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Morocco has a new government facing huge challenges




The new Moroccan government comprises twenty-four members including seven women (photo: Royal Palace Morocco)
The new Moroccan government comprises twenty-four members including seven women (photo: Royal Palace Morocco)
MOROCCO. King Mohammed VI named the new government on Thursday 7 October 2021. Headed by Aziz Akhannouch, it comprises twenty-four ministers including seven women (only four in the previous one). The businessman succeeds Saad-Eddine El Othmani (in office since March 2017), who resigned after the crushing defeat of the Islamists in the legislative elections of 8 September 2021.

According to Mustapha Baitas, government spokesman, the new team is a "mix of experienced ministers and young skills.

Liberal and close to the Palace, the boss of the National Rally of Independents (RNI) - which won 102 of the 395 seats in the last elections - surrounds himself mainly with technocrats, while the regal ministries retain their incumbents. This is notably the case of Abdelouafi Laftit in the Interior and Nasser Bourita in Foreign Affairs. Apart from the RNI, two other parties, the PAM (Party of Authenticity and Modernity), also liberal, and the PI (Istiqlal Party), of the centre-right are represented in this government.

The appointment of the secretaries of state will come later.

Three major challenges for the new team

With a five-year mandate, Aziz Akhannouch and his ministers are facing several challenges. Firstly, the repercussions of the health crisis caused by the pandemic. In 2020, the economy contracted by 7% and the unemployment rate rose to 11.9%. Secondly, they will be responsible for reducing the deep social inequalities, reinforced by Covid-19. A generalisation of medical coverage for 22 million Moroccans (out of 36 million) by 2025 has been programmed by Mohammed VI in 2020.

The new government will have to respond to this by relying on the roadmap drawn up in June 2021 by the "New Development Model - NMD-", advocated by the King. The president of the commission in charge of elaborating this reference framework was none other than the current Moroccan ambassador to France (since December 2012), Chakib Benmoussa, who is taking up the post of Minister of National Education. The implementation of the NMD aims at doubling the GDP per capita by 2035.

Finally, the Prime Minister will have to manage the strong tensions with his Algerian neighbour which led, at the end of August 2021, to the breaking off of diplomatic relations between the two countries at the initiative of Algiers.

The new government

Aziz Akhannouch: Head of Government
Abdelouafi Laftit: Minister of the Interior
Nasser Bourita: Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad
Abdellatif Ouahbi: Minister of Justice
Ahmed Toufiq: Minister of Habous and Islamic Affairs
Mohamed Hajoui: Secretary General of the Government
Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Minister of Economy and Finance
Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment and Water
Chakib Benmoussa: Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports
Nabila Rmili: Minister of Health and Social Protection
Fatima Ezzahra El Mansouri: Minister of National Land Use Planning, Urban Development, Housing and Urban Policy
Mohamed Sadiki: Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests
Younes Sekkouri: Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills
Ryad Mezzour: Minister of Industry and Trade
Fatim-Zahra Ammor: Minister of Tourism, Handicrafts and Social Economy
Abdellatif Miraoui: Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation
Leila Benali: Minister for Energy Transition and Sustainable Development
Mohamed Abdeljalil: Minister of Transport and Logistics
Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid: Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication
Aouatif Hayar: Minister of Solidarity, Social Integration and the Family
Abdellatif Loudiyi: Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of National Defence Administration
Mohcine Jazouli: Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of Investment, Convergence and Evaluation of Public Policies
Faouzi Lekjaa, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Economy and Finance, in charge of the Budget
Mustapha Baitas: Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of Relations with Parliament, Government Spokesperson
Ghita Mezzour: Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of Digital Transition and Administrative Reform

Eric Apim


Tuesday, October 12th 2021



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