2016 was the year of the first concrete step to unite the forces of Moroccan competencies in North America. Indeed, last September, AMCN was pleased to join forces with the Association of Moroccan Professionals in America (AMPA), and the Forum des Competences Canado-Marocaines (FCCM). The ultimate purpose of this union was to mobilize the Moroccan competencies in North America and to create a platform that will facilitate the contribution of Moroccans Living Abroad into the development process in Morocco, especially in the following areas: Entrepreneurship and innovation in the aeronautics and automotive industries, Energy, Medical sciences, Economy, as well as Civil society and related matters.

During this day, high-level professionals and members of these associations, shared their experiences and suggested specific recommendations.

In this context, Mr. Zouhair Lazreq, engineering director at “On-Highway Driveline Technologies” and expert in the automotive industry, pointed out that the Moroccan economy is evolving from a three-sector system (agriculture, tourism and services) to an industrial economy including automotive, aeronautics and fertilizers derived from phosphate. This progressive evolution requires, according to him, a significant investment in research and development. On the other side, Ms. Souad Elmallem, Executive Partner at 6temik, highlighted the considerable development of aeronautics in Morocco, with the 10-fold increase within 10 years in all indicators of this sector. However, Ms. Elmallem pointed out the lack of middle management which had to be corrected.

According to Mr. Chaouki Zahzah, President of AMPA, Energy is another area where innovation is required to the utmost, and Morocco must evolve from a “technology buyer” to a “technology producer” through education and innovation. He emphasized that the high cost of energy in Morocco is a brake on development. Hence Morocco needs to diversify sources, particularly turning waste into energy.

Medical research and drug development, another field of high importance, was represented by a panel of high-caliber health professionals including Dr. Mohamed Boutjdir, Professor at State University of New York, Dr. Mohcine Alami, Director of Medical Security at Population Council, Dr. Hicham Fenniri, Professor at Northeastern University, and Dr. Rachid Assina, neurosurgeon at the Rutgers Neurological Institute. The members of the panel described the extremely long, complex and costly process of drug creation and approval. They also discussed the importance of the application of other scientific disciplines to health care, and the critical link between education, clinical practice and research.

The economy field was represented by Ms. Mariama Zhouri, Associate director at HammerSmith Consulting, Mr. Manaf Bouchentouf, Executif director at La Banque Nationale du Canada and Mr. Houda Rabah, Analytics director at MetLife. The expert group discussed the process of creation and development of startups and other critical issues related to digital marketing. Mr. Amine Bentahar and Ms. Loubna Kadiri Hassani, experts in Digital Marketing, and Ms. Sara Amiri, a social entrepreneur, presented their projects in their respective fields.

Finally, Ms. Naima Remmak and Ms. Souad Kiram, social activists, presented a panel of activities organized for the poor communities, especially for the Moroccan and immigrant community.
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