Monday, January 09, 2017

HSR in Morocco: "The equivalent of 25,000 schools"


From CityLab (Africa's First High-Speed Train Is Coming):

...Unemployment remains a major issue for Morocco, with a countrywide rate of over 20 percent. For young people, the figure doubles. Fabiani tells CityLab that the country’s urban/rural divide is particularly stark. “If you go outside the main cities,” he says, “the state of the roads is very poor, as is access to clean water, schools, and hospitals.” 

A high-speed train linking Morocco’s main urban centers will likely be out of reach, both geographically and financially, for the majority of Moroccans. “The people who will be able to afford it—residents of cities and professionals—are not that many,” he says, noting that the money and effort might be better spent on more effective education efforts.

Omar Balafrej, who heads a campaign to stop the train project, concurs. He told the BBC that the cost of the project is the equivalent of 25,000 schools. “Each time you have 10 meters of [high-speed train], it’s one school that you don’t build,” he says...

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