Mohamed Karim Lamrani, Former Moroccan Prime Minister, Dies at 99

Rabat – Former head of government and businessman Mohamed Karim Lamrani, died Wednesday night, at the age of 99.Lamrani was born in 1919 in Fez and became a wealthy businessman in Morocco. Lamrani served as an economic advisor to the Moroccan government.Lamrani held the position of head of government three times: from August 6, 1971 to November 2, 1972; from November 30, 1983, to September 30, 1986; and from August 11, 1992, to May 25,1994. In 1967, he was appointed general director of Morocco’s OCP Group, one of the world’s largest phosphate producers and exporters.Morocco’s King Hassan II and Prime Minister Karim Lamrani pray during Friday noon prayer in 1985 at Moulay Abdelaziz mosque in Laayoune, southern Morocco.A successful businessman and politicianAlthough Lamrani had never stepped foot in school, he became a successful wealthy businessman and politician.“I was born to do business and in the world of business,” Lamrani said in an interview with Ramzi Sofia, a famous Iraqi journalist.Sofia conducted an interview with Lamrani when he was head of government between 1992 and 1993, but it was published in 2014 in the newspaper Al-Ousboue. Sofia had lived in Morocco since 1975 and written in many Arabic newspapers. He also wrote many books, including two about King Mohammed VI.Ramzi Sofia and Mohamed Karim LamraniFor Lamrani, success is to know how to seize the best opportunity which will change one’s life completely. “I was a man who seized life opportunity and moved towards wealth. My wealth opened chances for me to go into politics and high positions.”Despite being a prime minister in the governments of the late King Hassan II, Lamrani said, “I never neglected my business and I even transformed French colonial companies into Moroccan ones.‘The best politicians are businessmen’Lamrani believed that businessmen are the most fit for politics and that they can bring economic interest to their country.When Sofia asked Lamrani how he managed to enter politics even though he was a man of money and economy, Lamrani responded: “There is no single businessman who is not fit for politics and public affairs.”“I can tell you with all credibility that the best politicians are businessmen, because these people think about the financial interests of the country above all and they know how to bring money to the state budget.”Lamrani believed that the quality of the economy is an integral part of the stability of states.According to Sofia, Lamrani’s most important asset was his friendship with some of the old French businessmen, who not only made him speak their language fluently and acquire their ways of behavior and thought, but who also gave him useful techniques to succeed in his projects. Lamrani was an independent politician with no political party orientation.

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