This webinar will explore the shift in Morocco’s economic orientation southwards, examining the policy frameworks, actors, sectors and dynamics of economic engagement with the African continent.
Morocco's economic ties with the rest of the African continent keep expanding, transforming it from a once marginal economic player to one of real consequence in investment and trade. According to the Moroccan Ministry of Finance, Morocco's trade with its African partners has recorded an encouraging increase of around 9.5% on average per year over the past two decades. While Moroccan investment in the continent has continued its trend since 2007 to reach 47% of total Moroccan FDI abroad in 2019.
Morocco is already present in more than 14 sub-Saharan countries, mainly in the West African region, making it a key driver of regional growth. In parallel, Moroccan business actors are spreading their wings beyond Francophone Africa and have recently signed numerous bilateral cooperation agreements with countries in East and Southern Africa.
Meet the speakers
Ana Alves is an Assistant Professor at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She is an integrated member of Instituto do Oriente/ISCSP and associate researcher with SAIIA. She is also part of the advisory board of two refereed journals: Portuguese Journal of International Affairs from the Portuguese Institute of International Relations (based in Lisbon) and EWIAS Viewpoints, biannual multi-disciplinary journal of the East-West Institute for Advanced Studies, established recently in Macau. Her research interest rests on Foreign Policy Analysis, Economic Statecraft and South-South cooperation and how these are displayed in China’s relations with developing regions, particularly with Africa; and consequently, how this is impacting global governance and its normative underpinnings. She has a particular interest on China’s relations with Portuguese speaking countries; Brazil and other emerging powers engagement in Africa as well as China-South America relations.
Latifa El Bouabdellaoui is General Director of the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT). She was previously Director of International Trade Relations at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Green and Digital Economy of the Kingdom of Morocco for 6 years from 2013. Mrs El Bouabdellaoui has a wide range of trade expertise, including developing trade policies, leading negotiations on trade agreements and implementing commercial and industrial cooperation projects with international partners. During her career at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Green and Digital Economy of the Kingdom of Morocco, she was the chief negotiator of Morocco for many trade-related matters. Before, she was responsible at the Department of Industry that contributes to the development of the industrial strategy.
Larabi Jaïdi is Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South who focuses on International Economy, Social Development, International Relations, and Mediterranean Studies. Mr. Jaïdi is also a member of Morocco's Special Commission on the Development Model, headed by Morocco's Ambassador to France, Chakib Benmoussa. He is a former Professor at the Mohamed V University in Rabat-Agdal. His area of expertise includes Economic Policy, International Economic Relations (Europe and the Arab World) and Economy of the Regions. He is a founding member of the Centre Marocain de Conjoncture and of the Groupement d’Etudes et de Recherches sur la Méditerrannée. He is a member of the Research Group within the Euro-Mediterranean Universities Networks. He has also acted as Adviser to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Economy and Finance. He acts as independent expert to the Moroccan Competition Council and the Moroccan Authority for the fight against Corruption. He is a member of the Adderrahim Bouabid Foundation Board (Body of Research- Action on matters relating to State Reform). Mr. Jaïdi also acts as consultant to Moroccan and foreign entities. He is the author of various publications relating to economic and social development and to international economic relations.
Meet the chair
Professor Chris Alden teachers International Relations at LSE and is Director of LSE IDEAS. He is a Research Associate with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). He is author/co-author of numerous books, including Apartheid’s Last Stand – the Rise and Fall of the South African Security State (Palgrave 1996), Land, Liberation and Compromise in Southern Africa (Palgrave/Macmillan 2009), The South and World Politics (Palgrave 2010), Foreign Policy Analysis – New Approaches 2nd edition (Routledge 2017), and co-editor of China and Mozambique: from Comrades to Capitalist (Johannesburg: Jacana 2014), New Directions in Africa-China Studies (Routledge 2019) as well as having written numerous articles in internationally recognised journals. Professor Alden has held fellowships at Cambridge University, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo; Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto; Ecole Normale Superieure (Cachan), Paris; CERI, Paris; and University of Pretoria.