Mostafa Saidi, Rabat, Morocco
Name: Mostafa Saidi
Lives in: Rabat, Morocco
Period in Germany: March 1996 to May 1998 in Tubingen, Berlin and Speyer
Educational and research institution: German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer
Occupation: Employee of the Ministry for Public Service and the Modernization of the Administration
I moved to Germany in March 1996 to study and complete my doctorate. I chose Germany rather than another European country, such as France, because of the chances and opportunities that Germany offered me.
I finished school in Morocco. As a child and teenager, I usually found it difficult to get enthusiastic about school, because I always thought there were unmotivated teachers waiting for me, who would paint a dismal picture of my future.
‘In Germany I completed my doctorate on the modernisation of organisation and administration’
After studying law, with a special focus on administration studies, at the Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fes, I was determined to work in public service. Five years into my career, I decided to switch to a research activity. To do that, most Moroccans usually go to France. I thought Germany seemed to offer more, since the research scene there is more varied and there is a good chance of pursuing an academic career.
Compared to my studies in Morocco, the time is spent at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer was more relaxed. As a student I was given the freedom to arrange my own studies, which meant I could find a good balance between learning and leisure time.
‘There’s also a flip-side to Germany: far too much bureaucracy, too many rules and laws’
I have a lot of ties to Germany. Today, I’ve got more friends there than in Morocco. However, there is also a flip side to Germany. In my opinion there’s far too much bureaucracy, with too many laws and rules, and this is sometimes simply paralysing. Citizen sometimes get the impression that the state just administers itself. A lot could be done to improve this and make it more efficient. There is also plenty of room for improvement in terms of equal opportunities – both for women and for immigrants.
In the many years that I've been able to spend in Germany, I have learnt a lot. At the same time, it was always my aim to make a positive contribution to Germany, which is why I tried to help dismantle prejudices against foreigners in the country.
Over the last ten years, I have noticed a huge advancement when it comes to Morocco's development. People’s living standards have increased tangibly. The infrastructure, which is highly significant for a country’s development, has improved considerably. Morocco still has a huge potential for further development, but this is still being hampered by shortcomings in education. The Moroccan government needs to do something to enable the education system to catch up with the needs of the rapidly growing, innovative labour market.
‘The diaspora can build bridges between the two worlds’
I think the diaspora provides the best channel for successful cooperation between Morocco and Germany. That's one of the reasons that I'm a member of the German-Moroccan competence network (DMK). The network’s purpose is to promote sustainable development in Morocco and to provide strong support for the integration of citizens of Moroccan origin in Germany. The diaspora has access to both societies and cultures and is therefore ideally placed to create ties and maintain them. It can help build bridges between the two worlds.
As part of our activities in the DMK, in recent years we have launched a number of different projects. These address area of economy, health, education and research. In the GIZ-financed 'Knowledge transfer’ project, we have provided instruments for research at the universities of Rabat and in other institutions.