Continuing Moroccan Challenges and Opportunities series, we will look at the Moroccan economic and social development issues and how situation can be improved.
Employment is one key factors to secure stable economic growth and social development. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate in Morocco rose slightly to 10 percent in the three months to March of 2016, from 9.9% a year earlier. Agriculture alone lost 28 thousand jobs as a severe drought hit the sector. The unemployment rate in Morocco averaged 10.54% from 1999 until 2015, reaching an all-time high of 15.10 % in the third quarter of 1999 and a record low of 7.80 % in the second quarter of 2006 . It is caused by numerous factors, such as a gap between rural and urban areas, especially socioeconomic categories (girls and females still have limited access to education in rural areas); economic growth doesn’t create enough employment; youth can’t find their niche on job market etc. .
As Morocco’s unemployment continuously grows, education and skills are no longer enough to obtain a job, in either the public, private sector or third sector. While the young Moroccan men and women that are not educated have an even harder time finding jobs, the unemployment rate for educated youth is still very high: 22% males and 38% females . Four out of five unemployed people are aged 15 to 34. On the other hand, university graduates tend to have higher levels of unemployment compared to people with middle-level education and people without a high-school diploma . According to the Gallup organization, one out of three young Moroccans wants to emigrate to find jobs, causing negative effect when the most educated and productive population leaves the country.
Legacy PFP Fellows Mohcine Hafid and Youssef Oukhallou deeply understand the roots of the problem and consequences, and have developed projects aim to increase the employability skills and close the soft skills gap between a group of poor and low middle class students, thereby bringing equity and equality also to Moroccan education system. Together with Legacy International and Moroccan Foundation for Students, Mohcine started his pilot project targeting 20 underprivileged new graduates (50% females). He offers 2-day workshop where participants gain a clear vision about the market needs and develop needed skills. Moreover, after workshop participants will be connected with potential employers to find a perfect match job. Youssef Oukhallou, president of the Moroccan Organization for Young Decision-makers (MOYD), provides a full program of employability-enhancing workshops and seminars to 40 young university students and laureates in the Rabat area.
Social entrepreneurship can be another way to help Moroccan youth and the community. It tends to be an innovative and sustainable creator and driver of change in many countries and in Morocco as well. Social businesses embrace a new approach to more effectively solve economic and social problems. However, in order to provide support and community development social entrepreneurs need a different variety of assistance too. Today social entrepreneurs can rely on such organizations like Ceed Morocco, Impact Lab, MCISE, Espace Bidaya, Start up Morocco which help to create and develop their businesses but it is not enough.
Jihane Raqiq, Legacy PFP fellow, offered to support youth social entrepreneurship initiatives by improving their market presentation. She also suggested to increase investments through communication skills development as communication is a key factor to successful business. Jihane provides 4-hour session about the pitching and communication skills development to 20 social entrepreneurs which are taking first steps in creating their projects in Casablanca.
Another Legacy PFP fellow, Rokaya El Boudrari initiated a publication aimed to provide practical tools to facilitate the CSO’ access to needed data and resources as well as help to improve their interventions. She explained that more than 60000 existing NGOs and Civil society organizations (CSO) are characterized by their young age and limited human, material and financial resources. According to the HCP study published in 2011 , which is one of the few studies providing data and statistic on the field: the majority of these organizations acts at a local level, their average age was 7 years old and the median age didn’t exceed 4. It translates into important needs in human resources capacity development, closer interaction and sharing spaces and tools.
Legacy will continue covering successful stories of the PFP fellows’ work and projects implemented in MENA region. Read more in the previous post… http://www.legacyintl.org/highlights/moroccan-challenges-and-opportunities-environment-and-sustainable-development/
- Global development professionals network, theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/aug/20/youth-unemployment-interactive-abdeslam-seddiki-morocco
- Haut Commissariat au Plan – the first national study concerning non-profit organizations published in 2011
- Morocco Unemployment Rate, tradingeconomics.com/morocco/unemployment-rate
- What development challenges is Morocco facing today? < afd.fr/lang/en/home/pays/mediterranee-et-moyen-orient/geo/maroc?actuCtnId=97768>
- Youth Unemployment on the Rise in Morocco, <openequalfree.org/archives/ed-news/graduate-degree-not-enough-for-employment-in-morocco>