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New Opportunities

CIRED has been active in the past few months in the search for new partners, projects, and opportunities. Here are a few brief examples:

  • Morocco: CIRED is pursuing a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funding opportunity in Morocco that involves capacity development for the hospitality and tourism sector.  In doing this, CIRED is working with Virginia Tech’s Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) Department, which is ranked #2 and #6 for HTM in the U.S. and the world respectively.  As part of its education investment in Morocco, MCC has set up a grant fund for professional development. The objective of this grant program – known as Fonds Charaka is to create and reinforce public-private partnerships to improve professional training in sectors that are important to Morocco’s economic growth.  Tourism is one of these sectors.  The fund aims to improve the quality and relevance of technical and vocational education (TVET) in Morocco by working with the private and public sectors to better align professional training with the skills needed for Morocco’s workforce. The fund plans to award over $90 million in grant funding to public-private partnerships (PPPs) to build new TVET centers and/or expand existing centers that offer private-sector driven training models.  In October, a Virginia Tech team comprised of Khaled Hassouna, CIRED associate director for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) initiatives, former CIRED director Keith Moore, Kristin Lamoureux, visiting professor of HTM, and Nada Berrada, instructor and doctoral student in the Political Science Department, traveled to Morocco to meet with representatives of the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism and other potential stakeholders.  A consortium of local public and private partners was formed and a $5 million proposal submitted to MCC.  The proposal focuses on developing a professional training model for two public schools of tourism in partnership with private institutions working in the tourism and hospitality sector.