Morocco / by Alistair Galloway

The new Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Antonio Guterres, will appoint a new Personal Envoy to the Western Sahara. Morocco’s King Mohammed Vl finished his widely followed African tour on 14 March. Morocco’s new Head of Government, Saad Eddine Othmani announced the formation of a new coalition government. A Conference of African Ministers of Finance scheduled for 27 March was cancelled due to disagreements between countries over the Western Sahara issue. Morocco and Spain agreed a new partnership to increase security surrounding the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on 5 March. The Polisario Front announced on 5 March that it would ignore UN calls for a withdrawal from the Guerguerat region. An IMF report suggested that economic growth in Morocco is being slowed by gender inequality. A 115bn Dirham project to develop the Casablanca-Settat region was approved on 6 March. The African Development Bank (ADB) approved its 2017-21 Morocco strategy on 8 March, which seeks to boost economic growth in the country. The Moroccan Central Bank voted to keep interest rates unchanged on 21 March at its first quarterly meeting. King Mohammed Vl presided over the opening of a new $1.1bn technology park in the city of Tangiers on 22 March.