Morocco – education
Despite the state’s education policy, there is still a significant degree of illiteracy, especially among women (about 40%). About 67% of the adult population can read and write (2011).
The public school system includes a nine-year, compulsory primary school for 6-14-year-olds. Youth education is divided into general and vocational lines. The final exam provides access to higher education, which takes place at the country’s universities and other higher education institutions.
Of the universities, the largest is Muhammad 5th in Rabat, while al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, founded in 859, is considered by some to be the world’s oldest university.
OFFICIAL NAME: Al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiyya
CAPITAL CITY: Rabat
POPULATION: 33,000,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 458,730 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Arabic, Berber languages, French
RELIGION: Sunni Muslims 98%, Christians 1%, others 1%
CURRENCY CODE: FOOD
ENGLISH NAME: Morocco
POPULATION COMPOSITION: Arabs 65%, Berbers 33%, others 2%
GDP PER residents: $ 3291 (2014)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 73 years, women 79 years (2014)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.617
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 129
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .must
Morocco is a kingdom in the northwestern corner of Africa. The country is part of the Islamic Maghreb region and has historically been oriented towards the northern Mediterranean countries, not least Spain on the other side of the only 15 km wide Strait of Gibraltar. The country attracts many tourists from Europe. Morocco has annexed much of Western Sahara. The country also claims two Spanish enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, on the north coast.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as MO which stands for Morocco.
Morocco – Constitution
According to the 1972 Constitution with amendments from 1980, 1992 and 1996, Morocco is a constitutional, hereditary monarchy and an Islamic state. The constitutional amendment of 1996 made the Moroccan parliament a bicameral parliament. The lower house, the House of Representatives, is composed of 222 directly elected members, while the members of the upper house, the House of Advisers, must be elected by, among others, trade unions and employers’ organizations. The King appoints the Prime Minister and the other Ministers and may dissolve Parliament. At the same time, the constitution also makes him the country’s supreme Islamic authority.
Morocco – political parties
Morocco has a tradition of many different political parties, but their potential for real influence has generally been limited by the extensive executive power that Morocco’s constitution gives to the king. Parliament’s largest party is Istiqlal, formed in 1944. In 1992, in the Qutla Dimucratiyya (Democratic Bloc), Istiqlal formally cooperated with three other parties, namely the OADP (Organization of Democratic and Popular Action), the PRD (Parti du renouveau et du progrès, the Communist Party of Morocco) and the USFP (Union socialiste des forces populaires), to ensure that political parties in opposition to the monarchy could have an opportunity to assert their influence. Moderate Islamist parties are allowed in Morocco. In particular, the Islamic PJD (Parti de la Justice et du Développement, the Justice and Development Party) has made great progress in recent years and is today (2007) considered to be the political party with the largest support among the population. However, the PJD did not achieve the expected landslide victory in the parliamentary elections in September 2007, when it became the second largest party in parliament after Istiqlal.
Morocco – economy
Since its independence, Morocco has been particularly allied with the West and has pursued a liberal economic policy. In some periods, the state has tried to play a leading role in the country’s economic development, e.g. through the launch of national development plans. This was especially true from the mid-1970’s to the mid-1980’s, when, under the king’s leadership, attempts were made to Moroccanize the country’s economy. Foreign investment remained welcome, but it should now take place in close cooperation with national economic interests.
Morocco has historically been heavily dependent on trade with Europe and France in particular. It was therefore of great importance that Morocco became the first Arab country in 1995 to become an associated member of the EU, which implies the establishment of a free trade area for industrial goods between the EU and Morocco from 2010. Morocco’s objective is to become a full member of the EU.
To alleviate the great dependence on trade with the EU, Morocco has in recent years turned more towards the United States, which in 2004 was the country’s fifth largest export market. A comprehensive free trade agreement with the United States entered into force in early 2006.
Although the country has undergone some industrialization, the economy still depends predominantly on agriculture. Production is therefore very sensitive to the weather and can fluctuate significantly from year to year. Also the sales of phosphate, an important export commodity, and the tourist visit are subject to fluctuations. The country’s high youth unemployment is a problem which is further exacerbated by the fact that about a third of the population is under 15 years of age.
From independence until the early 1980’s, the economy was subject to strict political control, but since then a gradual reform policy has been pursued. Foreign trade has been liberalized, and in 1993 the currency, the dirham, was made freely interchangeable for commercial transactions with foreign countries. Morocco has also launched one of the region’s most ambitious privatization programs, open to foreign investors and covering the financial sector, which began operating on more market-oriented terms in the 1990’s. However, the pace of privatization has so far been subdued.
One of Morocco’s biggest economic problems is related to the country’s weak competitiveness. The large annual trade deficit has only been partially financed through Morocco’s main sources of foreign exchange, tourism and remittances from emigrants, and has therefore resulted in a very large foreign debt. Debt liabilities seize a large part of the country’s export earnings, and Morocco has often had to ask its creditors to restructure debt on more lenient terms. This was especially the case before Saudi Arabia gave up a significant part of its claims on Morocco in 1991 as compensation for the country’s participation in the Gulf War.
Denmark’s exports to Morocco in 2005 amounted to DKK 199 million. DKK, while imports from there were 24 mill. Important Danish export items were breeding cattle, chemicals and machinery for industry, while imports included consisted of clothing and fertilizers.
Morocco – social conditions
The social development of Morocco shows the characteristics that are general to the third world. The country has experienced a violent urbanization with all that it entails of confrontation with traditional values and habits. At the same time, the state’s education policy has ensured that more and more people can read and write, and this mass education has led to the population increasingly being able to formulate demands for the future. The large differences in the population’s standard of living and lifestyle (especially between country and city), combined with high unemployment, have in recent years led to a deteriorating social situation. Check youremailverifier for Morocco social condition facts.
Morocco – health conditions
Life expectancy is high according to African conditions, for women it was 71.0 in 1995 and for men 67.0. In 1995, infant mortality was 45.8 per 1000 live births. Child mortality is relatively high, mainly due to deficiency diseases, which at least a quarter of the population suffers from.
The disease pattern was previously characterized by the eye disease trachoma, cholera, and tuberculosis; these diseases are now under control, but have been replaced by hepatitis and bilharziasis, the spread of which is promoted by resp. lack of access to clean drinking water and increasing use of irrigation.
Morocco has approximately three doctors and ten hospital beds per. 10,000 residents. The government supports the establishment of medical clinics, which, however, only approximately 50% of the rural population has access to.
Morocco – military
The armed forces are (2006) at approximately 200,800, of which 100,000 conscripts with 18 months of service. The Army (Armée Royale Marocaine) is 180,000, the Navy (Marine Royale Marocaine) is 7800 and the Air Force (Force Aérienne Royale Marocaine) is 13,000. The reserve used in the army is 150,000. The Army is equipped with a mix of new and older, especially Western, equipment. It is well put together for operations in mountain and desert areas. The fleet has 3 larger and 17 smaller surface combat units, landing craft, two navybattalions and a small naval force with helicopters. The Air Force has 89 fighter jets and 19 light, armed helicopters. The security forces (Gendarmerie Royale Marocaine and Garde Royale Marocaine) total 50,000.
Morocco has occupied the northern two thirds of Western Sahara since 1976, and since Mauritania withdrew in 1979, the whole of Western Sahara. Morocco has therefore been in the fight against the Algerian-backed rebel movement Polisario. There has been a ceasefire since 1991, but the problem is far from solved. In 2001, the UN Security Council recognized Morocco’s proposal for limited autonomy for Western Sahara within Morocco’s borders.
Morocco claims the Spanish coastal pianos Ceuta, Melilla, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, as well as the Mediterranean islands of Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas. Morocco does not recognize Spain’s demarcation of the waters between the Canary Islands and Morocco/Western Sahara.
Morocco – mass media
The press in Morocco is characterized by greater diversity than in many other Arab countries, but its prevalence is very low. A good 20 dailies are published, and the French influence is still evident.
The daily press is closely linked to the political parties, eg two of the oldest dailies are the Istiqlal party’s Al-Alam (grdl. 1944) and L’Opinion (grdl.1965). Among the largest are the official daily newspaper, Le Matin du Sahara et du Maghreb (grdl. 1971) and Assabah.
The news agency Maghreb Arabe Presse was founded in 1959. The state-run Radio-Télévision Marocaine (born 1928) is partly advertising-financed. In 1980, the first commercial radio station, Médi 1, was established. State television began broadcasting in 1962 and had a monopoly until 1989, when the commercial television station 2M began broadcasting. Radio has been an important source of news for years, but since the 1990’s, satellite TV, especially from common Arab channels, has become very popular. See also Arabic press.
Morocco – literature
In the 1930’s and 1940’s was an Arabic-language literature in Morocco, mostly short stories, as in a propagandistic style supported the national struggle. The themes are often historic. After independence, the short story genre matured artistically under the inspiration of Egyptian writers. It freed itself from the rhetorical and ideological, the depiction of man became more realistic. Abd al-Karim Ghallab (1917-2006) is a good example of a non-French educated writer who, both in his art and in his participation in politics in the Istiqlal party, has promoted Morocco’s Arab self-esteem. After several collections of short stories, he published his first novel, Seven Gates, in 1965. Khannatha Bannuna (b. 1940) expresses in a rich authorship her opposition to the traditional female role. Muhammad Zafzaf (1945-2001), which has renewed Arabic prose with elements of the fantastic, of folklore and symbolism, for example, in the novel Djinnernes King (1988). Muhammad Shukri’s skinny honest depiction of life in Tangier’s underworld in the novel The Naked Bread(da. 1999) was the publishing in Arabic in 1982 immediately banned in Arab countries, but in 2000 was allowed in Morocco. Leila Abouzeid (b. 1950) is the first Moroccan woman who writes novels and short stories in Arabic. Her themes is the conflict between the traditional culture and modernism, including women’s struggle for emancipation. She is here in line with the sociologist Fatima Mernissi (1940-2015), who in his research shows that the Koran can be interpreted in feminist direction. The most famous French-language writer in Morocco is Tahar Ben Jelloun.
Morocco – music
Morocco belongs to the western part of the Arab music culture, which is based on the maqam system of diatonic scales with widespread use of micro-intervals. In the North African Maghreb mixes, a special 6/8 beat is often used, where the first and fourth beats of the beat are extended a bit. There are four main genres: classical music, nawba, religious music, Berber music and popular music.
Nawba is a five-part suite form within musiqi andalusi (‘Andalusian music’), rooted in medieval Moorish-Spanish music culture. In nawba, the short-necked end, the stringed instrument rabab and the hand drum darabukka are used as the most common instruments.
The religious music includes partly the prayer call of orthodox Islam, adhan, partly the music of the Sufi fraternities of mystics such as Gnawa and Jilala. Their repetitive rhythms and melodies can put the audience in a trance and be used to cure diseases.
The predominantly pentatonic music of the Berbers is most prevalent in the Atlas Mountains. During the ritual dances, two groups sing to each other, accompanied by applause and 6/8 rhythms from the frame drum bandir. Here you can also hear the one- to three-stranded lut gunbri, whose resonant box is lined with leather. Gunbri is often replaced by banjo.
Popular music is to some extent common to the rest of the Arab world. The influence especially from Cairo is great; however, a distinct local distinctiveness is often traced. Since the 1980’s, ray musicians such as Cheb Kader and Cheb Mimoun have become widespread, not only in Morocco and Algeria, but also among young North African immigrants in France. Ray is a fusion of Arabic and Western popular music with lyrics that appeal to the modern generation’s modern way of life.
Morocco – film
In Morocco, films were first shot and shown for the first time in resp. 1896 and 1897. Under French rule, cinemas, laboratories and studios were built, but it was not until 1968 that the first Moroccan feature film, El hayat khifa/Vaincre pour vivre, came out. In the 1970’s and early 80’s, the annual production was 1-2 films, but after the state launched a comprehensive support program in 1988, Morocco has released 10-12 feature films a year. The majority of Moroccan films are commercial products (comedies, singing games and action films), but both political films such as Souheil Ben Barkas (b. 1942) have been made Amok!(1983), which was a Pan-African co-production, and mythological films based on traditional myths and symbols, eg Jillali Ferhatis (b. 1948) La Plage des enfants perdus (1991). Nabil Ayouchs (b. 1969) award-winning Ali Zaoua – prince de la rue (2000, Ali Zaoua) about street children in Casablanca became an international breakthrough for Moroccan film.
Morocco – wine
From 55,000 ha in 1956, the country’s wine area in the 1990’s has fallen to 13,000 ha, giving an annual yield of approximately 50 mio. bottles. Most wines are flat and heavy and lack freshness. 85% are red wines, 10% rosé or wine pig, and 5% are white wines, all made from typical southern French grape varieties. Following the French model, Morocco has introduced a control system, AOG, appellation d’origine garantie. The state controls about 75% of all viticulture and trade.