Empty streets of Casablanca

This might be my most-said sentence these days, when it’s all over, when we can return to normality, when all this madness settles down…

To tell the truth, I have no clue when it will be. I am usually a kind of control-freak, which is difficult in Morocco. You don’t easily get over habits deeply ingrained by twenty years of working with German people…

These past months, I learned to let it go, and accept that no real plan could be done, no decision could be taken based on accurate predictions. Tangier is confined, Tangier is open again, flights are cancelled, new flights are scheduled and cancelled again…

I learned to say “Inch Allah” and deeply mean it, when most of Moroccans around me forget it and can’t stand any more to be prisoners in their own country or stranded in a foreign country.

It is difficult to advise my customers.

When they are not residents, should they leave Morocco and try to come back, no one really knows when ? Should they apply for an extension visa ? Or for the residency card that becomes as coveted as a green card ?

Will their business still be viable in the future ? We can foresee a long and difficult crisis, but you have companies that succeed even in such conditions.

One has to be very careful and spend as little as possible. Which is always the case, by the way.

Business conditions are changing very quickly ; the Moroccan government decided a high increase of customs tariffs on certain products. That’s an emergency measure, but it does not mean Moroccan industry will be able to quickly adapt and replace these imported products. Sometimes the know-how is not there, sometimes the money.

Tourism, that was a key activity, is agonizing. Driss Benhima, former CEO of Royal Air Maroc said he is positive tourism will start again, in one or two years. Add another one at least.

When all this is over, when we enjoy again the beaches and bar terraces without wearing a mask, when we can plan a week-end in Marrakesh without asking for a authorization, when Morocco will welcome millions of tourists again, will it be just a nightmare, or will it have taught us something ?

Don’t take anything for granted

Be adaptable, have safety savings, and always have a plan B.

The first time I heard this sentence was in Africa, in Livingstone, nearby Victoria Falls. Someone explained me he chose to live there

because you have four countries with common borders, you can always go somewhere else if there is a problem. One always need a plan B in Africa.

The whole world is like Africa. Morocco, in Africa, manages the pandemic better than many “more developed countries” in the old world. Will the country also manage it’s economy better and be able to provide for all unemployed ?

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