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).
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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
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, 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.
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
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
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.
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
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.