Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


Alumnus Chaouki Head of Finance and Economic Development Committee

SBA Alumnus Mohamed Chaouki ('98) (from the National Rally of Independents (RNI) party) was elected Chairman of the Finance and Economic Development Committee in the Moroccan chamber of representatives.

Dr. Ikram publishes articles on Sustainable Energy Development in the Asia and Oceania Region and on Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM)

SBA Professor Dr. Muhammad Ikram has recently published on the topics of sustainable energy development and on green supply chain management in two different academic journals. Dr. Ikram published an article titled “Models for Predicting Non-Renewable Energy Competing with Renewable Source for Sustainable Energy Development: Case of Asia and Oceania Region” in the Global Journal of Flexible Systems and Management (JFSM). JFSM is indexed in the Charted Association of Business Schools (CABS) and ranked at ABS-2 as per AJG 2021. 

This study develops the integrated grey framework to forecast the growth trends of renewable and non-renewable energy production and consumption in the Asia and Oceania region from 2017 to 2025 by using novel grey forecasting models, namely even the grey model, discrete grey model, optimized discrete grey model, and non-homogeneous discrete grey model (NDGM). The study is the first of its kind to develop the grey integrated forecasting framework to predict the renewable and non-renewable production and consumption in the region of Asia and Oceania. This study provides useful information for policymakers, decision-makers and energy experts in sustainable energy planning, and simultaneously helps to make the environment more sustainable. 

Dr. Ikram has also published an article titled “Factors affecting managers’ intention to adopt green supply chain management practices: evidence from manufacturing firms in Jordan" in the prestigious Environmental Science and Pollution Research (ESPR) journal. ESPR is a leading academic journal indexed in multiple databases such as Scopus and SCI, which has a 4.223 impact factor. 

The study presents a comprehensive framework to academics and decision makers that highlights the factors affecting the intention to adopt GSCM practices among supply chain managers. The study concludes that four out of seven factors such as supplier’s commitment, environmental sustainability, customer satisfaction, and cost factors are the most significant drivers of GSCM adoption among managers. In particular, these are the most significant factors that are related to the intention of GSCM adoption among supply chain managers. 

More details about the article on Sustainable Energy Development in the Asia and Oceania Region can be found at: 

And the article on Green Supply Chain Management can be found at: 

Dr. Lounnas Analyzes Sahelian Future in Light of Afghanistan

Dr. Djallil Lounnas, Assistant Professor of International Studies at AUI, recently published an article titled "Is Afghanistan Present Sahel's Future?" in the news website InsideOver. In this article, he analyzes the planned French withdrawal from Mali in light of the recent US withdrawal from Afghanistan. He wonders if the subsequent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban is indicative/comparable of what could happen in Mali with the rise of jihadi groups, such as JNIM (Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims) and ISGS (Islamic State in the Grand Sahara). 

He first discusses how JNIM is a strategic threat, explaining how the group has drawn from the strategies promoted by Al Qaeda, such as the call for having a strong presence in the local communities, preaching to them and not doing violence to them so as to win their favor, as well as forming alliances with other groups, even if non-jihadi. Dr. Lounnas concludes that although the power of the current jihadi groups in the Sahelian states after the French withdrawal from the country raises some concerns, it is important to keep in mind that there other groups that are bigger and more powerful (these are not the most powerful, compared to other groups), and that "these groups often nourish themselves on local populations grievances in the context of States weaknesses more than on their own strength." 

Alumnus Qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Alumnus and Moroccan athlete Ali Al Ahrach (’11) will be competing on the world’s largest athletic stage - the Olympic games in Tokyo. Ali is representing Morocco in equestrian - the jumping division. Ali won the Gold medal in the 2019 Rabat Continental/Regional Games.

This is the first time in the history of Moroccan show jumping that a team has qualified for the Olympic Games. The Olympic equestrian events will be held July 25-29 for dressage and August 4-8 for show jumping at Setagaya Equestrian Park.

Paper Co-Authored by Alumnus Othman Namli Wins an Award

SBA Alumnus Othman Namli, and Professor Gwyneth Edwards won the Best Student Paper Award in the International Business Division at the latest Administrative Science Association of Canada (ASAC) Conference. The paper, Internationalization Speed: Strategies in the Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs) Industry, was based on Othman Namli’s thesis, directed by Professor Edwards and submitted in August 2020.

The purpose of this paper is to understand the factors that allow a company to expand to the international market more rapidly. The model that emerged from Namli’s work could help guide airlines looking to pursue international opportunities without overstretching their capabilities. This award salutes the quality of Professor Edwards’ and Mr. Namli’s research, which had already been recognized with a research scholarship from the Boucaro Foundation. (