Social Problems in Morocco

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Morocco fights social problems
By Andrew England in Cairo
Just off a highway leading into Marrakech, diggers, bulldozers and trucks are lined up as if about to race. Closer to the historic Moroccan city their purpose becomes clear. Roads dotted with building sites, for sale signs, multi-storey apartment blocks and red-brick villas stand in the shadow of cranes. A sign on one building promises a KIA Motors showroom will open soon, another heralds the arrival of a furniture store. More

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Morocco’s economy has long been dependent on agriculture, which employs nearly half the workforce and contributes 12-17 per cent of gross domestic product. Its success or failure is tied to the seasonal rains. During the 1990s, Morocco had the lowest growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa, with daunting social problems, including poverty, large slum populations and high youth and urban unemployment that still blight the nation. But officials and businessmen say the economy is at last expanding and becoming more diversified with real estate and tourism at the forefront of robust non-agriculture growth. Last year, real GDP growth was 8.1 per cent and unemployment, which was above 20 per cent in the 1990s, fell below 10 per cent for the first time, says...
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