Since 2003 the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP) has supported equality and growth in Morocco

Morocco has participated in DAPP since its inception. DAPP commenced its work during the pilot phase in 2004-2005, since when DAPP has implemented a wide range of measures in Morocco within DAPP’s four earlier main focus areas. We will now present a selection of these:

Current projects

The Danish Center for Research on Women and Gender (KVINFO), LOKK (the National Organisation of Women’s Shelters in Denmark), Danner and the Women’s Council in Denmark have entered into partnerships with Moroccan stakeholders (including NGOs, academic institutions and ministries), to undertake a series of projects and activities concerning equality. These projects have specifically aimed to promote the social, economic and political participation of women, and focus on legislation to prevent child marriages and violence against women.  A partnership has been established with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice and Freedoms on implementation of family law from 2004 (Moudawana), the qualifications of professional personnel in the Moroccan courts system have been enhanced and legal aid centres for Moroccan women have been set up. Crisis centre personnel have also received training and been given the opportunity to discuss their experiences with other crisis centres. Furthermore, the School of Design at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts has been involved in supporting craft cooperatives run by Moroccan women.

Danish strategic partners have carried out activities and set up partnerships with Moroccan organisations with the aim of promoting human rights and good governance. The Danish Institute Against Torture (DIGNITY) has worked with documentation and prevention of torture, the Human Rights in the Euro-Mediterranean region (EMHRN) and the Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights (EMHRF) have for a number of years supported Moroccan NGOs and networks, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) has collaborated with its Moroccan sister organisation. The Danish Prison and Probation Service has for some years worked closely with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice and Freedoms on revising the Criminal Code and finding alternatives to imprisonment, with Moroccan judges drawing inspiration from Danish experience in this area. The Danish Youth Council, the mini-pool, has collaborated with an agricultural college in the rural district of Oulad Said, which has resulted in the upgrading of skills amongst young people and inspired them to actively participate in society.

In order to promote a knowledge-based society, International Media Support has supported the free press and journalists in Morocco by training Moroccan journalists and by encouraging female journalists in Morocco and Denmark to exchange experiences.

With respect to economic growth and job creation and in addition to their own activities in Morocco, the Danish Trade Union Council for International Development Co-operation (the LO/FTF Council) and the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) have joined forces to work with social dialogue through a collaborative agreement with their respective partners, i.e. the most representative trade unions and Morocco’s leading employer’s association. This agreement includes mechanisms for resolving industrial disputes and bringing stability to the labour market. In this area the Danish model has served as inspiration and an illustrative example.

Several of the above focus areas are in line with Morocco’s reform policies, which were introduced following King Mohamed VI’s accession to the throne in 1999, and which were intensified in the wake of the tumultuous changes brought about by the Arab Spring. Morocco was quick to adapt to the new reality and react to the widespread protests in the country by passing a new constitution following a referendum in July 2011.

Threats and opportunities

DAPP 2017-21 will see several of the above programmes continue, while others will be upgraded, particularly within the spheres of media and human rights. With regard to promoting the civil and economic participation of young people and supporting entrepreneurs, two new organisations with extensive experience in the region are joining the ranks of DAPP’s strategic partners – Oxfam IBIS and the African Development Bank (AFDB).

DAPP has supported development work between Danish and Moroccan organisations since 2004 to help the latter overcome problems encountered by Morocco as a pioneer country in the region. The results of this work can be seen in:

  • The country’s potential for reform and commitment to implementing it
  • The country’s stability
  • Promotion of equality and freedom of speech
  • Tackling youth unemployment
  • Implementation of the new constitution and legislative changes.

The above points to an acute need for continued efforts in the country, and accordingly Morocco remains one of the four focus countries included in the new DAPP.