New life injected to cabinet as Morocco braces for new development model

The Moroccan government has experienced a major shake-up after King Mohammed VI stressed the need for adding momentum to the administration, institutions and the government in preparation for the new challenges awaiting the country.

The new government, unveiled Wednesday Oct.9, is more compact with 24 members including the head of the government Saad Eddine El Othmani. It comes after the King called in his speech in late July for the involvement of qualified elites in all managerial and executive positions.

“New life will have to be injected into institutions and political, economic and administrative bodies, including the Government,” said the King at a context where Morocco prepares to launch a new development model building on past achievements.

“We have implemented the directives of the King to reduce the numbers of portfolios to 23 from 39 and introduced new competencies to show that renewal is important,” said head of the government Saad Eddine El Othmani in a statement to official TV channel AL Oula.

The six new ministers will take the ministries of tourism, employment, youth and culture, health, higher education and housing. They were appointed according to a new logic of merit instead of the narrow calculations that marred appointments in previous governments. The new cabinet has four women members.

New Phase

“I simply want to make sure the new phase is a success thanks to people with a different mentality and officials who are capable of raising performance levels and bringing about the radical change we are yearning for,” said the King in a speech marking the 20th anniversary of his enthronement.

The King’s call for the involvement of qualified elites in the government and institutions comes after numerous remarks to political parties to reform themselves.

Political parties and institutions are “expected to respond on a permanent basis to the citizens’ demands and to react immediately to events and developments occurring in society, even anticipate them, instead of letting situations deteriorate, as if they are not concerned by what is happening”, said the King.

King Mohammed VI acknowledged that “in recent years, our development model has proven to be inadequate in terms of helping us meet the growing needs of a segment of the population, reduce social inequalities and tackle regional disparities.”

He said the decision to set up a committee to elaborate a new development model was dictated by his keenness to add a new building block to the country’s development agenda, as part of a continuing process, and to revisit and update that model.

The committee “will have to take into consideration the major reforms introduced – as well as those to come – in a number of sectors, such as education, health, agriculture, investment and taxation,” the Monarch said, adding this advisory body is expected to make suggestions on how to improve these reforms and increase their effectiveness.

The committee is also expected to be totally impartial and objective, and to report on facts as they are on the ground, however harsh or painful they may be. “And when proposing solutions, I want it (the committee) to be daring and innovative.”

“Most importantly, we must be resolute and audacious and show a keen spirit of responsibility as we implement the relevant conclusions and recommendations adopted, no matter how hard or costly that may be,” the King stated further.

The Monarch made it clear that what undermines the positive results of previous reforms is that the effects of the progress and the achievements made have not, unfortunately, been felt by all segments of the Moroccan society.

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