Morocco / by Michelle Ryan

The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) was awarded the United Nations Environment Program’s Champions of the Earth award for 2016 on 3 December. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejected an appeal by the Polisario Front to invalidate European Union (EU)-Morocco agricultural deals. King Mohammed Vl was awarded the Mandela Peace Prize 2016. Five members of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) were arrested on 30 December for expressing sympathy for acts of terrorism. Abdelilah Benkirane, Morocco’s appointed Head of Government and Secretary-General of the PJD party, announced he would form a coalition without the leader of the Independence Party, Hamid Chabat. Moroccan security forces dismantled an Islamic State (IS) cell on 2 December. Morocco will receive 1,200 TOW 2a anti-tank missiles from the United States (US) as part of a US programme to supply arms to Arab allies. Moroccan intelligence services dismantled 19 terror cells in 2016 according to the Head of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ). GDP growth in Morocco is predicted to be 4.3 per cent in 2017. Foreign Direct Investment in Morocco fell in 2016 by 28 per cent. The Moroccan Central Bank revised down its growth predictions for 2016 to 1.2 per cent. The Moroccan Central Bank announced that it was delaying the process of transitioning the Dirham to a floating exchange rate.

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