“Brain drain” a challenge for Morocco
The wide horizons, offered by new information technologies in western countries, have drawn waves of Moroccan computer-science graduates to migrate to Europe in search of all their own country cannot offer them. This summer more than 150 Moroccan engineers obtained European visas and work permits, especially in Germany, independent sources in Rabat said.
The technology experts left Morocco where salaries at best reach $800 a month, said Ahmed Akartit, an engineer at the Rabat-based mobile phone operator, Maroc Telecom. In Europe, these engineers will receive salaries ten times higher than what Moroccan private or public firms can offer them, said Akrtit, citing a personal friend and colleague, Ahmed, who works for a French firm in Paris on a very attractive salary.
“The need to reverse the brain drain, and to build and use our capacities is a major challenge for Morocco," a senior official at the Moroccan new technologies department told Moroccan La Vie Economique daily. The brain drain is blamed on Morocco's poverty and dire economic situation — some 13 percent of the 30 million population live under the poverty line.
"The wave of migration of the highly educated and highly skilled experts to Europe is engendered by poverty and the inability of the government to offer proper salaries," said Ahmed Najm, an economist.
The Moroccan government argues that it cannot increase salaries at a time it has to curb poverty and soak up the unemployment of more than 20 percent of the population.
Najm stressed the need for Morocco to show more care for its highly skilled cadres and to grant more importance to scientific research, otherwise it will be out of the race in the globalization era.
“Morocco cannot benefit from globalization unless it develops and takes full advantage of existing opportunities to adapt and utilize science and technology," he said. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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