Frankfurt – Hassan Abyaba, has become Morocco’s new minister of youth, sports, and culture and government spokesperson. On Wednesday, October 9, King Mohammed VI appointed Abyaba to the cabinet position under Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani in a government reshuffle.
Abyaba, who taught at Casablanca’s Hassan II University, will be taking over three portfolios. He will replace Mohamed Laaraj, the previous minister of culture, Rachid Talbi Alami, the previous minister of youth and sports, and Mustapha El Khalfi as government spokesperson.
Abyaba has experience as a spokesperson, having served as the spokesperson of his party, the Constitutional Union (UC) since 2016.
What experience does Abyaba have with his other roles?
The politician joined the UC in 1989 and soon became the party’s deputy secretary-general of youth.
As youth minister, Abyaba will face the challenge of Morocco’s high youth unemployment rate. Earlier this year, the High Commission for Planning reported that the unemployment rate among urban youth is as high as 40%.
While Abyaba does not have a clear record in working in the sports or culture sectors, he completed his doctorate in human resources in 2010 at the Mohammed V University of Rabat.
Abyaba has also received training in leadership and negotiation management in the US and Germany.
As sports minister, Abyaba will inherit the task of securing Morocco’s long-held desire to host the FIFA World Cup. Morocco has an increasingly large profile in hosting championships and tournaments. In August 2019, Rabat hosted the 2019 African Games.
The politician was born soon after independence in Settat, near Casablanca. He first obtained a bachelor’s in geopolitical studies before earning a master’s and doctorate in the same field.
In 2018, he became president of the Arab Liberal Federation. The federation is a group of 13 political parties “committed to the principles of freedom, responsibility, pluralism, tolerance, market economy, civil state and separation of religion from state affairs, where every citizen enjoys a life of peace and prosperity.”
Abyaba’s new position as government spokesperson will require him to work closely with El Othmani’s ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD).