USAID has achieved sustainable results in Morocco, most notably in education (providing training to over 10,000 teachers to improve pedagogy in primary and middle schools), economic growth (reducing the time needed to register a business from 60 to 11 days), and democracy and governance (facilitating an increase in the percentage of women in elected office from less than 0.5 percent to over 12 percent). However, the country still faces many complex challenges, including limited employment opportunities for youth and an overall literacy rate of only 55 percent. In 2009, USAID launched a new strategy, building on the successes of the past, to help build well-governed, democratic, and prosperous Morocco that meets the needs of its people, especially youth and women.
USAID promotes increased agricultural growth and productivity by supporting key water management and agriculture policies, improving the ability of Moroccan government institutions to implement such policies, and increasing private sector participation in agriculture and water management reforms. Activities also help to improve the business environment and provide support to trade capacity building efforts that help farmers produce higher value crops and help businesses market products more successfully. By improving production and market access, USAID stimulates investment that creates job opportunities, especially for young men and women.
USAID’s education program plays a crucial role as Morocco strives to meet the needs of its growing youth population. USAID supports the Moroccan education system by promoting relevant, high-quality educational opportunities for middle school students. In line with the Moroccan education reform effort, the Education Emergency Program, USAID enhances teacher training for both pre-service and in-service teachers by incorporating improved methodologies and better management into the governmental systems. The increased quality of education will lower drop-out rates and ensure that students have the required skills to enter the workforce. USAID’s education program is supporting all teacher training institutes nationwide, and working directly with over 25 percent of middle schools.
DEMOCRACY, GOVERNANCE, AND HUMAN RIGHTS
USAID’s work in Morocco increases citizen participation in civil society, strengthens political parties, improves the effectiveness of local governance, and is helping to develop and independent judiciary. Each of these areas offers opportunities to engage women and youth in public life and helps political parties and local governments to more effectively address citizens’ concerns and increase the accountability of the judicial system, These efforts, combined with improved transparency and efficiency at the local level, will lead to more democratic and participatory governance. For example, with USAID’s support, over 1,000 young civic leaders and 350 associations were involved in debating and drafting memorandums to the Consultative Commission on Constitutional Change. The commission incorporated many of the proposals formulated by the young leaders, such as the creation of the Consultative Council on Youth and Civic Action.
WORKING IN CRISES AND CONFLICT
The Enhanced Opportunities for Moroccan Youth Program is a follow-on program to the USAID/Morocco Rehabilitation and Reintegration Program. This new program responds to the challenge of youth marginalization and disaffection in Morocco in selected neighborhoods of Tangier and Tétouan through delivery of high-quality youth development programs, including education, workforce preparation, and civic engagement. The Program targets youth at risk of getting in trouble with the law, youth in the Tangier juvenile detention center, and those on probation. The program strengthens the capacity of government and nongovernmental organizations to improve the quality of services provided to the target population, thereby ensuring long-term sustainability.
Last updated: May 10, 2013