Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane - Spotlights


Lounnas on the Evolution of Jihadi Organizations

Dr. Djallil Lounnas, Assistant SHSS Professor of International Studies, recently spoke to an Italian newspaper about the evolution of Jihadi organizations in the Sahel region, including the emergence of Daech and its relations with Al Qaeda linked organizations.


Understanding Youth in Arab Countries


The following contribution is a synthesis of many contributions (Driouchi & Harkat, 2017a; 2017b; 2017c; 2017d; 2017e; Harkat, Driouchi, and Achehboune, 2016a; 2016b; and Harkat and Driouchi, 2017) and aims at analyzing the situation of the youngest segments in Arab economies. Findings indicate that the values, and the way women is perceived as a player in the economy by older generations did not change. But with regard to work attribute, they have changed significantly. With regard to macroeconomic threats, they are perceived more by young individuals in non-GCC countries than young individuals in GCC countries. The remaining four sections indicate the impact of vocational and general education on macroeconomic and social variables, the status as well as the determinants of youth unemployment, the status and determinants of young individuals not in education, not in employment, and not in training (or NEETs), and the impact of the demographic dividend on the NEETs. Empirical results indicate that the situation and impact of the youth differs from each Arab economy to another.

By: Tahar Harkat, Ahmed Driouchi, IEAPS, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco.

Online at

MPRA Paper No. 83843

Demographic Dividend & Economic Development in Easter and Central European Countries


The following paper discusses the occurrence of the demographic dividend in Eastern and Central European countries (ECE). The data used is extracted from the World Bank and provides with descriptive statistics in addition to empirical analyses of fertility and mortality rates, and the significant causal links between the change in the demographic composition and unemployment, economic development, expenditure, education, and female participation variables. This is throughout regression analysis process with robust standard error and Granger causality tests. Empirical findings indicate that both the fertility rates and mortality rates of infants have decreasing trends in these countries. Further analysis indicates that the demographic dividend already occurred in these countries and has ended except for Estonia, Hungary and Romania. The last part of the results indicates that the change of the demographic composition of the populations of ECE countries have causalities that differ from an economy to another.

MPRA Paper No. 83481, posted UNSPECIFIED

Online at  

By: Tahar Harkat, Ahmed Driouchi, IEAPS, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco.

Algerian Security in the Face of Terrorism

Dr. Djallil Lounnas' new article, entitled "The Impact of ISIS on Algeria's Security Doctrine" and published in the Middle East Policy Journal, explores the evolution of Algerian security policies in the face of terrorism. In his paper, Dr. Lounnas argues that Algerian security services' strategy to combat terrorism based on the concept of national reconciliation reached its limits in 2013-2014. This change in policy, Lounnas claims, occurred within the larger context of Al Qaeda's weakened stance in Algeria's Islamic Maghreb and in the Sahel, and of the emergence of the more radical ISIS affiliates in Algeria, Libya, and Mali. The article is available through this link


NEASC Accreditation Celebration: The Achievements Exhibition.

Accreditation is no small thing, nor is its acquisition easily achieved. In order to attain such levels of excellence, an entire institution must come together and work towards a common goal.

In order to celebrate its recent NEASC accreditation, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane recently organized an Institutional Accreditation Celebration wherein it arranged to demonstrate the myriad hurdles it overcame to achieve this new level of excellence. The cornerstone of this celebration laid in stressing the role played by each department, placing the onus on their individual accomplishments and how these have made Al Akhawayn what it is today.

To illustrate these many accomplishments, AUI organized an all-day Achievements Exhibition which took the form of placards covering the University’s main entrance. Each of these posters elucidated a different facet of the University so as to exemplify the diversity of the recent undertaking. The roll-ups showcased fifteen separate entities, including the three main schools—the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS), the School of Science and Engineering (SSE), and the School of Business Administration (SBA)— the Language Center (LC), the Student Activities Office (SAO), the Executive Education Center (EEC), the Institute of Economic Analysis and Prospective Studies (IEAPS), Student Life, Internationalization, Quality Assurance, Institutional Accreditation, Programmatic Accreditation, Human Capital, Community and Social Responsibility, Academic Supports, and Alumni.

These different posters described the entities’ respective evolutions—how they came about, how they have changed over the years, as well as what they are today. They also supplied the entities’ mission statements and displayed the most noteworthy data. In the case of the SAO, for instance, their poster demonstrated how the office has moved and grown, and how the number of clubs has increased exponentially as a result of the student body’s expansion. Other posters, such as Academic Support’s, demonstrated the various supports offered to students on campus—from the Center for Learning Excellence to the Writing Center—as well as the amenities offered by each of those support centers.

Al Akhawayn is proud of its recent accreditation, but it is prouder still of the people that came together to make it happen. 

Written by Liam Reilly