Educated at local primary and secondary schools, then went to the National Agriculture School at Grignon where he was awarded a diploma in agricultural engineering in 292 1956. He went to France to continue his studies at the National School of Water and Forestry at Nancy, graduating in 1958.
On his return to Morocco he joined government service in the Department of Water and Forests, rising in seven years to be director. During this period he was representing his country on many occasions at conferences as an acknowledged engineering expert. In 1971 he became Secretary-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform. On October 1, 1972, he was appointed vice-president and general administrator of the National Cellulose Company of Morocco. But just over six weeks later with the formation of a new cabinet of technocrats he was a natural choice for the Agriculture portfolio.
A technocrat, more than a politician, he spent most of his first 14 working years as a civil servant or administrator. He was brought into government by Prime Minister Ahmed Osman to help create a cleancut image of efficiency rather than the tired look of predictable political experience.