Morocco Could Join Africa’s Economic Lions

Tuesday, July 29, 2008  

Mauritius, Botswana and perhaps South Africa could be soon be joined by a relatively well-performer- Morocco!
Despite having no crude oil deposits, the Moroccan economy seems to be defying all the odds against the global economy.
The economy has since 2001 seen tremendous growth in the area of investment from 26 per cent to 32 per cent this year. Unemployment is down to 10 per cent from 14 per cent. Inflation was targeted at 2.2% by the end of the year, but central bank figures show it is headed for 2.8%.
Even though this is still a rare performance on the continent, it seems government-induced subsidies accounts for the projected hike in inflation rate, as suggested by the chairman of the central bank. [The effects of the hike in international prices of hydrocarbons and basic foodstuffs on inflation in Morocco are "partially absorbed by the evolution of our exchange rate and by the compensation system which alleviates, through the State budget, their impact on the consumer".] But who can blame the Moroccans? After all, aren’t the major economic powers bailing out their own citizens from the economic crunch?
However, Morocco’s survival rests on a sensible liberalized financial sector with modernity as its "vision". The country’s finance minister said "this vision is based on five pillars, namely improving the economy financing mechanisms, strengthening the markets capitals, developing synergies between the public entities and the financial sector, and consolidating Morocco’s financial openness." That is a sure recipe for success messed-up countries like Zimbabwe can learn from, as it comes out from the cold.