Coordinates: 32°N 6°W / 32°N 6°W / 32; -6
Kingdom of Morocco
المملكة المغربية (Arabic)
ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ (Berber)
Coat of arms
لله، الوطن، الملك (Arabic)
Allah, Al Watan, Al Malik
ⴰⴽⵓⵛ, ⴰⵎⵓⵔ, ⴰⴳⵍⵍⵉⴷ (Berber)
"God, Homeland, King"
النشيد الوطني المغربي (Arabic)
ⵉⵣⵍⵉ ⴰⵏⴰⵎⵓⵔ ⵏ
Dark green: Internationally recognized territory of Morocco.
Lighter green: Western Sahara, a territory claimed and mostly
Morocco as its Southern Provinces
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)
Sunni Islam[a] (official)
• Prime Minister
• Upper house
House of Councillors
• Lower house
House of Representatives
Idrisid dynasty (first)
Alaouite dynasty (current)
30 March 1912
7 April 1956
710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi)
or 446,550 km2[b] (40th or 57th)
• Water (%)
0.056 (250 km2)
• 1 September 2014 census
73.1/km2 (189.3/sq mi)
• Per capita
• Per capita
medium · 123th
Moroccan dirham (MAD)
• Summer (DST)
GMT+1 (DST suspended during Ramadan)  (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
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic by the
Morocco (/məˈrɒkoʊ/ ( listen); Arabic:
المَغرِب, translit. al-maġrib, lit. 'place the
sun sets; the west'; Berber languages: ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ,
translit. Lmeɣrib; French: Maroc), officially known as the
Morocco (Berber languages: ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ
ⵍⵎⵖⵔⵉⴱ, translit. Tageldit n Lmaɣrib, Arabic:
المملكة المغربية, translit. al-Mamlakah
al-Maghribiyah, lit. "The Western Kingdom"); is a unitary sovereign
state located in the
Maghreb region of North Africa. It is the one of
the native homelands of the indigenous Berber people.
Morocco is 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 Marrakesh,
Tangier, Salé, Fes, and Meknes. A historically prominent regional
Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its
neighbours. Since the foundation of the first Moroccan state by Idris
I in 788, the country has been ruled by a series of independent
dynasties, reaching its zenith under the
Almoravid dynasty and Almohad
dynasty, spanning parts of
Iberia and 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 1631. 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 Berber, Arab,
West African, and European influences.
Morocco claims the non-self-governing territory of
Western Sahara as
its 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 deadlock.
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. With Berber being the native language of
Morocco before Arab colonisation. The Moroccan dialect,
referred to as Darija, and French are also widely spoken.
Morocco is a
member of the Arab League, the Union for the Mediterranean, and the
African Union. It has the fifth largest economy of Africa.
2.1 Prehistory and antiquity
2.2 Foundation and early Islamic era
2.3 Berber dynasties
2.4 Sharifian dynasties
2.5 French and Spanish protectorates
4.1 Legislative branch
4.3 Foreign relations
Western Sahara status
4.5 Administrative divisions
4.6 Human rights
5.6 Water supply and sanitation
6 Science and technology
10 Health care
11 See also
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,
medieval 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
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,
Punjabi. The English name
Morocco is an anglicisation of the Spanish
Main article: 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
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
succeeded by the
Iberomaurusian culture, which shared similarities
with Iberian cultures. Skeletal similarities have been suggested
Iberomaurusian "Mechta-Afalou" burials and European
Cro-Magnon remains. The
Iberomaurusian was succeeded by the Beaker
culture in Morocco.
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
Ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis.
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 around 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 aprocurator 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 and
Tingi in the 560s.
Foundation and early Islamic era
See also: Idrisid dynasty
Idrisid coin, minted at al-'Aliyah (Fes), Morocco, 840 CE.
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 Kairouan.
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 Umayyad Caliphate. After the outbreak of the Berber
Revolt in 739, the
Berbers formed other independent states such as the
Sijilmasa and the Barghawata.
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. Under the
Almoravid dynasty and the Almohad
Morocco dominated the Maghreb, much of present-day Spain
and Portugal, and the western
Mediterranean region. From the 13th
century onwards the country saw a massive migration of the Banu Hilal
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 century, the
Muslim rule in
central and southern
Spain and many Muslims and
Jews fled to
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 nineteenth centuries."
See also: 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 remain 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 reign
Ahmad al-Mansur brought new wealth and prestige to the Sultanate,
and a large expedition to West Africa inflicted a crushing defeat on
Songhay Empire in 1591. However, managing the territories across
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 d'Ahl al-
Rif (the Riffian Army) he seized
Tangier from the
English in 1684 and drove the Spanish from
Larache in 1689. Portuguese
abandoned Mazagão, their last territory in Morocco, in 1769. However,
the Siege of
Melilla against the Spanish ended in defeat in 1775.
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
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
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
two oceans. In 1860, a dispute over Spain's
Ceuta enclave led
Spain to declare war. Victorious
Spain won a further enclave and an
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 1906.
Agadir Crisis of 1911 increased tensions between European powers.
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
after (Regulares). The institution of slavery was abolished in
Tangier's population included 40,000 Muslims, 31,000 Europeans and
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
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
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
Morocco regained its independence from
France as the
"Kingdom of Morocco". A month later
Spain ceded most of its
protectorate in Northern
Morocco to the new state but kept its two
coastal enclaves (
Ceuta and Melilla) on the
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 commission.
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
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.
Casablanca demand 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
During the 2011–12 Moroccan protests, thousands of people rallied in
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
Main article: Geography of Morocco
Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, at 4,167 m
Rif Mountains in northern Morocco
A section of the
Anti-Atlas near Tafraout
Morocco has a coast by the
Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait
Gibraltar into the
Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by
the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders with
three small Spanish-controlled exclaves, Ceuta, 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 Mauritania.
The internationally recognised borders of the country lie between
latitudes 27° and 36°N, and longitudes 1° and 14°W. Adding Western
Morocco lies mostly between 21° and 36°N, and 1° and 17°W
Ras Nouadhibou peninsula is slightly south of 21° and west of
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
Mediterranean Sea, between
Algeria and the annexed Western Sahara. It is one of only three
nations (along with
Spain and 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 mi),
Morocco is the fifty-seventh largest
country in the world.
Morocco to the east and
southeast, though the border between the two countries has been closed
Spanish territory in
North Africa neighbouring
Morocco comprises five
enclaves on the
Mediterranean coast: Ceuta, 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
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
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 recording a population over 500,000 in the
2014 Moroccan census are Fes, Marrakesh, Meknes,
Morocco is represented in the
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 geographical encoding
standard by the symbol MA. This code was used as the basis for
Morocco's internet domain, .ma.
Köppen climate types in Morocco
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
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 Tangier, Tetouan, Al
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 are around
27 °C (80.6 °F) and in terms of the
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 Rabat,
Salé and Essaouira.
Continental: Determined by the bigger gap between highs and lows, that
results in hotter summers and colder winters, than found in typical
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.
Fès for example
registered −8 °C (17.6 °F) in winter 2005. Annual
precipitation varies between 500 and 900 mm. Notable cities are
Fès, Meknès, Chefchaouen,
Beni-Mellal and Taza.
Continental: This type of climate 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
Morocco from the northwest, for a few days, temperatures
sometimes get below −5 °C (23.0 °F). It often snows
abundantly in this part of the country. Precipitation varies between
400 and 800 mm. Notable cities are Khenifra, Imilchil,
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 average below 15 °C
(59.0 °F). In winters, highs average around 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 Ifrane,
Azrou and Boulmane.
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
Mediterranean characteristics in those regions, such as
the precipitation pattern and thermal attributes. Notable cities are
Marrakesh and Oujda.
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 with
California (USA), Portugal,
Spain and Algeria.
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 Central
Morocco receives between 700 mm and up
to 3500 mm. The area from
Casablanca to Essaouira, on the
Atlantic coast, receives between 300 mm and 500 mm. The
Agadir receive between 250 mm and
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.
The Barbary lion
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.
The Barbary lion, hunted to extinction in the wild, was a subspecies
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
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
Main article: Politics of Morocco
The King of Morocco,
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
the Arab world that the opposition assumed power following an
election. The current government is headed by
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
commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
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
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 registered
Mohammed VI, a
FREMM multipurpose frigate
FREMM multipurpose frigate of the Royal Moroccan Navy.
US Marines and Moroccan soldiers during exercise African Lion in Tan
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
Casablanca bombings which killed 45
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.
Main article: 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.
Morocco claims sovereignty over Spanish enclaves of
Ceuta and Melilla.
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
Melilla and 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
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 Arab Democratic
Republic. Its administrative headquarters are located in Tindouf,
Algeria. As of 2006[update], 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,
France and Spain. The
Security Council has called upon the parties to enter into direct and
unconditional negotiations to reach a mutually accepted political
Main article: Administrative divisions of Morocco
The 12 official administrative Regions of Morocco, with their native
names in Berber
Morocco is officially divided into 12 regions, which, in turn, are
subdivided into 62 provinces and 13 prefectures.
Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra
See also: Human rights in Morocco, LGBT rights in Morocco, and Child
marriage 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
Equity and Reconciliation Commission (IER).
Human Rights Watch
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 imprisonment.
Main article: Economy of Morocco
Boulevard des FAR (Forces Armées Royales)
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 Egypt.
A proportional representation of Morocco's exports.
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.
Main article: Tourism in Morocco
Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech.
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
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. Morocco's
relatively high number 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[update], 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
Main article: Agriculture in Morocco
Orge (Southern of Morocco)
Crate of clementine (mandarin) oranges from Morocco.
Below is a table of the agricultural output of
Morocco according to
estimates of the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation 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 irrigation.
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
Morocco suffers both from unemployment (9.6% in 2008), and a large
external debt estimated at around $20 billion, or half of
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.
Main article: Energy in Morocco
Solar cell panels in eastern Morocco
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
electricity to Europe.
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
Morocco in 2002. According to a French Ministry
of the Interior 2006 report, 80% of the cannabis resin (hashish)
Europe comes from the
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. In addition to that,
Morocco is a transit
point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe.
Main article: Transport in Morocco
ROPAX ferry in the
Tramway in Casablanca
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 highways.
Casablanca high-speed rail link marks the first stage of
the 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
Main article: Water supply and sanitation in Morocco
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,[clarification
needed] 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
Main article: 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 fixed 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, King Mohammed
VI Green City, around
Mohammed VI University located between
Casablanca and Marrakesh, at a cost of DH 4.7 billion (circa US$479
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
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&D) from 0.73% of
GDP in 2010 ‘to 1% in the short term, 1.5%
by 2025 and 2% by 2030’.
Demographics of Morocco
Demographics of Morocco and Moroccan people
Populations (in thousands)
Morocco has a population of around 35,276,786 inhabitants (2016
est.). According to the CIA, 99% of residents are Arab-Berber,
with the remaining 1% comprising other groups. It is estimated that
between 41% to 80% of residents have Berber ancestral
origins. A sizeable portion of the population is identified as
Gnawa (or Gnaoua), West African or mixed race descendants
of slaves, and Moriscos, European Muslims expelled from
Portugal in the 17th century.
According to the 2014
Morocco population census, there were around
84,000 immigrants in the country. Of these foreign-born residents,
most were of French origin, followed by individuals mainly from
various nations in West Africa and Algeria. There are also a
number of foreign residents of Spanish origin. 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 Spaniards.
Morocco's once prominent Jewish minority has decreased significantly
since its peak of 265,000 in 1948, declining to around 2,500
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 Belgium
(300,000). 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.
Main article: 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
Maghreb and West Africa undertake joint annual pilgrimages to the
Inside of a mosque in Fes
Christians are estimated at 1% (~380,000) of the Moroccan
population. The predominantly
Roman Catholic and Protestant
foreign-resident Christian community consists of approximately 40,000
practising members. Most foreign resident
Christians reside in the
Casablanca, Tangier, and
Rabat urban areas. Various local Christian
leaders estimate that between 2005 and 2010 there are 5,000 citizen
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
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
Main article: 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.[Notes
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
According to Ethnologue, as of 2018, there are 3,416,590 individuals
Morocco who 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
The Kasbah of Aït Benhaddou, built by the
Berbers from the 14th
Morocco is an ethnically diverse country with a rich culture and
civilisation. Through Moroccan history, it has hosted many people
coming from East (Phoenicians, Carthaginians,
Jews and Arabs), 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
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.
Main article: 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 vernacular 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
Casablanca that give no
particular homage to any of the past Moroccan architecture
Main article: Moroccan literature
Moroccan literature is written in Arabic, Berber and French. Under the
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
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
Moroccan literature flourished with novelists such as
Mohamed Zafzaf and Mohamed Choukri, who wrote in Arabic, and Driss
Tahar Ben Jelloun
Tahar Ben Jelloun who wrote in French. Other important
Moroccan authors include, Abdellatif Laabi, Abdelkrim Ghallab, Fouad
Mohammed Berrada and Leila Abouzeid. Orature (oral literature)
is an integral part of Moroccan culture, be it in
Moroccan Arabic or
Main article: 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
Ziryab is usually credited with its invention. A
genre known as Contemporary Andalusian Music and art is the brainchild
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
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.
In 1952, 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 Tangier. In
its current incarnation, the event is held in Tetouan.
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
International Film Festival of Marrakech (FIFM) was
also held in Marrakech.
Main article: Moroccan cuisine
Moroccan cuisine is 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 cuisine of
Morocco is mainly
a fusion of Moorish, European and
Mediterranean cuisines. The cuisine
Morocco is essentially
Berber cuisine (sometimes referred to as the
Moorish cuisine).[editorializing] It is also Influenced by Sephardic
cuisine and by the
Moriscos when they took refuge in
Morocco after the
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
Among the most famous Moroccan dishes are Couscous,
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 Ramadan. Pork
consumption is forbidden in accordance with Sharia, religious laws of
A big part of the daily meal is bread. Bread in
Morocco is principally
from durum wheat semolina known as khobz. Bakeries are very common
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
The most popular drink is "atai", green tea with mint leaves and other
ingredients. Tea occupies a very important place in the culture of
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.
Main article: 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 Arab and
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 and
Nawal El Moutawakel
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
The two jerseys of the
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 first
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 and second World War, with many Moroccan
players going away to fight. Like many other
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
Main article: Education in Morocco
Al Akhawayn University
Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane.
Education in Morocco
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 "
UNESCO 2006 Literacy
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".
also some of prestigious postgraduate schools, including: École
Nationale Supérieure d'Électricité et de Mecanique (ENSEM), EMI,
ISCAE, INSEA, National School of Mineral Industry, École Hassania des
Travaux Publics, Les Écoles nationales de commerce et de gestion,
École supérieure de technologie de Casablanca.
Main article: Health in Morocco
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January
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
^ 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 information
This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed
under CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0
UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, 431-467,
To learn how to add open-license text to articles, please
see:Adding open license text to.
For information on reusing text from, please see the terms
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