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Moroccan Web Entrepreneurs Gather, Pitch Ideas at g|maroc
Following a promising first edition of the g|Maghreb event organized in 2011 in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, Google returned to Morocco this year with a special two day event called g|maroc, which took place this time in Mohammedia, a town located between Rabat and Casablanca, the economic capital of Morocco.
The municipal Theatre of Mohammedia hosted g|maroc on the 7th and 8th of June, gathering some Googlers as well as local professionals, enthusiasts and students from all over Morocco.
Following Google's standard structure, the first day of g|maroc called “Business” was dedicated to web marketers, webmasters and entrepreneurs, while the second day, "Technology," solicited a more technical audience to attend free workshops animated by Googlers specialized in tools as famous as Google Maps, Google Android or Google+. Quizzes, animations, distribution of goodies and networking sessions. Everything was made to make the attendees spend very intensive and rich days in a cool and relaxed atmosphere.
The second day ended with an interesting panel discussion moderated by William Kanaan, Head of New Business Development Middle East & North Africa at Google, which brought four professionals in the digital and entrepreneurial scene in Morocco together to discuss and debate "Entrepreneurship and Education."
I personally enjoyed the introduction this year of a space dedicated to web entrepreneurs and called the "Terrasse des innovateurs” (the “innovators’ Terrace”). This space was a platform for those who wish to present an innovative website, an application or a product. Young Moroccan entrepreneur Marouane El Moutaouakil presented his portal Fikra.ma, an online citizen-oriented suggestion box website. The goal: to participate in the development of Morocco by bringing new ideas and innovative projects and find participants and leaders willing to shape them. Fikra.ma also won the award for the 2012 Best Web Application in Morocco in the “Maroc Web Awards”!
Another sign of the growing interest of Google in the Moroccan market: many of the presentations and interventions were conducted in French or Arabic and some in English. Some of the Googlers who were present at the g|maroc event were French speakers and some of them were Moroccans.
See more from g|maroc by viewing all of the Google presentations, available here.
Karim Jazouani is an independent web consultant based in Casablanca, Morocco. He has worked as the former North Africa Head Of Sales at Yahoo!, as the former marketing and communication manager of Menara.ma, and former co-host, radio columnist and creator of the #1 Moroccan radio show on web/IT/high-tech, as well as the founder of @communiquemaroc, the main Moroccan press releases distribution website. Previously, he worked for various digital companies in France and Morocco like Yahoo!, CBS Interactive, Glowria.fr, Diouda.fr, and Maroc Telecom. He graduated from the Paris XII University, holds three Masters degrees in management, coaching and e-marketing, and e-commerce, trade and sales. He’s also an extreme sports addict (longskate, bodyboard). You can find him on his LinkedIn page and on Twitter at @karimjazouani.
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