Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


MENARA Paper Published: Challenging the State in the Middle East and North Africa: The Role of Identities

The latest collaborative article by Al Akhawayn University, in the framework of the EU/MENARA project, entitled “Challenging the State in the Middle East and North Africa: The Role of Identities” is now published. The study in question is the product of the AUI team composed of Dr. Djallil Lounnas, Dr. Driss Maghaoui, and lead author Dr. Nizzar Messari. Additional contributors also include Al Akhawayn partners from the Instituto Affari Internatzionali (IAI) in Rome, and the Public Policy and Democracy Studies (PODEM) Research Center of Istanbul.

The purpose of this paper is to define and explore challenges to the state, determine their regional roots, and discern their role in shaping identities within the MENA region. The paper emphasizes two key aspects of nationalism in the region. The first aspect concerns the existence of both multiple and layered identities that co-exist within the region while not necessarily clashing with one another. The second aspect discusses how nationalism and national identities are not recent phenomena in the region. The paper demonstrates that there are similarities as well as differences among the three major sub-regions of the MENA area in terms of the impact of identities when put to varying levels of analysis. 


IEAPS Dean Publishes Paper titled: “Youth Inclusion Policies and NEETs’ Targeting Requirements in Arab Countries”

Dr. Ahmed Driouchi and Tahar Harkat of the IEAPS recently published a paper in the MPRA, titled: "Youth Inclusion Policies and NEETs’ Targeting Requirements in Arab Countries".

The current research analyzes the trend of the NEETs, or young individuals that are not in education, employment, or training, in the Arab economies, based on the estimated NEET data in the contribution of Driouchi and Harkat (2017). Evidence shows that the trends of the NEETs are increasing in 9 Arab economies, decreasing in Algeria and statistically not significant for the remaining countries. This is assumed to be related to the absence of policies, programs, and strategies that directly target this category of youth. The present contribution assesses also, the determinants of the NEETs using Granger Causality test. The link between this category of youth and variables such as education, macroeconomic, and governance is assessed. The empirical findings indicate that each of the Arab economies exhibits a unique model with specific factors leading to the changes of this segment of population. This provides supporting evidence of the surrounding environment of the NEETs, and gives incentives to policy makers for monitoring through targeted policies, the significant factors that enable this category of youth.

JEL: I25; I32; J62; J68.

Keywords: NEETs, Arab countries, Causality, Policies, Targeting

IEAPS Dean Publishes Paper on NEETs in the Arab and the East Central European Countries

Dr. Ahmed Driouchi and Tahar Harkat of the IEAPS recently published a paper in the MPRA, titled: "NEET Policies and Knowledge in Arab & East Central European Economies."


This research analyzes the policies related to those youth that are not in education, not in employment, and not in training (NEETs) in the Arab and the East Central European (ECE) countries. It attempts assessing the impacts of knowledge on policies related to NEETs. The empirical framework used is based on measures of knowledge such as the number of reports published by the European Training Foundation (ETF) for each country. The number of studies that relate to education, training, and to the labor markets represent the independent variables. Furthermore, this paper assumes that joining the European Union, as it is the case for ECE countries, benefits these economies through the available strategies and policies related to youth, mostly to the NEET category. Findings indicate that the more publications for a specific country, the more the NEETs decrease. Still, among the studied Arab countries, only Algeria and Morocco show this trend. For ECE countries, only Bulgaria and Slovak Republic benefit from joining the European Union (EU) by reducing the category of youth that are NEETs with the remaining countries having no statistically significant effects. These findings require that further knowledge is needed mainly in Arab countries even though Morocco and Algeria appear to behave differently. Such a knowledge is likely to induce more policies targeting the NEETs.

JEL: J68-I32

Keywords: NEETs, Arab, ECE Countries, NEETs, Policies

MPRA Paper No. 80471, 30 July 2017


PhD Student Wins Best Thesis Prize

The Research Institute for Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN), awarded the 20 finalists of the Green Africa Innovation Contest on July 13th, a competition organized in the framework of the first edition of the Green Africa Innovation Booster in partnership with KIC InnoEnergy and under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development.

PhD student, Houda Ennaciri, won Best Thesis Prize for her research work on "Nano-coating of the reflecting surfaces for the improvement of performances," supervised by AUI Prof. Asmae Khaldoun.

Houda Ennaciri is also a Science teacher at ASI.   

IEAPS Dean Publishes Paper on the e-Journal of Economics & Complexity

IEAPS dean Dr. Ahmed Driouchi published a paper on the e-Journal of Economics & Complexity: an Interdisciplinary Journal on Mundialization, Development and Social Change; which discusses the thematic issue: “migration and its surroundings.”

Abstract: This paper focuses on the shortage in health workforce, its causes and its consequences. The implied mobility is also introduced. Series of issues are introduced to better capture the global prospects facing the health system. A literature review survey on the above dimensions is the main source of information used in this paper. The attained outcomes confirm the existing increasing current and future trends of shortage and mobility of the health workforce with emphasis on medical doctors. The expected consequences on developing countries are discussed in relation to the increasing demand for healthcare but also to the technological changes taking place at the level of the sector and in its environment.

Link: Click here