Business Brief: Morocco to Host Continental Exhibition, Participate in African Conference on Knowledge Sharing; Young Inventors Garner Awards; Morocco’s FDI Role in Côte d’Ivoire Highlighted – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNaderMATIC
August 31, 2017

As another example of Morocco’s commitment to the continent, it is hosting the first ever “Invest Africa Expo” this year. An important conference focusing on young African economists and their roles in economic development debuts in the fall. Moroccan inventors demonstrate their competence and win international awards.

“Invest Africa Expo” launches in Casablanca. 50 African countries are slated to participate in the first “Invest Africa Expo” in Casablanca November 1-4. The exposition, hosting some 500 exhibitors, will cover more than 200,000 square feet and facilitate B2B meetings among the attendees. It will provide a venue for presentations by officials, public and private organizations, and agencies representing some 15 sectors, including transportation, education, employment, health, energy, agriculture, security, and tourism.

In King Mohammed VI’s recent address regarding Morocco’s role in Africa, he highlighted the importance of African countries working on behalf of their peoples. This expo, with its broad participation from most of the African countries and agencies involved in trade and investment promotion is a great opportunity to move that goal forward. The organizers hope that one long-term outcome is establishing an African development forum devoted to South-South exchanges of experience and expertise, as well as business.

Morocco will join conference in Addis Ababa on African knowledge sharing. Morocco’s commitment to promoting positive outcomes across the continent is also demonstrated by its participation in the 12th annual African Economic Conference (ECA) in Addis in December. The meetings provide a platform for young African economists and researchers, their counterparts abroad, and representatives of key regional and sub-regional groups to discuss their research on the development of African economies. Knowledge management — improving access to information and research on economic issues — is considered a key factor in driving planning and implementation for better outcomes in development.

According to the organizers, “The expected 500 participants will discuss government policies, institutions, and mechanisms that can help unleash the transformation potential of African economies.” It is being coordinated by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Moroccan inventors win 5 gold medals in international competition. A recent story in Morocco World News highlighted the strong showing of Moroccan inventors at a competition in Canada that showcased teams from 33 countries. The International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada (ICAN) is part of a worldwide network of events that enable exchanges among inventors, innovators, students, and research scientists.

The awarded Moroccans came from the Moroccan School for Engineering Sciences (EMSI); Smartilab laboratory for research and development and innovation; Rabat’s Mohammed V University; Kenitra’s Ibn Tofail University; and Hassan I University in Settat. The Moroccan representatives won five gold medals and three awards in the categories of health, innovation, and technology.

Hafid Griguer, director of Smartilab laboratory, along with three other participants, earned a gold medal in the health category. The same participants also managed to score two additional awards: “Best Invention in Morocco” and “Best Invention.” Six Smartilab representatives, including Gruiger, received a gold medal in the Transport and Internet of Things categories, while the representatives of Settat’s Hassan I University scored two more gold medals for their projects.

So far in 2017, Morocco has received 49 international awards, including 24 gold medals, in competitions such as Euroinvent, Inventica, Ipitex, and SHIE.

Morocco ties to Côte d’Ivoire much more than language. According to recently released numbers, Morocco was the leading investor in Côte d’Ivoire in 2016 with $213 million invested in four projects. Next in line is France supporting nine new projects with a value of $112 million. Others include the USA ($ 22 million on three projects), the United Kingdom ($ 17 million on two projects) and China ($ 16 million on two projects). The country is one of the fastest growing in Africa at close to 7% GNP growth expected this year.

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