By Zakaria ouadghiriRabat – Morocco’s spending on research and development (R & D) constituted 0.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2017, said Said Amzazi, the minister of national education, vocational training, higher education, and scientific research, on Tuesday in Casablanca.“Even if the budget earmarked for scientific and technical research in Morocco is just 0.8 percent of GDP, the problem is really the procedures for disbursing this funding,” he commented. He said that while the rate is low compared to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries (2.3 percent), it is still higher than it was in 2016 (0.3 percent).Read Also: CIA: Moroccan Military Spending to GDP Ratio Is 26th Highest in WorldMoroccan universities do not use “considerable sums” because the procedures are “complex and slow” while R & D requires flexibility and a rapid response, he explained in a speech delivered at the 8th annual Colloque X-Maroc event. The event’s theme was “Research & Development as a Lever for Growth.”According to the latest UNESCO report on countries’ investment in R&D, Morocco ranks third in Africa, after Egypt and South Africa. Morocco spends MAD 14 billion for research.Approximately 8,000 skilled Moroccans, including 600 engineers, leave the country each year, according to Salwa Belkeziz-Karkari, the president of the Moroccan Federation of Information Technologies. Read Also: Benchaaboun: Privatization to Cut Deficit to 3.3% GDP in 2019Morocco’s Minister of Education Said Amzazi recently said that brain drain is an “international phenomenon” resulting from the desire of graduate students to look for more favorable working conditions. According to the minister, Morocco does not provide incentives to attract educated Moroccans across the world.If Moroccan researchers return to Morocco from Europe, they start at the lowest administrative rank, an unacceptable demotion for university researchers, Amzazi continued.