganizing the Academy of the Kingdom dissected in parliamentary committee

Bill No. 74.19 on the reorganization of the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco aims to adapt its functions to new societal developments and changes, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Othman El Ferdaous, said Wednesday in Rabat. .

Presenting the bill before the Committee on Education, Culture and Communication in the House of Representatives, he noted that the Academy is one of the institutions which have occupied a privileged place on the cultural scene since its creation. over 40 years ago. It is a period rich in events and transformations of intellectual, political, economic, social, environmental and institutional scope on a national, continental and environmental scale. This institution has been and will remain open to all scientific contributions and contributions to the dynamic of renewal and development of its performance and of its role in the service of the cultural influence of the Kingdom, in full harmony with the provisions of the Moroccan Constitution of 2011, he stressed.

The text is a reflection of the changes that have occurred in the Kingdom during the last years on the register of updating and consolidation of legal texts to support the overall development of Morocco, while being in tune with its international commitments in all areas, in particular with regard to the creation and development of national institutions whose role promotes intellectual, scientific and cultural progress.

It provides, among other things, for the definition and extension of the range of the Academy’s missions to include in particular the development of scientific research, the mobilization of national and international intellectual and scientific capacities, as well as the promotion of creativity. in its various forms.


The business climate is regaining some confidence

Confidence is regaining ground in the business world, according to the results of the aggregate index relating to the business climate in Morocco (iCAM) for the third quarter published by Euros / Agency Africa, in partnership with the firm Insightek.

We can only rejoice at this development, as it is true that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the national economy have until recently left little room for optimism.

According to the results of the survey carried out among 1,200 Moroccan business leaders of various sizes, representing all sectors of activity, the feeling of confidence in the business community improved in the third quarter of 2020.

Indeed, despite the resurgence of the pandemic which is reflected in the increase in the number of contaminations, the iCAM index reached 82.5 in the third quarter of the current year, thus reflecting a market sentiment among economic decision-makers which is improving by report for the second quarter of 2020 (40.8).

Regarding the current situation, the agency Euros / Agency Africa notes that “economic decision-makers have a feeling of a clear improvement in the current situation compared to the second quarter of 2020 following the deconfinement and the resumption of economic activity in the Kingdom (index 82.1 in the third quarter of 2020 compared to 25.0 in the second quarter of 2020).

As the public affairs, influence and strategic communication agency noted in a press release, “with a response rate of 25% and representing 80% of the business sectors, the results of this survey reflect a economy which is slowly recovering, against a backdrop of uncertainties surrounding the outlook and linked to the evolution of the pandemic ”.

If the news is good from this point of view, Mohamed Kerkab, former professor of economics in Marrakech, remains skeptical about the feeling that emerges from this survey. He believes that the business climate is far from being favorable to produce such a feeling, especially since it has affected investment in Morocco.

“There is a lack of confidence in politics and the business climate is seriously disrupted. Thus, we cannot speak of improvement in the current circumstances when we know that the issues of employment, unemployment and human resources remain worrying. Situations that persist and date back to well before the advent of the pandemic, ”he points out.

In addition, Mohamed Kerkab believes that surveys conducted in Morocco with operators remain problematic on the whole. Explanations: “They depend on the level of knowledge of the operator surveyed, on his relationship to politics and many other parameters. In that sense, some business leaders are great at business, but lack the level of understanding and analysis to understand the global business environment, for example, and tell you what’s going on or what’s going on. they actually feel. In this case, they will give you answers which are far from reflecting reality ”.

Note that the index is not limited to measuring the feeling of confidence of Moroccan business circles in the current activity of their companies. He also polls the business community on their outlook for the next six months.

Thus, it emerges from the latest survey that the increase in business community confidence is less evident when asked about their 6-month outlook (index 82.8 in Q3 2020 compared to 58.6 in Q2 2020). It therefore emerges from this analysis that “if the gradual deconfinement has allowed a resumption of activity, the restart is slower than expected and uncertainties remain high as to the evolution of the pandemic and its impact on the outlook”.

In addition, continues the agency from the same source, economic decision-makers are also waiting for the effective implementation of the government stimulus plan. Without wishing to appear pessimistic, let us point out that the “current rebound in market sentiment, with an index approaching the median, is still below the international situation.

In particular when compared to its German counterpart IFO Index, using the same evaluation methodology, whose historic lowest score was 74.3 in April 2020, and which today hovers around 95 ”, noted the agency thus estimating that the score of 82.5 of the iCAM simply reflects a Moroccan economy which remains cautious.

Nevertheless, “this feeling is less pessimistic than the forecasts of the global contraction of the economy for 2020”, continued the agency stressing that the fourth quarter will confirm or reverse this trend in view of the resurgence of the pandemic . In any case, Mohamed Kerkab is convinced that the most important thing is that this feeling translates into an improvement in poverty, the situation of the labor market and human resources. Also, he thinks, companies must really invest in the development of the country and stop launching into too many different areas to the point of no longer being productive.

Alain Bouithy


“I would have said it myself that Dutroux was dangerous”, reacts Jean-Denis Lejeune

“Only the maintenance in a strict and closed framework will make it possible to limit the danger that Marc Dutroux represents for the company”. Thus ended the 90-page report drawn up by the three psychiatric experts responsible for assessing the dangerousness of the person concerned. Mr. Bruno Dayez then announced to us that with such a report, he could only renounce his client’s request for parole.

After 24 years of detention, in strict isolation, Marc Dutroux presents, according to psychologists, a “high risk of recidivism, the maximum risk, a certain degree of perversion, a psychopathic profile, asociality and a certain sadism” .

Julie’s dad, one of Marc Dutroux’s little victims, is not surprised by the psychiatrists report.

►According to Jean-Denis Lejeune, it was not at all necessary to call on psychiatrists to draw such conclusions: “I would have told him myself that Dutroux was dangerous”.

►Julie’s dad denounces a “failure of the penitentiary system” and spoke about the unexplored leads in the Dutroux affair.

► “Bored”, Jean-Denis Lejeune must also face criticism.


Release of an unknown Asterix, restored from a “book-disk”

“Le Menhir d’or”, a little-known adventure by Asterix restored from a 1967 “libredisc”, was released on Wednesday in two parts: paper album and audio version. If this episode is not unpublished, few readers know it. Because quickly after the release of this vinyl with illustrated notebook, “this unique adventure has become almost untraceable”, explain the Albert René editions. Based on a scenario by René Goscinny, “Le Menhir d’or” tells the story of Assurancetourix – the villager who is silenced at all banquets so badly he sings – during a competition of Gallic bards. For the 48-page album, the drawings by Albert Uderzo, who died last March, have been completely reworked, because the print rendering did not meet current quality standards. “We have found this treasure which had been very successful at the time, and which is unknown or poorly known to younger generations. And it took a restoration work, since we did not have the original drawings ”, explains to AFP the general manager of Editions Albert René, Céleste Surugue. “This work that was presented to Uderzo are drawings that he had not seen for a very long time, even if he obviously remembered this adventure”. The recording is free to download from all major audiobook platforms. And we finally hear Assurancetourix. “We hear him sing, well … singing is a big word: we hear him trying to push the song, and I would recommend listeners to lower the volume at that time”, jokes Mr. Surugue. . “Asterix is ​​in better shape than ever. The securities of the fund, those signed Uderzo and Goscinny, are showing very strong growth, in double digits this year (in percentage). It is surely a safe haven where parents and children meet, ”he adds.


Hakim Ziyech’s first steps with Chelsea

Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech made his first official appearance in the Premier League on Saturday under the colors of Chelsea, held in check at Stamford Bridge by Southampton (3-3).

Entered into play in the 72nd minute to replace Mason Mount, the Moroccan striker took his first steps in the English championship after several weeks of absence due to a knee injury. Injured in a friendly match against Brighton in the pre-season, the former Ajax Amsterdam player had signed his return to competition during the friendly match between the Atlas Lions and the Teranga Lions. The striker had delivered an assist on a stopped ball to Youssef El Arabi.

In his first official match with the London club, the Moroccan star could not help his teammates to preserve the advantage of the Blues who led thanks to goals from Timo Werner (15th, 28th) and Kai Havertz (59th).

The Saints came back to score in the very last minutes thanks to a goal from Jannik Vestergaard taking advantage of the defensive mistakes of Frank Lampard players. With only one point at home, the Blues occupy sixth place in the standings with a total of 8 points, 5 units behind leaders Everton.


Collective immunity, a dangerous mirage

Sometimes presented as a cause for hope at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and a way to avoid generalized lockdowns, the idea of ​​letting the virus circulate to achieve collective immunity appears more and more clearly as a dangerous mirage , explain many scientists.

The idea is that once a certain proportion of the population has been affected, the epidemic would stop on its own, for lack of victims to strike. But after months of pandemic, “we are very far from the account”, notes to AFP Frédéric Altare, specialist in immunity at Inserm. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated it bluntly: “Never, in the history of public health, has collective immunity been used as a strategy to respond to an epidemic, and even less to a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic “, declared its managing director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Giving free rein to a dangerous virus, which we do not understand everything about, is simply unethical. It is not an option,” he insisted, recalling that about 10% of the population could have been infected with the virus in most countries.

Billions of people therefore remain in theory at the mercy of a virus more dangerous, more lethal and more contagious than the seasonal flu. And for which there is no vaccine. As early as May, the WHO warned that countries relying on collective immunity were engaged in “a really dangerous calculation”. Regularly, and even very recently, US President Donald Trump has defended this idea. At the beginning of October, scientists defended it in a call – “The Great Barrington Declaration” – to let the virus circulate in young and healthy populations while protecting the most vulnerable. A call supported – according to the American press – by the White House. For its defenders, the main benefit of this “strategy” would be to avoid the economic, social, health damage, generalized confinements even though some countries, like Spain, had to reintroduce local containment measures, or like the France, curfew.

It is “a mistake”, answered Thursday 80 scientists in an open letter published by the medical journal The Lancet. “Uncontrolled transmission among the youngest would run significant risks in terms of health and mortality for the entire population”, they note, also noting the risk of saturation of health systems.

Sweden, which has refused to confine its population and close schools, bars and restaurants, now seems to be caught up in the pandemic. Compared to its population, Covid-19 mortality is among the 15 highest in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Another problem: it is not known how long the immunity against Covid lasts and cases of re-infections, although very rare, have been reported. “It is possible that the antibodies weaken over time,” said WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove last week. “Reinfections show us that we cannot rely on the immunity acquired through natural infection to achieve group immunity,” wrote Prof. Akiko Iwasaki, immunity specialist at Yale University (States -United).

Some supporters of natural collective immunity also argue that its threshold – usually estimated at around 60 to 70% – would in fact be lower, in particular because not everyone is equally susceptible to catching the virus (between and city dwellers for example or young and old).

What we have also discovered over time is that some people are protected from Sars-CoV-2 even though they have not encountered it, explains Frédéric Altare (Inserm). Rather than antibodies (those sought with serological tests) specifically directed against this virus, they have developed another immunity, called “cellular”, thanks to a certain type of white blood cell. No doubt because they have already encountered infectious agents resembling Sars-CoV-2, these blood cells identify it as a danger and attack it, he says. “Which means that the figures that we announce (5 to 10% of possible immunity), it is probably a little underestimated but we do not know to what extent”, notes Frédéric Altare.

But even “pushing the statistics, taking into account (this) other immunity, the fact that people do not all get infected the same, that the elderly populations are less likely to become infected because they protect themselves more “, we manage” to bring the percentages down to 50%, not below, “he said. While noting that reaching this threshold would result in a considerable number of deaths. Collective immunity must therefore go through “safe and effective vaccines,” says Prof. Iwazaki.


Othmane Nadifi at the helm of Mondelez Maroc

Mondel z International, the world leader in Snacking, announces the appointment of Othmane Nadifi as General Manager of its Moroccan subsidiary, Mondelez Maroc

With this appointment, Mondel z International reflects its desire to promote Moroccan talents to continue the development and management of its activities in the Kingdom. “Othmane has a solid experience in sales, distribution and operations management and is distinguished by a strong knowledge of the Moroccan agri-food products market”, specifies Kate Goodman, president of MENAP (Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan ) at Mondel z International.

“With his experience acquired over more than two decades, in strategy and management as well as in the field, Othmane Nadifi is well placed to make the most of the success of our Moroccan company and develop its brands on the local market”, continues Kate Goodman.

A few weeks ago, deputy general manager in charge of operations within Varun Beverages Morocco (bottler of Pepsico products in Morocco), Mr. Nadifi is now, since October 1st, the general manager of Mondelez Maroc. He has a wealth of expertise and more than 20 years of experience in the distribution and sale of FMCG products with major international and local operators such as Procter & Gamble, Pepsico International, Reckitt Benckiser Group or even Les Eaux Minerales d. ‘Oulmes

Mr. Nadifi, whose mission is to continue the development of Mondelez Maroc through its Bimo and Oreo biscuits, its Milka chocolates, its Clorets and Tridents chewing gum and its Halls sweets, declared when taking up his duties: “ I am very happy to join the Moroccan leader in biscuits, a company rich in its talents and its teams as well as its emblematic brands, both local and international ”. And to add: “My objective is to accelerate the growth of Mondelez Maroc, while best meeting the needs of Moroccan consumers.”


The “Industry” series explores the cut-throat of international finance

Unhealthy culture, racism, sexism, vexations and disproportionate egos … “Industry”, a drama series co-produced by HBO and the BBC, offers a plunge into the very competitive world of international finance. The eight-part series premiered at the London Film Festival ahead of its highly anticipated small screen release in November. It depicts the fierce competition between young graduates in a large fictitious investment bank in London, eager to land the few permanent positions available.

The first episode, directed by American actress and producer Lena Dunham (creator of the “Girls” series), will be released on small screens on November 9 in the United States, and the following day in several European countries including France and the United States. UK. A scene, which takes place in the women’s toilet, sets the tone. A young white woman visibly from a privileged background complains that she cannot compete with a black participant, even though the latter comes from a “shitty university”, because her profile is better suited to the eyes of politically correct recruiters. The series was designed by Welsh production company Bas Wolf and its co-founder Jane Tranter, a leading figure in British television who had previously produced the hit series “The Night Of” and “Succession” for HBO. This project is the fruit of a long gestation. The producer first imagined it a few years ago, after learning of the death of an intern working for an American bank in London. “It makes you think about what is going on behind the scenes and what it can look like,” Jane Tranter explained at a panel discussion this week hosted by the London Film Festival. At the helm of the script are two novices, Konrad Kay and Mickey Down, both of whom have drawn on their own experience working in international banks in the British capital. “They had just come out of it, they still had the scent of this life on them,” explained Jane Tranter. “This great cry of truth came out of it in a way”.

HBO subsequently joined the project, proposing that the pilot episode be directed by “Girls” star Lena Dunham, who was a “constant bubble of joy,” according to Jane Tranter. The producer emphasizes that the characters who should delight audiences are not those “we usually see winning on screen, and certainly not in a bank”: all “bad guys” are, “without exception, white men. ”.


BTN Boosts Subsidized KPR, Holds Property Exhibition to Innovation

JAKARTA, – PT Bank Tabungan Negara (Persero) Tbk boosted lending in the housing sector even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and economic recession.

There are still many opportunities for the property sector to continue to grow, due to a number of factors, including the housing sector stimulus in the form of increased allocations KPR A subsidy of Rp. 1.5 trillion as well as changes in people’s lifestyles that focus more on activities from home.

“Then, government liquidity assistance for lending to improve the real sector through the National Economic Recovery Program (PEN) and changes in the lifestyle of people who are more digital literate,” said the President Director. BTN Pahala Nugraha Mansury at the opening of the Property Fiesta Virtual Expo 2020 in Jakarta, Thursday (15/10/2020).

Also read: BTN Presents Special KPR for TNI Members

With these supporting factors, said Pahala, the company continued to record growth Subsidized KPR.

As of August 2020, the Subsidized KPR segment posted credit growth of 5.65 percent compared to the same period last year.

“We continue to develop new features to encourage increased absorption Subsidized KPR, including the Graduated Payment Mortgage / GPM feature for Savings-Based Housing Financing Assistance KPR or BP2BT which was just released some time ago and succeeded in attracting public interest, “explained Pahala.

On the same occasion, Director of Consumer and Commercial Lending BTN Hirwandi Gafar explained, in order to encourage the growth of KPR, BTN not only innovated products and programs. KPR promo interesting, but also active in the cast of virtual properties that are initiated alone or in collaboration with developers.

Also read: The Government Targets Distributing KPR Equivalent to 75,000 Housing Units for Civil Servants in 2021

“BTN positively welcomes the initiation of the DPP REI in organizing a digital property exhibition through an event entitled Property Fiesta Virtual Expo 2020, because this exhibition presents various promotional programs and easiness in helping people to have proper housing,” said Hirwandi.