Coordinates : 32°N 6°W / 32°N 6°W / 32; -6
Kingdom of Morocco
* المملكة المغربية (
* ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ (Berber )
Flag Coat of arms
MOTTO: لله، الوطن، الملك (Arabic)
_Allah, Al Watan, Al Malik_ ⴰⴽⵓⵛ, ⴰⵎⵓⵔ,
ⴰⴳⵍⵍⵉⴷ_ (Berber )_
"God, Homeland, King"
النشيد الوطني المغربي (Arabic)
ⵉⵣⵍⵉ ⴰⵏⴰⵎⵓⵔ ⵏ ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ (Berber)
Cherifian Anthem _
Dark green: Internationally recognized territory of Morocco.
Western Sahara , a territory claimed and mostly
Morocco as its
34°02′N 6°51′W / 34.033°N 6.850°W / 34.033; -6.850
33°32′N 7°35′W / 33.533°N 7.583°W / 33.533; -7.583
ETHNIC GROUPS (2014 )
* other 1%
Sunni Islam (official)
• PRIME MINISTER
• UPPER HOUSE
House of Councillors
• LOWER HOUSE
House of Representatives
• IDRISID DYNASTY (FIRST)
• ALAOUITE DYNASTY (CURRENT)
• PROTECTORATE ESTABLISHED
30 March 1912
7 April 1956
710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi)
or 446,550 km2 (40th or 58th )
• WATER (%)
0.056 (250 km2)
• 1 SEPTEMBER 2014 CENSUS
73.1/km2 (189.3/sq mi)
GDP (PPP )
• PER CAPITA
• PER CAPITA
medium · 126th
Moroccan dirham (MAD )
GMT (UTC )
• SUMMER (DST )
GMT +1 (UTC +1)
DRIVES ON THE
ISO 3166 CODE
* ^ Official religion .
* ^ The area 446,550 km2 (172,410 sq mi) excludes all disputed
territories, while 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi) includes the
Moroccan-administered parts of
Western Sahara (claimed as the Sahrawi
Arab Democratic Republic by the
Polisario Front ).
MOROCCO (/məˈrɒkoʊ/ (_ listen );
Arabic : المَغرِب,
translit. al-maġrib_, lit. 'place the sun sets; the west';
Standard Moroccan Tamazight : ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ, translit.
_Lmeɣrib_; French : _MAROC_), officially known as the KINGDOM OF
Arabic : المملكة المغربية, translit.
_al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah_, lit. "The Western Kingdom"; Standard
Moroccan Tamazight : ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ,
translit. _Tageldit n Lmaɣrib_), is a sovereign country located in
Maghreb region of
North Africa . Geographically,
characterised by a rugged mountainous interior, large tracts of desert
and a lengthy coastline along the
Atlantic Ocean and
Morocco has a population of over 33.8 million and an area of 446,550
km2 (172,410 sq mi). Its capital is
Rabat , and the largest city is
Casablanca . Other major cities include
Tangier , Tetouan
Fes , Safi ,
Kenitra , and
A historically prominent regional power,
Morocco has a history of
independence not shared by its neighbours. Since the foundation of the
first Moroccan state by Idris I in 789, the country has been ruled by
a series of independent dynasties, reaching its zenith under the
Almohad dynasty , spanning parts of
Northwestern Africa. Marinid and Saadi dynasties continued the
struggle against foreign domination, and
Morocco remained the only
North African country to avoid Ottoman occupation. The Alaouite
dynasty , the current ruling dynasty, seized power in 1666. In 1912
Morocco was divided into French and Spanish protectorates, with an
international zone in
Tangier , and regained its independence in 1956.
Moroccan culture is a blend of
Arab , indigenous Berber , Sub-Saharan
African, and European influences.
Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of
Western Sahara as
Southern Provinces .
Morocco annexed the territory in 1975,
leading to a guerrilla war with indigenous forces until a cease-fire
in 1991. Peace processes have thus far failed to break the political
Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament. The
King of Morocco
King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers,
especially over the military , foreign policy and religious affairs.
Executive power is exercised by the government , while legislative
power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of
parliament, the Assembly of Representatives and the Assembly of
Councillors . The king can issue decrees called dahirs which have the
force of law. He can also dissolve the parliament after consulting the
Prime Minister and the president of the Constitutional court.
Morocco's predominant religion is
Islam , and the official languages
Arabic and Berber . The
Moroccan dialect , referred to as
_Darija_, and French are also widely spoken.
Morocco is a member of
Arab League , the
Union for the Mediterranean
Union for the Mediterranean , and the African
Union . It has the fifth largest economy of Africa .
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Prehistory and antiquity
* 2.2 Early Islamic era
* 2.3 Berber dynasties
* 2.4 Sharifian dynasties
* 2.5 French and Spanish protectorates
* 2.6 Post-independence
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Climate
* 4 Politics
* 4.1 Legislative branch
* 4.2 Military
* 4.3 Foreign relations
Western Sahara status
* 4.5 Administrative divisions
* 4.6 Human rights
* 5 Economy
* 5.1 Tourism
* 5.2 Agriculture
* 5.3 Energy
* 5.4 Narcotics
* 5.5 Transport
* 5.6 Water supply and sanitation
* 6 Science and technology
* 7 Demographics
* 7.1 Religion
* 7.2 Languages
* 8.1 Architecture
* 8.2 Literature
* 8.3 Music
* 8.4 Media
* 8.5 Cuisine
* 8.6 Sport
* 9 Education
* 10 Healthcare
* 11 See also
* 12 Notes
* 13 Source
* 14 References
* 15 External links
Arabic name _al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyyah_ (المملكة
المغربية) translates to "Kingdom of the West"; although "the
Arabic is الغرب _Al-Gharb_. For historical references,
Arab historians and geographers sometimes referred to Morocco
as _al-Maghrib al-Aqṣá_ (المغرب الأقصى, meaning "The
Farthest West") to distinguish it from neighbouring historical regions
called _al-Maghrib al-Awsaṭ_ (المغرب الأوسط, meaning
"The Middle West ") and _al-Maghrib al-Adná_ (المغرب
الأدنى, meaning "The Nearest West ").
The basis of Morocco's English name is
Marrakesh , its capital under
Almoravid dynasty and
Almohad Caliphate . The origin of the name
Marrakesh is disputed, but is most likely from the Berber words _amur
(n) akush_ (ⴰⵎⵓⵔ ⵏ ⴰⴽⵓⵛ) or "Land of God". The
modern Berber name for
Marrakesh is _Mṛṛakc_ (in the Berber Latin
script ). In Turkish ,
Morocco is known as _Fas_, a name derived from
its ancient capital of
Fes . However, this was not the case in other
parts of the Islamic world: until the middle of the 20th century, the
common name of
Morocco in Egyptian and Middle Eastern Arabic
literature was _Marrakesh_ (مراكش); this name is still used in
some languages such as Persian ,
Urdu , Punjabi and Pashto . The
Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish _Marruecos_.
History of Morocco
History of Morocco
PREHISTORY AND ANTIQUITY
The Berber Roman client King
Ptolemy of Mauretania .
The area of present-day
Morocco has been inhabited since Paleolithic
times , sometime between 190,000 and 90,000 BC. A recent publication
may demonstrate an even earlier habitation period, as _
Homo sapiens _
fossils discovered in the late 2000s near the
Atlantic coast in Jebel
Irhoud were recently dated to roughly 315,000 years before present.
During the Upper
Paleolithic , the
Maghreb was more fertile than it is
today, resembling a savanna more than today's arid landscape.
Twenty-two thousand years ago, the
Aterian was succeeded by the
Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities with Iberian
cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested between the
Mechta-Afalou " burials and European Cro-Magnon
Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the
Beaker culture in
Mitochondrial DNA studies have discovered a close link between
Berbers and the Saami of Scandinavia. This supports theories that the
Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern
Europe was the source of
late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers who repopulated northern
Europe after the last ice age .
North Africa and
Morocco were slowly drawn into the wider emerging
Mediterranean world by the
Phoenicians , who established trading
colonies and settlements in the early Classical period. Substantial
Phoenician settlements were at
Chellah , Lixus and
Mogador . Mogador
was a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC.
Ancient Roman ruins of
Morocco later became a realm of the North African civilisation of
ancient Carthage as part of its empire. The earliest known independent
Moroccan state was the Berber kingdom of
Mauretania under king Baga .
This ancient kingdom (not to be confused with the present state of
Mauritania ) dates at least to 225 BC.
Mauretania became a client kingdom of the
Roman Empire in 33 BC.
Mauretania directly as a
Roman province in 44
AD, under an imperial governor (either a_procurator Augusti_, or a
_legatus Augusti pro praetore_).
During the crisis of the 3rd century , parts of
reconquered by Berber tribes. Direct Roman rule became confined to a
few coastal cities (such as Septum (Ceuta) in
Mauretania Tingitana and
Mauretania Caesariensis ) by the late 3rd century. The
Roman Empire lost its remaining possessions in
Mauretania after the
area was devastated by the
Vandals in AD 429. After this point, local
Mauro-Roman kings assumed control (see
Mauro-Roman kingdom ). The
Roman Empire re-established direct Imperial rule of Septum
Tingi in the 560s.
EARLY ISLAMIC ERA
Muslim conquest of the
Maghreb , that started in the middle of
the 7th century, was achieved by the
Umayyad Caliphate early into the
following century. It brought both the
Arabic language and
the area. Although part of the larger Islamic Empire ,
initially organized as a subsidiary province of
Ifriqiya , with the
local governors appointed by the
Muslim governor in
The indigenous Berber tribes adopted Islam, but retained their
customary laws . They also paid taxes and tribute to the new Muslim
administration. The first independent
Muslim state in the area of
Morocco was the
Kingdom of Nekor , an emirate in the Rif
Mountains . It was founded by
Salih I ibn Mansur in 710, as a client
state to the Rashidun
Caliphate . After the outbreak of the Berber
Revolt in 739, the
Berbers formed other independent states such as the
Sijilmasa and the
Barghawata . Idrisid coin, minted at
al-'Aliyah, Morocco, 840 CE.
According to medieval legend,
Idris ibn Abdallah had fled to Morocco
after the Abbasids' massacre of his tribe in Iraq. He convinced the
Awraba Berber tribes to break their allegiance to the distant Abbasid
Baghdad and he founded the
Idrisid dynasty in 788. The
Fes as their capital and
Morocco became a centre
Muslim learning and a major regional power . The Idrissids were
ousted in 927 by the Fatimid
Caliphate and their
Miknasa allies. After
Miknasa broke off relations with the Fatimids in 932, they were
removed from power by the
Sijilmasa in 980.
Almohad realm at its greatest extent, c. 1212
From the 11th century onwards, a series of Berber dynasties arose.
Almoravid dynasty and the
Almohad dynasty , Morocco
dominated the Maghreb, much of present-day
Spain and Portugal, and the
Mediterranean region. From the 13th century onwards the
country saw a massive migration of the
Arab tribes. In the
13th and 14th centuries the Merinids held power in
Morocco and strove
to replicate the successes of the Almohads by military campaigns in
Algeria and Spain. They were followed by the Wattasids . In the 15th
Muslim rule in central and southern
Spain and many Muslims and
Jews fled to Morocco.
Portuguese efforts to control the
Atlantic sea trade in the 15th
century did not greatly affect the interior of
Morocco even though
they managed to control some possessions on the Moroccan coast but not
venturing further afield inland.
On another note and according to Elizabeth Allo Isichei, "In 1520,
there was a famine in
Morocco so terrible that for a long time other
events were dated by it. It has been suggested that the population of
Morocco fell from 5 to under 3 million between the early sixteenth and
Ashraf Morocco, Safi ceramic vessel Jobbana
In 1549, the region fell to successive
Arab dynasties claiming
descent from the Islamic prophet ,
Muhammad : first the Saadi dynasty
who ruled from 1549 to 1659, and then the
Alaouite Dynasty , who
remained in power since the 17th century.
Under the Saadi Dynasty, the country repulsed Ottoman incursions and
a Portuguese invasion at the battle of Ksar el Kebir in 1578. The
Ahmad al-Mansur brought new wealth and prestige to the
Sultanate, and a large expedition to West Africa inflicted a crushing
defeat on the
Songhay Empire in 1591. However, managing the
territories across the
Sahara proved too difficult. After the death of
al-Mansur, the country was divided among his sons.
Morocco was reunited by the
Alaouite Dynasty , who have been
the ruling house of
Morocco ever since.
Morocco was facing aggression
Spain and the
Ottoman Empire allies pressing westward. The
Alaouites succeeded in stabilising their position, and while the
kingdom was smaller than previous ones in the region, it remained
quite wealthy. Against the opposition of local tribes Ismail Ibn
Sharif (1672–1727) began to create a unified state. With his Jaysh
Rif (the Riffian Army) he seized
Tangier from the English in
1684 and drove the Spanish from
Larache in 1689.
Morocco was the first nation to recognise the fledgling United States
as an independent nation in 1777. In the beginning of the American
Revolution , American merchant ships in the
Atlantic Ocean were
subject to attack by the
Barbary pirates . On 20 December 1777,
Mohammed III declared that American merchant ships
would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy
safe passage. The
Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship , signed in
1786, stands as the U.S.'s oldest non-broken friendship treaty .
FRENCH AND SPANISH PROTECTORATES
French Morocco and
Spanish Protectorate in Morocco
Former Portuguese fortress of Mazagan in
El Jadida Death of
Spanish general Margallo during the
Melilla War . Le Petit Journal ,
13 November 1893.
North Africa was increasingly prized for
its potential for colonisation.
France showed a strong interest in
Morocco as early as 1830, not only to protect the border of its
Algerian territory, but also because of the strategic position of
Morocco on two oceans. In 1860, a dispute over Spain's
Spain to declare war. Victorious
Spain won a further enclave and
Ceuta in the settlement. In 1884,
Spain created a
protectorate in the coastal areas of Morocco.
Spain carved out zones of influence in Morocco.
Recognition by the
United Kingdom of France's sphere of influence
provoked a strong reaction from the
German Empire ; and a crisis
loomed in 1905. The matter was resolved at the
Algeciras Conference in
Agadir Crisis of 1911 increased tensions between European
powers. The 1912
Treaty of Fez made
Morocco a protectorate of France,
and triggered the
1912 Fez riots .
Spain continued to operate its
coastal protectorate. By the same treaty,
Spain assumed the role of
protecting power over the northern and southern Saharan zones.
Tens of thousands of colonists entered Morocco. Some bought up large
amounts of the rich agricultural land, others organised the
exploitation and modernisation of mines and harbours. Interest groups
that formed among these elements continually pressured
increase its control over
Morocco – a control which was also made
necessary by the continuous wars among Moroccan tribes, part of which
had taken sides with the French since the beginning of the conquest.
Governor general, Marshall
Hubert Lyautey , sincerely admired Moroccan
culture and succeeded in imposing a joint Moroccan-French
administration, while creating a modern school system. Several
divisions of Moroccan soldiers (Goumiers or regular troops and
officers) served in the
French army in both
World War I
World War I and World War
II , and in the Spanish Nationalist Army in the
Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War and
Regulares _). The institution of slavery was abolished in
Tangier 's population included 40,000 Muslims, 31,000
Europeans and 15,000 Jews.
Between 1921 and 1926, a Berber uprising in the
Rif Mountains, led by
Abd el-Krim , led to the establishment of the Republic of the Rif. The
Spanish lost more than 13,000 soldiers at Annual in July–August
1921. The rebellion was eventually suppressed by French and Spanish
In 1943, the
Istiqlal Party (Independence Party) was founded to press
for independence, with discreet US support. That party subsequently
provided most of the leadership for the nationalist movement.
France's exile of
Sultan Mohammed V in 1953 to
Madagascar and his
replacement by the unpopular
Mohammed Ben Aarafa sparked active
opposition to the French and Spanish protectorates. The most notable
violence occurred in
Oujda where Moroccans attacked French and other
European residents in the streets.
Mohammed V to return
in 1955, and the negotiations that led to Moroccan independence began
the following year. In March 1956 the French protectorate was ended
Morocco regained its independence from
France as the "Kingdom of
Morocco". A month later
Spain ceded most of its protectorate in
Morocco to the new state but kept its two coastal enclaves
Melilla ) on the
Mediterranean coast. Sultan Mohammed
became king in 1957.
Mausoleum of Mohammed V
Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat.
Upon the death of
Mohammed V, Hassan II became
King of Morocco
King of Morocco on 3
Morocco held its first general elections in 1963 .
However, Hassan declared a state of emergency and suspended parliament
in 1965. In 1971, there was a failed attempt to depose the king and
establish a republic. A truth commission set up in 2005 to investigate
human rights abuses during his reign confirmed nearly 10,000 cases,
ranging from death in detention to forced exile. Some 592 people were
recorded killed during Hassan's rule according to the truth
The Spanish enclave of
Ifni in the south was returned to
Polisario movement was formed in 1973, with the aim of
establishing an independent state in the Spanish Sahara. On 6 November
1975 King Hassan asked for volunteers to cross into the Spanish
Sahara. Some 350,000 civilians were reported as being involved in the
Green March ". A month later,
Spain agreed to leave the Spanish
Sahara, soon to become Western Sahara, and to transfer it to joint
Moroccan-Mauritanian control, despite the objections and threats of
military intervention by Algeria. Moroccan forces occupied the
Moroccan and Algerian troops soon clashed in Western Sahara. Morocco
Mauritania divided up Western Sahara. Fighting between the
Moroccan military and
Polisario forces continued for many years. The
prolonged war was a considerable financial drain on Morocco. In 1983,
Hassan cancelled planned elections amid political unrest and economic
crisis. In 1984,
Morocco left the
Organisation of African Unity in
protest at the SADR 's admission to the body.
Polisario claimed to
have killed more than 5,000 Moroccan soldiers between 1982 and 1985.
Algerian authorities have estimated the number of
Sahrawi refugees in
Algeria to be 165,000. Diplomatic relations with
restored in 1988. In 1991, a UN-monitored ceasefire began in Western
Sahara, but the territory's status remains undecided and ceasefire
violations are reported. The following decade saw much wrangling over
a proposed referendum on the future of the territory but the deadlock
was not broken.
Political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a
bicameral legislature in 1997 and Morocco's first opposition-led
government came to power in 1998. Protestors in
that authorities honor their promises of political reform.
King Hassan II died in 1999 and was succeeded by his son,
. He is a cautious moderniser who has introduced some economic and
Mohammed VI paid a controversial visit to the
Western Sahara in 2002.
Morocco unveiled an autonomy blueprint for
Western Sahara to the
United Nations in 2007. The
Polisario rejected the plan and put
forward its own proposal.
Morocco and the
Polisario Front held
UN-sponsored talks in New York but failed to come to any agreement. In
2010, security forces stormed a protest camp in the Western Sahara,
triggering violent demonstrations in the regional capital
El Aaiún .
Spain agreed to a US-brokered resolution over
the disputed island of Perejil. Spanish troops had taken the normally
uninhabited island after Moroccan soldiers landed on it and set up
tents and a flag. There were renewed tensions in 2005 as hundreds of
African migrants tried to storm the borders of the Spanish enclaves of
Melilla and Ceuta.
Morocco deported hundreds of the illegal migrants.
In 2006 the Spanish Premier Zapatero visited Spanish enclaves. He was
the first Spanish leader in 25 years to make an official visit to the
territories. The following year, Spanish King
Juan Carlos I
Juan Carlos I visited
Ceuta and Melilla, further angering
Morocco which demanded control of
2011–12 Moroccan protests , thousands of people rallied
Rabat and other cities calling for political reform and a new
constitution curbing the powers of the king. In July 2011, the King
won a landslide victory in a referendum on a reformed constitution he
had proposed to placate the
Arab Spring protests. Despite the reforms
Mohammed VI, demonstrators continued to call for deeper
reforms. Hundreds took part in a trade union rally in
May 2012. Participants accused the government of failing to deliver on
Geography of Morocco
High Atlas in central
Toubkal , the highest peak in North Africa, at 4,167 m
Morocco has a coast by the
Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the
Strait of Gibraltar into the
Mediterranean Sea . It is bordered by
Spain to the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders
with three small Spanish-controlled exclaves ,
Melilla , and
Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera ),
Algeria to the east, and Western
Sahara to the south. Since
Morocco controls most of Western Sahara,
its _de facto_ southern boundary is with
The internationally recognised borders of the country lie between
latitudes 27° and 36°N, and longitudes 1° and 14°W . Adding
Morocco lies mostly between 21° and 36°N , and 1°
and 17°W (the
Ras Nouadhibou peninsula is slightly south of 21° and
west of 17°).
The geography of
Morocco spans from the
Atlantic Ocean, to
mountainous areas, to the
Morocco is a Northern African
country, bordering the North
Atlantic Ocean and the
Algeria and the annexed Western Sahara. It is one of only
three nations (along with
France ) to have both
A large part of
Morocco is mountainous. The
Atlas Mountains are
located mainly in the centre and the south of the country. The Rif
Mountains are located in the north of the country. Both ranges are
mainly inhabited by the
Berber people . At 446,550 km2 (172,414 sq
Morocco is the fifty-seventh largest country in the world (after
Morocco to the east and southeast,
though the border between the two countries has been closed since
Spanish territory in
North Africa neighbouring
Morocco comprises five
enclaves on the
Melilla , Peñón de
Vélez de la Gomera ,
Peñón de Alhucemas , the Chafarinas islands,
and the disputed islet Perejil . Off the
Atlantic coast the Canary
Islands belong to Spain, whereas
Madeira to the north is Portuguese .
To the north,
Morocco is bordered by the Strait of Gibraltar, where
international shipping has unimpeded transit passage between the
Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Rif mountains stretch over the region bordering the Mediterranean
from the north-west to the north-east. The
Atlas Mountains run down
the backbone of the country, from the northeast to the south west.
Most of the southeast portion of the country is in the
and as such is generally sparsely populated and unproductive
economically. Most of the population lives to the north of these
mountains, while to the south lies the Western Sahara, a former
Spanish colony that was annexed by
Morocco in 1975 (see
Green March ).
Morocco claims that the
Western Sahara is part of its territory and
refers to that as its
Southern Provinces .
Morocco's capital city is
Rabat ; its largest city is its main port,
Casablanca . Other cities include
Fes , Marrakesh
Ouarzazat , Safi ,
Morocco is represented in the
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 geographical
encoding standard by the symbol _MA_. This code was used as the basis
for Morocco's internet domain,
Köppen climate types in
Mediterranean climate is similar to that of southern
California , with lush forests in the northern and central mountain
ranges of the country, giving way to drier conditions and inland
deserts further southeast. The Moroccan coastal plains experience
remarkably moderate temperatures even in summer, owing to the effect
of the cold
Canary Current off its
In the Rif, Middle and
High Atlas Mountains, there exist several
different types of climates:
Mediterranean along the coastal lowlands,
giving way to a humid temperate climate at higher elevations with
sufficient moisture to allow for the growth of different species of
oaks, moss carpets, junipers, and
Atlantic fir which is a royal
conifer tree endemic to Morocco. In the valleys, fertile soils and
high precipitation allow for the growth of thick and lush forests.
Cloud forests can be found in the west of the
Rif Mountains and Middle
Atlas Mountains. At higher elevations, the climate becomes alpine in
character, and can sustain ski resorts.
Southeast of the Atlas mountains, near the Algerian borders, the
climate becomes very dry, with long and hot summers. Extreme heat and
low moisture levels are especially pronounced in the lowland regions
east of the Atlas range due to the rain shadow effect of the mountain
system. The southeastern-most portions of
Morocco are very hot, and
include portions of the
Sahara Desert , where vast swathes of sand
dunes and rocky plains are dotted with lush oases .
In contrast to the
Sahara region in the south, coastal plains are
fertile in the central and northern regions of the country, and
comprise the backbone of the country's agriculture, in which 95% of
the population live. The direct exposure to the North
the proximity to mainland
Europe and the long stretched
Rif and Atlas
mountains are the factors of the rather European-like climate in the
northern half of the country. That makes from
Morocco a country of
contrasts. Forested areas cover about 12% of the country while arable
land accounts for 18%. Approximately 5% of Moroccan land is irrigated
for agricultural use. Landscape of the
Erg Chebbi Atlas
In general, apart from the southeast regions (pre-Saharan and desert
areas), Morocco's climate and geography are very similar to the
Iberian peninsula. Thus we have the following climate zones:
* MEDITERRANEAN: It dominates the coastal
Mediterranean regions of
the country, along the (500 km strip), and some parts of the Atlantic
coast. Summers are hot to moderately hot and dry, average highs are
between 29 °C (84.2 °F) and 32 °C (89.6 °F). Winters are generally
mild and wet, daily average temperatures hover around 9 °C (48.2 °F)
to 11 °C (51.8 °F), and average low are around 5 °C (41.0 °F) to 8
°C (46.4 °F), typical to the coastal areas of the west
Mediterranean. Annual Precipitation in this area vary from 600–800
mm in the west to 350–500 mm in the east. Notable cities that fall
into this zone are
Al Hoceima ,
Nador and Safi .
* SUB-MEDITERRANEAN: It influences cities that show Mediterranean
characteristics, but remain fairly influenced by other climates owing
to their either relative elevation, or direct exposure to the North
Atlantic Ocean. We thus have two main influencing climates:
-_Oceanic:_ Determined by the cooler summers, where highs rarely go
above 27 °C (80.6 °F) and in terms of
Essaouira region are almost
always around 21 °C (69.8 °F). The medium daily temperatures can get
as low as 19 °C (66.2 °F), while winters are chilly to mild and wet.
Annual precipitation varies from 400 to 700 mm. Notable cities that
fall into this zone are
-_Continental:_ Determined by the bigger gap between highs and lows,
that results in hotter summers and colder winters, than found in
Mediterranean zones. In summer, daily highs can get as high as
40 °C (104.0 °F) during heat waves, but usually are between 32 °C
(89.6 °F) and 36 °C (96.8 °F). However, temperatures drop as the
sun sets. Night temperatures usually fall below 20 °C (68.0 °F), and
sometimes as low as 10 °C (50.0 °F) in mid-summer. Winters are
cooler, and can get below the freezing point multiple times between
December and February. Also snow can fall occasionally.
example registered −8 °C (17.6 °F) in winter 2005. Annual
precipitation varies between 500 and 900 mm. Notable cities are
* CONTINENTAL It dominates the mountainous regions of the north and
central parts of the country, where summers are hot to very hot, with
highs between 32 °C (89.6 °F) and 36 °C (96.8 °F). Winters on the
other hand are cold, and lows usually go beyond the freezing point.
And when cold damp air comes to
Morocco from the northwest, for a few
days, temperatures can easily break −10 °C (14.0 °F). It often
snows abundantly in this part of the country. Precipitation varies
between 400 and 800 mm. Notable cities are
* ALPINE: This type of climate is found in some parts of the Middle
Atlas Mountain range and the eastern part of the
High Atlas Mountain
range. Summers are very warm to moderately hot, and winters are
longer, cold and snowy. Precipitation varies between 400 and 1200 mm.
In summer highs barely go above 30 °C (86.0 °F), and lows are cool
and go well beyond 15 °C (59.0 °F). In winters, highs rarely go
above 8 °C (46.4 °F), and lows go well below the freezing point. In
this part of country, there are many ski resorts, such as Oukaimeden
and Mischliefen. Notable cities are
* SEMI-ARID: This type of climate is found in the south of the
country and some parts of the east of the country, where rainfall is
lower and annual precipitations are between 200 and 350 mm. However,
One usually finds
Mediterranean characteristics in those regions, such
as the precipitation pattern and thermal attributes. Notable cities
Agadir and east of Jerada near the Algerian borders, arid
and desert climate starts to prevail.
NOTE: Due to Morocco's proximity to the
Sahara desert and the North
Sea of the
Atlantic Ocean, two phenomena occur to influence the
regional seasonal temperatures, either by raising temperatures by
7–8 degrees Celsius when sirocco blows from the east creating
heatwaves, or by lowering temperatures by 7–8 degrees Celsius when
cold damp air blows from the northwest, creating a coldwave or cold
spell. However, these phenomena don't last for more than 2 to 5 days
Countries or regions that share the same climatic characteristics
Annual rainfall in
Morocco is different according to regions. The
northwestern parts of the country receive between 500 mm and 1200 mm,
while the northeastern parts receive between 350 and 600 mm. North
Morocco receives between 700 mm and up to 3500 mm. The area
Casablanca to Essaouira, on the
Atlantic coast, receives between
300 mm and 500 mm. The regions from
between 250 mm and 400 mm.
Marrakesh region in the central south
receives only 250 mm a year. The southeastern regions, basically the
driest areas, receive between 100 mm and 200 mm only, and consist
basically of arid and desert lands.
Morocco enjoys a great variety of vegetation,
from lush large forests of conifer and oak trees typical of the
Mediterranean countries (Morocco, Algeria, Italy, Spain,
France and Portugal), to shrubs and acacias further south. This is due
to the diversity of climate and the precipitation patterns in the
Morocco's weather is one of the most pristine in terms of the
four-season experience. Most regions have distinct seasons where
summer is usually not spoiled by rain and winter turns wet, snowy and
humid with mild, cool to cold temperatures, while spring and fall see
warm to mild weather characterised by flowers blooming in spring and
falling leaves in autumn. This type of weather has affected the
Moroccan culture and behaviour and played a part in the social
interaction of the population, like many other countries that fall
into this type of climate zone.
An adult male
Barbary macaque carrying his offspring, a
behaviour rarely found in other primates.
Morocco has a wide range of biodiversity . It is part of the
Mediterranean basin , an area with exceptional concentrations of
endemic species undergoing rapid rates of habitat loss, and is
therefore considered to be a hotspot for conservation priority.
Avifauna are notably variant. The avifauna of
Morocco includes a
total of 454 species, five of which have been introduced by humans,
and 156 are rarely or accidentally seen.
Barbary lion , hunted to extinction in the wild, was a subspieces
Morocco and is a national emblem. The last
Barbary lion in
the wild was shot in the
Atlas Mountains in 1922. The other two
primary predators of northern Africa, the
Atlas bear and Barbary
leopard , are now extinct and critically endangered, respectively.
Relict populations of the
West African crocodile persisted in the Draa
river until the 20th century.
The Barbary macaque, a primate endemic to
Morocco and Algeria, is
also facing extinction due to offtake for trade human interruption,
urbanisation, wood and real estate expansion that diminish forested
area – the macaque's habitat.
Trade of animals and plants for food, pets, medicinal purposes,
souvenirs and photo props is common across Morocco, despite laws
making much of it illegal. This trade is unregulated and causing
unknown reductions of wild populations of native Moroccan wildlife.
Because of the proximity of northern
Morocco to Europe, species such
as cacti, tortoises, mammal skins, and high-value birds (falcons and
bustards) are harvested in various parts of the country and exported
in appreciable quantities, with especially large volumes of eel
harvested – 60 tons exported to the Far East in the period
Politics of Morocco The
King of Morocco
King of Morocco ,
Mohammed VI .
Morocco was an authoritarian regime according to the Democracy Index
of 2014. The Freedom of the Press 2014 report gave it a rating of "Not
Following the March 1998 elections, a coalition government headed by
opposition socialist leader
Abderrahmane Youssoufi and composed
largely of ministers drawn from opposition parties, was formed. Prime
Minister Youssoufi's government was the first ever government drawn
primarily from opposition parties, and also represents the first
opportunity for a coalition of socialists, left-of-centre, and
nationalist parties to be included in the government until October
2002. It was also the first time in the modern political history of
Arab world that the opposition assumed power following an
election. The current government is headed by
Abdelilah Benkirane .
Moroccan Constitution provides for a monarchy with a Parliament
and an independent judiciary . With the 2011 constitutional reforms ,
King of Morocco
King of Morocco retains less executive powers whereas those of the
prime minister have been enlarged.
The constitution grants the king honorific powers; he is both the
secular political leader and the "Commander of the Faithful" as a
direct descendant of the Prophet
Mohammed . He presides over the
Council of Ministers; appoints the Prime Minister from the political
party that has won the most seats in the parliamentary elections, and
on recommendations from the latter, appoints the members of the
The previous constitution of 1996 theoretically allowed the king to
terminate the tenure of any minister, and after consultation with the
heads of the higher and lower Assemblies, to dissolve the Parliament,
suspend the constitution, call for new elections, or rule by decree,
the only time this happened was in 1965. The King is formally the
chief of the military.
The legislature's building in Rabat.
Since the constitutional reform of 1996, the bicameral legislature
consists of two chambers. The Assembly of Representatives of Morocco
(_Majlis an-Nuwwâb/Assemblée des Répresentants_) has 325 members
elected for a five-year term, 295 elected in multi-seat constituencies
and 30 in national lists consisting only of women. The Assembly of
Councillors (_Majlis al-Mustasharin_) has 270 members, elected for a
nine-year term, elected by local councils (162 seats), professional
chambers (91 seats) and wage-earners (27 seats).
The Parliament's powers, though still relatively limited, were
expanded under the 1992 and 1996 and even further in the 2011
constitutional revisions and include budgetary matters, approving
bills , questioning ministers, and establishing ad hoc commissions of
inquiry to investigate the government's actions. The lower chamber of
Parliament may dissolve the government through a vote of no confidence
The latest parliamentary elections were held on November 25, 2011 ,
and were considered by some neutral observers to be mostly free and
fair. Voter turnout in these elections was estimated to be 43% of
Mohammed VI, a
FREMM multipurpose frigate of the Royal Moroccan
Navy . Main article:
Royal Moroccan Armed Forces
Compulsory military service in
Morocco has been officially suspended
since September 2006, and Morocco's reserve obligation lasts until age
50. Morocco's military consists of the Royal Armed Forces—this
includes the Army (the largest branch), the Navy , the Air Force , the
Royal Guard , the Royal Gendarmerie and the
Auxiliary Forces .
Internal security is generally effective, and acts of political
violence are rare (with one exception, the 2003
which killed 45 people ).
The UN maintains a small observer force in Western Sahara, where a
large number of Morocco's troops are stationed. The Saharawi group
Polisario maintains an active militia of an estimated 5,000 fighters
Western Sahara and has engaged in intermittent warfare with
Moroccan forces since the 1970s.
Foreign relations of Morocco
Morocco is a member of the
United Nations and belongs to the Arab
Maghreb Union (UMA), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
Non-Aligned Movement and the Community of Sahel-Saharan
States (CEN_SAD). Morocco's relationships vary greatly between
African, Arab, and Western states.
Morocco has had strong ties to the
West in order to gain economic and political benefits.
Spain remain the primary trade partners, as well as the primary
creditors and foreign investors in Morocco. From the total foreign
investments in Morocco, the
European Union invests approximately
73.5%, whereas, the
Arab world invests only 19.3%. Many countries from
the Persian Gulf and
Maghreb regions are getting more involved in
large-scale development projects in Morocco.
sovereignty over Spanish enclaves of
Morocco was the only African state not to be a member of the African
Union due to its unilateral withdrawal on 12 November 1984 over the
admission of the
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in 1982 by the
African Union (then called Organisation of African Unity) as a full
member without the organisation of a referendum of self-determination
in the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Morocco rejoined the AU
on 30 January 2017.
A dispute with
Spain in 2002 over the tiny island of Perejil revived
the issue of the sovereignty of
Ceuta . These small
enclaves on the
Mediterranean coast are surrounded by
Morocco and have
been administered by
Spain for centuries.
Morocco has been given the status of major non-NATO ally by the US
Morocco was the first country in the world to recognise US
sovereignty (in 1777).
Morocco is included in the European Union's European Neighbourhood
Policy (ENP) which aims at bringing the EU and its neighbours closer.
WESTERN SAHARA STATUS
Main article: Legal status of
Western Sahara _
Western Sahara in 1975. The
Polisario Front control the territory east
of the Moroccan berm_ (wall) .
Due to the conflict over
Western Sahara , the status of the Saguia
Río de Oro regions is disputed. The
Western Sahara War
Polisario Front , the Sahrawi rebel national liberation
movement, battling both
Mauritania between 1976 and a
ceasefire in 1991 that is still in effect. A
United Nations mission,
MINURSO , is tasked with organizing a referendum on whether the
territory should become independent or recognised as a part of
Part of the territory, the Free Zone , is a mostly uninhabited area
Polisario Front controls as the Sahrawi
Republic . Its administrative headquarters are located in
Algeria. As of 2006 , no UN member state has recognised Moroccan
sovereignty over Western Sahara.
In 2006, the government of
Morocco has suggested autonomous status
for the region, through the Moroccan Royal Advisory Council for
Saharan Affairs (CORCAS). The project was presented to the United
Nations Security Council in mid-April 2007. The proposal was
encouraged by Moroccan allies such as the
United States ,
Spain . The Security Council has called upon the parties to enter
into direct and unconditional negotiations to reach a mutually
accepted political solution.
Administrative divisions of Morocco The 12
official administrative Regions of Morocco, with their native names in
Morocco is officially divided into 12 regions , which, in turn, are
subdivided into 62 provinces and 13 prefectures .
Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra
Human rights in Morocco and
LGBT rights in Morocco
Government repression of political dissent has dropped sharply since
the mid-1990s. The decades previous to this time are called the Years
of Lead (_Les Années de Plomb_), and included forced disappearances ,
assassinations of government opponents and protesters, and secret
internment camps such as
Tazmamart . To examine the abuses committed
during the reign of King Hassan II (1961–1999), the government has
set up an
Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER).
Human Rights Watch annual report 2016, Moroccan
authorities restricted the rights to peaceful expression, association
and assembly through several laws. The authorities continue to
prosecute both printed and online media which criticizes the
government and/or the king . There are also persistent allegations of
violence against both Sahrawi pro-independence and pro-Polisario
demonstrators in Western Sahara; a disputed territory which is
occupied by and considered by
Morocco as part of its Southern
Morocco has been accused of detaining Sahrawi
pro-independence activists as prisoners of conscience.
Homosexual acts are illegal in Morocco, and can be punishable by 6
months to 3 years of imprisonment. It is illegal to proselytise for
any religion other than
Islam (article 220 of the Moroccan Penal
Code), and that crime is punishable by a maximum of 15 years of
Economy of Morocco A proportional representation
of Morocco's exports.
Morocco's economy is considered a relatively liberal economy governed
by the law of supply and demand . Since 1993, the country has followed
a policy of privatisation of certain economic sectors which used to be
in the hands of the government .
Morocco has become a major player in
African economic affairs, and is the 5th African economy by GDP
Morocco was ranked as the first African country by the
Economist Intelligence Unit 's quality-of-life index , ahead of South
Africa . However, in the years since that first-place ranking was
Morocco has slipped into fourth place behind
Government reforms and steady yearly growth in the region of 4–5%
from 2000 to 2007, including 4.9% year-on-year growth in 2003–2007
helped the Moroccan economy to become much more robust compared to a
few years ago. For 2012 the World Bank forecasts a rate of 4% growth
Morocco and 4.2% for following year, 2013.
The services sector accounts for just over half of
GDP and industry,
made up of mining, construction and manufacturing, is an additional
quarter. The industries that recorded the highest growth are tourism ,
telecoms, information technology, and textile.
Tourism in Morocco The
Koutoubia Mosque in
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Moroccan economy. It
is well developed with a strong tourist industry focused on the
country's coast, culture, and history.
Morocco attracted more than 10
million tourists in 2013. Tourism is the second largest foreign
exchange earner in
Morocco after the phosphate industry. The Moroccan
government is heavily investing in tourism development, in 2010 the
government launched its Vision 2020 which plans to make
Morocco one of
the top 20 tourist destinations in the world and to double the annual
number of international arrivals to 20 million by 2020, with the hope
that tourism will then have risen to 20% of GDP.
A large government sponsored marketing campaigns to attract tourists
Morocco as a cheap and exotic, yet safe, place for
tourists, most of the visitors to
Morocco continue to be European,
with French nationals making up almost 20% of all visitors. Most
Europeans visit in April and the autumn, apart from the Spanish, who
mostly visit in June and August In 2013. Morocco's relatively high
amount of tourists has been aided by its location,
Morocco is close to
Europe and attracts visitors to its beaches. Because of its proximity
to Spain, tourists in southern Spain's coastal areas take one- to
three-day trips to Morocco.
Air services between
Algeria have been established, many
Algerians have gone to
Morocco to shop and visit family and friends.
Morocco is relatively inexpensive because of the devaluation of the
dirham and the increase of hotel prices in Spain.
Morocco has an
excellent road and rail infrastructure that links the major cities and
tourist destinations with ports and cities with international
airports. Low-cost airlines offer cheap flights to the country.
View of the medina (old city) of Fez .
Tourism is increasingly focused on Morocco's culture, such as its
ancient cities. The modern tourist industry capitalises on Morocco's
ancient Roman and Islamic sites, and on its landscape and cultural
history. 60% of Morocco's tourists visit for its culture and heritage.
Agadir is a major coastal resort and has a third of all Moroccan bed
nights. It is a base for tours to the Atlas Mountains. Other resorts
Morocco are also very popular.
Casablanca is the major cruise port in Morocco, and has the best
developed market for tourists in Morocco,
Marrakech in central Morocco
is a popular tourist destination, but is more popular among tourists
for one- and two-day excursions that provide a taste of Morocco's
history and culture. The Majorelle botanical garden in
Marrakech is a
popular tourist attraction. It was bought by the fashion designer Yves
Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1980. Their presence in the city
helped to boost the city's profile as a tourist destination.
As of 2006 , activity and adventure tourism in the Atlas and Rif
Mountains are the fastest growth area in Moroccan tourism. These
locations have excellent walking and trekking opportunities from late
March to mid-November. The government is investing in trekking
circuits. They are also developing desert tourism in competition with
Figuig oasis, with extensive date palm groves
Agriculture accounts for around 14% of
GDP and employs 40–45% of
the Moroccan working population. With a semi-arid climate and an
ill-developed irrigation system, it is difficult to assure enough
The major resources of the Moroccan economy are agriculture,
phosphates , and tourism. Sales of fish and seafood are important as
well. Industry and mining contribute about one-third of the annual
Morocco is the world's third-largest producer of phosphorus after
China and the United States, and the price fluctuations of phosphates
on the international market greatly influence Morocco's economy.
Morocco suffers both from unemployment (9.6% in 2008), and a large
external debt estimated at around $20 billion, or half of
GDP in 2002.
Morocco runs a structural trade deficit, this is typically
offset by substantial services earnings from tourism and large
remittance inflows from the diaspora, and the country normally runs a
small current-account surplus.
Energy in Morocco
Solar cell panels in eastern
In 2008, about 56% of Morocco's electricity supply was provided by
coal. However, as forecasts indicate that energy requirements in
Morocco will rise 6% per year between 2012 and 2050, a new law passed
encouraging Moroccans to look for ways to diversify the energy supply,
including more renewable resources . The
Moroccan government has
launched a project to build a solar thermal energy power plant and
is also looking into the use of natural gas as a potential source of
revenue for Morocco's government.
Morocco has embarked upon the construction of large solar energy
farms to lessen dependence on fossil fuels, and to eventually export
Since the 7th century, Cannabis has been cultivated in the Rif
Region. In 2004, according to the UN World Drugs Report, cultivation
and transformation of Cannabis represents 0.57% of the national
Morocco in 2002. According to a French Ministry of the Interior 2006
report, 80% of the cannabis resin (hashish) consumed in
Rif region in Morocco, which is mostly mountainous terrain in
the north of Morocco, also hosting plains that are very fertile and
expanding from Melwiyya River and Ras Kebdana in the East to Tangier
and Cape Spartel in the West. Also, the region extends from the
Mediterranean in the south, home of the Wergha River, to the north.
Also of note, this region hosts more "Riffians" with lighter hair,
having a higher percentage of blondism than most other groups of
Berbers, though the ancestry is likely mixed and quite similar. In
addition to that,
Morocco is a transit point for cocaine from South
America destined for Western Europe.
Transport in Morocco
There are around 56,986 km (35,409 mi) of roads (national, regional
and provincial) in Morocco. In addition to 1,416 km (880 mi) of
Casablanca high-speed rail link marks the first stage of
ONCF 's high-speed rail master plan, pursuant to which over 1,500
km (930 mi) of new railway lines will be built by 2035. The high speed
train – TGV – will have a capacity of 500 passengers and will
carry 8 million passengers per year. The work on the High Speed Rail
project was started in September 2011. Construction of infrastructure
and delivery of railway equipment will end in 2014 and the HSR will be
operational by December 2015.
WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION
Water supply and sanitation in Morocco
Water supply and sanitation in Morocco is provided by a wide array of
utilities. They range from private companies in the largest city,
Casablanca , the capital,
Rabat , and two other cities, to public
municipal utilities in 13 other cities, as well as a national
electricity and water company (ONEE). The latter is in charge of bulk
water supply to the aforementioned utilities, water distribution in
about 500 small towns, as well as sewerage and wastewater treatment in
60 of these towns.
There have been substantial improvements in access to water supply,
and to a lesser extent to sanitation, over the past fifteen years.
Remaining challenges include a low level of wastewater treatment (only
13% of collected wastewater is being treated), lack of house
connections in the poorest urban neighbourhoods, and limited
sustainability of rural systems (20 percent of rural systems are
estimated not to function). In 2005 a National Sanitation Program was
approved that aims at treating 60% of collected wastewater and
connecting 80% of urban households to sewers by 2020. The issue of
lack of water connections for some of the urban poor is being
addressed as part of the
National Human Development Initiative , under
which residents of informal settlements have received land titles and
have fees waived that are normally paid to utilities in order to
connect to the water and sewer network.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Science and technology in Morocco
Moroccan government has been implementing reforms to improve the
quality of education and make research more responsive to
socio-economic needs. In May 2009, Morocco's prime minister, Abbas El
Fassi, announced greater support for science during a meeting at the
National Centre for Scientific and Technical Research. The aim was to
give universities greater financial autonomy from the government to
make them more responsive to research needs and better able to forge
links with the private sector, in the hope that this would nurture a
culture of entrepreneurship in academia. He announced that investment
in science and technology would rise from US$620,000 in 2008 to US$8.5
million (69 million Moroccan dirhams) in 2009, in order to finance the
refurbishment and construction of laboratories, training courses for
researchers in financial management, a scholarship programme for
postgraduate research and incentive measures for companies prepared to
finance research, such as giving them access to scientific results
that they could then use to develop new products.
The _Moroccan Innovation Strategy_ was launched at the country’s
first National Innovation Summit in June 2009 by the Ministry of
Industry, Commerce, Investment and the Digital Economy. The _Moroccan
Innovation Strategy f_ixed the target of producing 1,000 Moroccan
patents and creating 200 innovative start-ups by 2014. In 2012,
Moroccan inventors applied for 197 patents, up from 152 two years
earlier. In 2011, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and New
Technologies created a Moroccan Club of Innovation, in partnership
with the Moroccan Office of Industrial and Commercial Property. The
idea is to create a network of players in innovation, including
researchers, entrepreneurs, students and academics, to help them
develop innovative projects.
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is
supporting research in advanced technologies and the development of
innovative cities in Fez,
Rabat and Marrakesh. The government is
encouraging public institutions to engage with citizens in innovation.
One example is the Moroccan Phosphate Office (Office chérifien des
phosphates), which has invested in a project to develop a smart city,
Mohammed VI Green City, around
Mohammed VI University located
Casablanca and Marrakesh, at a cost of DH 4.7 billion (_circa_
US$ 479 million).
As of 2015,
Morocco had three technoparks. Since the first technopark
was established in
Rabat in 2005, a second has been set up in
Casablanca, followed, in 2015, by a third in Tangers. The technoparks
host start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises specializing in
information and communication technologies (ICTs), 'green'
technologies (namely, environmentally friendly technologies) and
In 2012, the Hassan II Academy of Science and Technology identified a
number of sectors where
Morocco has a comparative advantage and
skilled human capital, including mining, fisheries, food chemistry and
new technologies. It also identified a number of strategic sectors,
such as energy, with an emphasis on renewable energies such as
photovoltaic, thermal solar energy, wind and biomass; as well as the
water, nutrition and health sectors, the environment and geosciences.
On 20 May 2015, less than a year after its inception, the Higher
Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research presented a
report to the king offering a _Vision for Education in Morocco
2015–2030_. The report advocated making education egalitarian and,
thus, accessible to the greatest number. Since improving the quality
of education goes hand in hand with promoting research and
development, the report also recommended developing an integrated
national innovation system which would be financed by gradually
increasing the share of
GDP devoted to research and development (R
Most Moroccans are either of
Arab , Berber or
Gnawa descent. There is
a significant minority of Sub-Saharan African and European people.
Berbers together make up about 99.1% of the Moroccan
population. A sizeable portion of the population is identified as
Gnawa (or Gnaoua), black or mixed race descendants of
slaves , and
Moriscos , European Muslims expelled from
Portugal in the 17th century.
Berbers are the indigenous people and still make up the bulk of the
population, although they have been largely Arabised .
Morocco is home
to more than 20,000 sub-Saharan African immigrants. Morocco's once
prominent Jewish minority has decreased significantly since its peak
of 265,000 in 1948, declining to around 2,500 today.
Most of foreign residents in
Morocco are French or Spanish . Some of
them are descendants of colonial settlers, who primarily work for
European multinational companies, while others are married to
Moroccans or are retirees. Prior to independence,
Morocco was home to
half a million Europeans ; who were mostly
Christians . Also prior to
Morocco was home to 250,000
Morocco has a large diaspora , most of which is located in France,
which has reportedly over one million Moroccans of up to the third
generation. There are also large Moroccan communities in
700,000 Moroccans), the Netherlands (360,000), and
Other large communities can be found in Italy, Canada, the United
States, and Israel, where Moroccan
Jews are thought to constitute the
second biggest Jewish ethnic subgroup.
Religion in Morocco
RELIGIONS IN MOROCCO
The religious affiliation in the country was estimated by the Pew
Forum in 2010 as 99%
Muslim , with all remaining groups accounting for
less than 1% of the population. Sunnis form the majority at 67% with
non-denominational Muslims being the second largest group of Muslims
at 30%. There are an estimated 3,000 to 8,000 Shia Muslims, most of
them foreign residents from
Lebanon or Iraq, but also a few citizen
converts. Followers of several Sufi
Muslim orders across the Maghreb
and West Africa undertake joint annual pilgrimages to the country.
Inside of a mosque in
Christians are estimated at 1% (~380,000) of the Moroccan population.
Roman Catholic and
Christian community consists of approximately 40,000 practising
members. Most foreign resident
Christians reside in the
Tangier , and
Rabat urban areas. Various local Christian leaders
estimate that between 2005 and 2010 there are 5,000 citizen converted
Christians (mostly ethnically Berber) who regularly attend "house"
churches and live predominantly in the south. Some local Christian
leaders estimate that there may be as many as 8,000 Christian citizens
throughout the country, but many reportedly do not meet regularly due
to fear of government surveillance and social persecution. The number
of the Moroccans who converted to
Christianity (most of them secret
worshippers) are estimated between 8,000–40,000; although some
estimate the number to be as high as 150,000.
The most recent estimates put the size of the
community at about 2,500, and the
communities at about 100 members each. The remainder of the Jewish
population is dispersed throughout the country. This population is
mostly elderly, with a decreasing number of young persons. The
Baha’i community, located in urban areas, numbers 350 to 400
Languages of Morocco A map of the ethnolinguistic
groups in Morocco.
Morocco's official languages are
Arabic and Berber . The country's
distinctive group of Moroccan
Arabic dialects is referred to as Darija
. Approximately 89.8% of the whole population can communicate to some
degree in Moroccan
Arabic . The
Berber language is spoken in three
dialects (Tarifit , Tashelhit and Central Atlas Tamazight ). In 2008,
Frédéric Deroche estimated that there were 12 million Berber
speakers, making up about 40% of the population. The 2004 population
census reported that 28.1% of the population spoke Berber.
French is widely used in governmental institutions, media, mid-size
and large companies, international commerce with French-speaking
countries, and often in international diplomacy. French is taught as
an obligatory language at all schools. In 2010, there were 10,366,000
French-speakers in Morocco, or about 32% of the population.
According to the 2004 census, 2.19 million Moroccans spoke a foreign
language other than French. English , while far behind French in
terms of number of speakers, is the first foreign language of choice,
since French is obligatory, among educated youth and professionals.
About 5 million Moroccans speak Spanish . Spanish is mostly spoken in
Morocco and the Spanish
Spain had previously
occupied those areas. Moroccans in regions formerly controlled by
Spain watch Spanish television and have interactions in Spanish on a
Morocco declared independence in 1956, French and
the main languages of administration and education, causing the role
of Spanish to decline.
Culture of Morocco
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The Kasbah of
Aït Benhaddou , built by the
Berbers from the
14th century onwards.
Morocco is an ethnically diverse country with a rich culture and
civilisation . Through Moroccan history , it has hosted many people
coming from East (
South (Sub-Saharan Africans ) and North (Romans , Andalusians ). All
those civilisations have affected the social structure of Morocco. It
hosts various forms of beliefs, from paganism ,
Judaism , and
Since independence, a veritable blossoming has taken place in
painting and sculpture, popular music, amateur theatre, and
filmmaking. The Moroccan National Theatre (founded 1956) offers
regular productions of Moroccan and French dramatic works. Art and
music festivals take place throughout the country during the summer
months, among them the
World Sacred Music Festival at
Each region possesses its own specificities, thus contributing to the
national culture and to the legacy of civilization.
Morocco has set
among its top priorities the protection of its diverse legacy and the
preservation of its cultural heritage.
Morocco has always been successful in combining
its Berber, Jewish and
Arabic cultural heritage with external
influences such as the French and the Spanish and, during the last
decades, the Anglo-American lifestyles.
Women are at times sexually harassed when walking the streets, a
woman walking the streets of
Casablanca while filmed by _The Moroccan
Times_ was harassed about 300 times.
Moroccan architecture A Moroccan living room.
Berber people and a series of foreign invaders as well
as religious and cultural influences have shaped Morocco's
architectural styles. The architecture can range from ornate with bold
with colours to simple, clean lines with earth tones.
Influences from the
Arab world, Spain,
France are seen
in Moroccan architecture, both on their own and blended with Berber
and Islamic styles. Among the buildings, and old Kasbah walls, sit
French style-towns left behind by colonisation and intersect with
intricately detailed mosques and riad-style homes. Sleek, modern
designs are being constructed in cities like
give no particular homage to any of the past Moroccan architecture
Leo Africanus .
Moroccan literature is written in Arabic, Berber and French. Under
Morocco experienced a period of prosperity and
brilliance of learning. The
Almohad built the
Koutoubia Mosque in
Marrakesh, which accommodated no fewer than 25,000 people, but was
also famed for its books, manuscripts, libraries and book shops, which
gave it its name; the first book bazaar in history. The
Abu Yakub had a great love for collecting books. He founded a great
library, which was eventually carried to the
Casbah and turned into a
public library .
Moroccan literature began in the 1930s. Two main factors gave
Morocco a pulse toward witnessing the birth of a modern literature.
Morocco, as a French and Spanish protectorate left Moroccan
intellectuals the opportunity to exchange and to produce literary
works freely enjoying the contact of other
Arabic literature and
Europe. Three generations of writers especially shaped 20th century
Moroccan literature. The first was the generation that lived and
wrote during the
Protectorate (1912–56), its most important
Mohammed Ben Brahim (1897–1955).
The second generation was the one that played an important role in
the transition to independence with writers like Abdelkrim Ghallab
Allal al-Fassi (1910–1974) and
Soussi (1900–1963). The third generation is that of writers of the
Moroccan literature then flourished with writers such as
Mohamed Choukri ,
Driss Chraïbi ,
Mohamed Zafzaf and Driss El Khouri
. Those writers were an important influence the many Moroccan
novelists, poets and playwrights that were still to come.
During the 1950s and 1960s,
Morocco was a refuge and artistic centre
and attracted writers as
Paul Bowles ,
Tennessee Williams and William
S. Burroughs .
Moroccan literature flourished with novelists such as
Mohamed Zafzaf and
Mohamed Choukri , who wrote in Arabic, and Driss
Tahar Ben Jelloun who wrote in French. Other important
Moroccan authors include,
Abdellatif Laabi ,
Abdelkrim Ghallab , Fouad
Mohammed Berrada and
Leila Abouzeid . It should be noted
also, that orature (oral literature) is an integral part of Moroccan
culture, be it in Moroccan
Arabic or Berber.
Music of Morocco
Moroccan music is of Arabic, Berber and sub-Saharan origins.
Rock-influenced chaabi bands are widespread, as is trance music with
historical origins in
Islamic music .
Morocco is home to
Andalusian classical music that is found
throughout North Africa. It probably evolved under the Moors in
Cordoba , and the Persian-born musician
Ziryab is usually credited
with its invention. A genre known as Contemporary Andalusian Music and
art is the brainchild of
Morisco visual artist/composer/oudist Tarik
Banzi , founder of the
Chaabi ("popular") is a music consisting of numerous varieties which
are descended from the multifarious forms of Moroccan folk music.
Chaabi was originally performed in markets, but is now found at any
celebration or meeting. A group of
Jilala musicians in 1900
Aita _ is a
Bedouin musical style sung in the countryside.
Popular Western forms of music are becoming increasingly popular in
Morocco, such as fusion , rock, country , metal and, in particular,
hip hop .
Morocco participated in the
1980 Eurovision Song Contest , where it
finished in the penultimate position.
Media of Morocco and
Cinema of Morocco
Morocco has a long history, stretching back over a century
to the filming of _Le chevrier Marocain_ ("The Moroccan Goatherd") by
Louis Lumière in 1897. Between that time and 1944, many foreign
movies were shot in the country, especially in the
In 1944, the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM), the nation's film
regulatory agency , was established. Studios were also opened in Rabat
Orson Welles ' _Othello_ won the Palme d\'Or at the Cannes
Film Festival under the Moroccan flag. However, the Festival's
musicians did not play the Moroccan national anthem , as no one in
attendance knew what it was.
Six years later,
Mohammed Ousfour would create the first Moroccan
movie, _Le fils maudit_ ("The Damned Son").
In 1968, the first
Mediterranean Film Festival was held in
In its current incarnation, the event is held in
This was followed in 1982 with the first national festival of cinema,
which was held in Rabat.
In 2001, the first
International Film Festival of Marrakech (FIFM)
was also held in
Moroccan cuisine Moroccan
Moroccan cuisine has long been considered as one of the most
diversified cuisines in the world. This is a result of the
centuries-long interaction of
Morocco with the outside world. The
Morocco is mainly a fusion of Moorish, European and
Mediterranean cuisines. The cuisine of
Morocco is essentially Berber
cuisine (sometimes referred to as the Moorish cuisine). It is also
Sephardic cuisine and by the
Moriscos when they took
Morocco after the Spanish
Spices are used extensively in Moroccan cuisine. While spices have
been imported to
Morocco for thousands of years, many ingredients such
as saffron from Tiliouine , mint and olives from
Meknes , and oranges
and lemons from Fez, are home-grown. Chicken is the most widely eaten
meat in Morocco. The most commonly eaten red meat in
Morocco is beef;
lamb is preferred but is relatively expensive. The main Moroccan dish
most people are familiar with is couscous , the old national
Beef is the most commonly eaten red meat in Morocco, usually eaten in
a _Tagine_ with vegetables or legumes. Chicken is also very commonly
used in Tagines, knowing that one of the most famous tagine is the
Tagine of Chicken, potatoes and olives. Lamb is also consumed, but as
North African sheep breeds store most of their fat in their tails,
Moroccan lamb does not have the pungent flavour that Western lamb and
mutton have. Poultry is also very common, and the use of seafood is
increasing in Moroccan food. In addition, there are dried salted meats
and salted preserved meats such as kliia/khlia and "g'did" which are
used to flavor tagines or used in "el ghraif" a folded savory Moroccan
Among the most famous Moroccan dishes are
spelled Bsteeya or Bestilla),
Tajine , Tanjia and
Harira . Although
the latter is a soup , it is considered as a dish in itself and is
served as such or with dates especially during the month of
Pork consumption is forbidden in accordance with
Sharia , religious
laws of Islam.
A big part of the daily meal is bread. Bread in
principally from durum wheat semolina known as khobz . Bakeries are
very common throughout
Morocco and fresh bread is a staple in every
city, town and village. The most common is whole grain coarse ground
or white flour bread. There are also a number of flat breads and
pulled unleavened pan-fried breads.
The most popular drink is "atai", green tea with mint leaves and
other ingredients. Tea occupies a very important place in the culture
Morocco and is considered an art form. It is served not only at
mealtimes but all through the day, and it is especially a drink of
hospitality, commonly served whenever there are guests. It is served
to guests, and it is impolite to refuse it.
Sport in Morocco Moroccan football fans
Football is the country's most popular sport, popular among the urban
youth in particular. In 1986,
Morocco became the first
African country to qualify for the second round of the FIFA World Cup
Morocco was originally scheduled to host the 2015 Africa Cup of
Nations , but refused to host the tournament on the scheduled dates
because of fears over the ebola outbreak on the continent.
At the 1984 Olympic Games , two Moroccans won gold medals in track
Nawal El Moutawakel won in the
400 metres hurdles ; she was
the first woman from an
Arab or Islamic country to win an Olympic gold
Saïd Aouita won the
5000 metres at the same games. Hicham El
Guerrouj won gold medals for
Morocco at the
2004 Summer Olympics
2004 Summer Olympics in
1500 metres and
5000 metres and holds several world records in the
mile run .
Spectator sports in
Morocco traditionally centered on the art of
horsemanship until European sports—football , polo , swimming , and
tennis —were introduced at the end of the 19th century.
golf have become popular. Several Moroccan professional players have
competed in international competition, and the country fielded its
Davis Cup team in 1999. Rugby came to
Morocco in the early 20th
century, mainly by the French who occupied the country. As a result,
Moroccan rugby was tied to the fortunes of France, during the first
World War , with many Moroccan players going away to fight.
Like many other
Maghreb nations, Moroccan rugby tended to look to
Europe for inspiration, rather than to the rest of Africa.
Kickboxing is also popular in Morocco. The Dutch
Badr Hari ,
heavyweight kickboxer and martial artist, is a former K-1 heavyweight
champion and K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 and 2009 finalist.
Education in Morocco
Al Akhawayn University in
Education in Morocco is free and compulsory through primary school.
The estimated literacy rate for the country in 2012 was 72%. In
Morocco amongst other countries such as
Turkey the "
Morocco has more than four dozen universities , institutes of higher
learning, and polytechnics dispersed at urban centres throughout the
country. Its leading institutions include
Mohammed V University in
Rabat, the country's largest university, with branches in Casablanca
and Fès; the Hassan II Agriculture and Veterinary Institute in Rabat,
which conducts leading social science research in addition to its
agricultural specialties; and
Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, the
first English-language university in North Africa, inaugurated in
1995 with contributions from
Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Morocco population above 15 years of age 1980–2015
The al-Qarawiyin University , founded by
Fatima al-Fihri in the city
of Fez in 859 as a madrasa , is considered by some sources, including
UNESCO , to be the "oldest university of the world".
Morocco has also
some of prestigious postgraduate schools, including: École Nationale
Supérieure d'Électricité et de Mecanique (ENSEM), EMI ,
National School of Mineral Industry , École Hassania des
Travaux Publics , Les Écoles nationales de commerce et de gestion,
École supérieure de technologie de Casablanca.
Health in Morocco
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In 2010, spending on healthcare accounted for 5.19% of the country's
GDP. In 2009, there were 6.46 physicians and 9.28 nurses per 10,000
inhabitants. The life expectancy at birth was 74 years in 2013, or 72
years for males and 76 years for females.
Human rights in Morocco
Index of Morocco-related articles
Outline of Morocco
* Geography portal
* Africa portal
* ^ _A_ _B_ French is also used in official government documents
and by the business community, although it has no official status:
"French (often the language of business, government, and
diplomacy)..." – See
French language in
Morocco for further
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