By Redouane Benmehdi – Hundreds of thousands of Moroccan craftsmen are facing a daunting future as the government’s Covid-19 policies have resulted in their isolation and lack of effective financial support. The pandemic has starved the craftsmen from their usual client base, consisting largely of foreign tourists visiting the likes of the famed markets of Marrakesh and other cities, where small craftsmen shops have been thriving.
Despite the troubles facing this category of professionals, initiatives from the Moroccan government and its Ministry of Tourism, which oversees the sector, remain extremely anemic. The Ministry’s key initiative was to launch a hashtag on Twitter to encourage Moroccans to buy products made by local craftsmen.
The sector is critical for Morocco as both a source of money and jobs. It employs an estimated 2 million people, directly and indirectly, and generates between 6% and 7% of the kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP), with exports valued at MDM 800 million for the year 2019.