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Morocco Country Information

 
Morocco
Flag of Morocco
Map of Morocco
Introduction Morocco
Background:
In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, successive Moorish dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Morocco virtually annexed Western Sahara during the late 1970s, but final resolution on the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature, which first met in 1997. Improvements in human rights have occurred and there is a largely free press. Despite the continuing reforms, ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch.
Geography Morocco
Location:
Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara
Geographic coordinates:
32 00 N, 5 00 W
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 446,550 sq km
land: 446,300 sq km
water: 250 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than California
Land boundaries:
total: 2,017.9 km
border countries: Algeria 1,559 km, Western Sahara 443 km, Spain (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Spain (Melilla) 9.6 km
Coastline:
1,835 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior
Terrain:
northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m
highest point: Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m
Natural resources:
phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt
Land use:
arable land: 19%
permanent crops: 2%
other: 79% (2005)
Irrigated land:
14,450 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
29 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 12.6 cu km/yr (10%/3%/87%)
per capita: 400 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
land degradation/desertification (soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, destruction of vegetation); water supplies contaminated by raw sewage; siltation of reservoirs; oil pollution of coastal waters
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - note:
strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar
People Morocco
Population:
34,343,220 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.5% (male 5,337,322/female 5,136,156)
15-64 years: 64.3% (male 11,015,409/female 11,069,038)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 765,882/female 1,019,412) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 24.7 years
male: 24.1 years
female: 25.2 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.505% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
21.31 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
5.49 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.77 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 38.22 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 41.74 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 34.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.52 years
male: 69.16 years
female: 74 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.57 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
15,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Nationality:
noun: Moroccan(s)
adjective: Moroccan
Ethnic groups:
Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%
Religions:
Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%
Languages:
Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 52.3%
male: 65.7%
female: 39.6% (2004 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 11 years
female: 9 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
NA
Government Morocco
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco
conventional short form: Morocco
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
local short form: Al Maghrib
Government type:
constitutional monarchy
Capital:
name: Rabat
geographic coordinates: 34 01 N, 6 49 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
15 regions; Grand Casablanca, Chaouia-Ouardigha, Doukkala-Abda, Fes-Boulemane, Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen, Guelmim-Es Smara, Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra, Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, Meknes-Tafilalet, Oriental, Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer, Souss-Massa-Draa, Tadla-Azilal, Tanger-Tetouan, Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate
note: Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara, the political status of which is considered undetermined by the US Government; portions of the regions Guelmim-Es Smara and Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra as claimed by Morocco lie within Western Sahara; Morocco claims another region, Oued Eddahab-Lagouira, which falls entirely within Western Sahara
Independence:
2 March 1956 (from France)
National holiday:
Throne Day (accession of King MOHAMED VI to the throne), 30 July (1999)
Constitution:
10 March 1972; revised 4 September 1992, amended (to create bicameral legislature) September 1996
Legal system:
based on Islamic law and French and Spanish civil law systems; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal (as of January 2003)
Executive branch:
chief of state: King MOHAMED VI (since 30 July 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Abbas EL FASSI (since 19 September 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
elections: the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch following legislative elections
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of a Chamber of Counselors (or upper house) (270 seats; members elected indirectly by local councils, professional organizations, and labor syndicates for nine-year terms; one-third of the members are elected every three years) and Chamber of Representatives (or lower house) (325 seats; 295 members elected by multi-seat constituencies and 30 from national lists of women; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Counselors - last held 8 September 2006 (next to be held in 2009); Chamber of Representatives - last held 7 September 2007 (next to be held in 2012)
election results: Chamber of Counselors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PI 17, MP 14, RNI 13, USFP 11, UC 6, PND 4, PPS 4, Al Ahd 4, other 17; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PI 52, PJD 46, MP 41, RNI 39, USFP 38, UC 27, PPS 17, FFD 9, MDS 9, Al Ahd 8, other 39
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, presided over by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders:
Action Party or PA [Muhammad EL IDRISSI]; Alliance of Liberties or ADL [Ali BELHAJ]; Annahj Addimocrati or Annahj [Abdellah EL HARIF]; Avant Garde Social Democratic Party or PADS [Ahmed BENJELLOUN]; Citizen Forces or FC [Abderrahman LAHJOUJI]; Citizen's Initiatives for Development [Mohamed BENHAMOU]; Constitutional Union or UC [Mohamed ABIED]; Democratic and Independence Party or PDI [Abdelwahed MAACH]; Democratic and Social Movement or MDS [Mahmoud ARCHANE]; Democratic Forces Front or FFD; Democratic Socialist Party or PSD [Aissa OUARDIGHI]; Democratic Society Party or PSD [Zhor CHEKKAFI]; Democratic Union or UD [Bouazza IKKEN]; Environment and Development Party or PED [Ahmed EL ALAMI]; Front of Democratic Forces or FFD [Thami EL KHYARI]; Independence Party (Istiqlal) or PI [Abbas EL FASSI]; Justice and Development Party or PJD [Abdelilah BENKIRANE]; Labor Party [Abdelkrim BENATIK]; Moroccan Liberal Party or PML [Mohamed ZIANE]; National Democratic Party or PND [Abdallah KADIRI]; National Ittihadi Congress Party or CNI [Abdelmajid BOUZOUBAA]; National Rally of Independents or RNI [Mustapha EL MANSOURI]; National Union of Popular Forces or UNFP [Abdellah IBRAHIM]; Parti Al Ahd or Al Ahd [Najib EL OUAZZANI]; Party of Progress and Socialism or PPS [Ismail ALAOUI]; Party of Renewal and Equity or PRE [Chakir ACHABAR]; Party of the Unified Socialist Left or GSU [Mohamed Ben Said AIT IDDER]; Popular Movement or MP [Mohamed LAENSER]; Reform and Development Party or PRD [Abderrahmane EL KOUHEN]; Social Center Party or PSC [Lahcen MADIH]; Socialist Union of Popular Forces or USFP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Democratic Confederation of Labor or CDT [Noubir AMAOUI]; General Union of Moroccan Workers or UGTM [Abderrazzak AFILAL]; Moroccan Employers Association or CGEM [Hassan CHAMI]; National Labor Union of Morocco or UNMT [Abdelslam MAATI]; Union of Moroccan Workers or UMT [Mahjoub BENSEDDIK]
International organization participation:
ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Aziz MEKOUAR
chancery: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 462-7979
FAX: [1] (202) 265-0161
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas T. RILEY
embassy: 2 Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat
mailing address: PSC 74, Box 021, APO AE 09718
telephone: [212] (37) 76 22 65
FAX: [212] (37) 76 56 61
consulate(s) general: Casablanca
Flag description:
red with a green pentacle (five-pointed, linear star) known as Sulayman's (Solomon's) seal in the center of the flag; red and green are traditional colors in Arab flags, although the use of red is more commonly associated with the Arab states of the Persian gulf; design dates to 1912
Economy Morocco
Economy - overview:
Moroccan economic policies brought macroeconomic stability to the country in the early 1990s but have not spurred growth sufficient to reduce unemployment - nearing 20% in urban areas - despite the Moroccan Government's ongoing efforts to diversify the economy. Morocco's GDP growth rate slowed to 2.1% in 2007 as a result of a draught that severely reduced agricultural output and necessitated wheat imports at rising world prices. Continued dependence on foreign energy and Morocco's inability to develop small and medium size enterprises also contributed to the slowdown. Moroccan authorities understand that reducing poverty and providing jobs are key to domestic security and development. In 2005, Morocco launched the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), a $2 billion social development plan to address poverty and unemployment and to improve the living conditions of the country's urban slums. Moroccan authorities are implementing reform efforts to open the economy to international investors. Despite structural adjustment programs supported by the IMF, the World Bank, and the Paris Club, the dirham is only fully convertible for current account transactions. In 2000, Morocco entered an Association Agreement with the EU and, in 2006, entered a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US. Long-term challenges include improving education and job prospects for Morocco's youth, and closing the income gap between the rich and the poor, which the government hopes to achieve by increasing tourist arrivals and boosting competitiveness in textiles.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$125 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$73.43 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
2.2% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$3,700 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 13.8%
industry: 38.4%
services: 47.8% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
11.39 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 40%
industry: 15%
services: 45% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
9.8% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
15% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 30.9% (1999)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
40 (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
29.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $20.49 billion
expenditures: $21.85 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
67.4% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
barley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables, olives; livestock
Industries:
phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
21.37 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 95.4%
hydro: 4.6%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
20.67 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
802 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
300 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
176,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
21,890 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - imports:
186,100 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
100 million bbl (1 January 2007 est.)
Natural gas - production:
47.95 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
47.95 million cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
1.629 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
-$1.834 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:
$12.75 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
clothing and textiles, electric components, inorganic chemicals, transistors, crude minerals, fertilizers (including phosphates), petroleum products, citrus fruits, vegetables, fish
Exports - partners:
Spain 21.2%, France 19%, Italy 4.9%, UK 4.6%, India 4.2% (2007)
Imports:
$28.5 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
crude petroleum, textile fabric, telecommunications equipment, wheat, gas and electricity, transistors, plastics
Imports - partners:
France 16.2%, Spain 13.7%, China 7.3%, Italy 6.8%, Saudi Arabia 6.4%, Germany 6%, US 4.6%, Netherlands 4.1% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $651.8 million (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$24.72 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
$19.91 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$32.9 billion (2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$882 million (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$49.6 billion (2006)
Currency (code):
Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Currency code:
MAD
Exchange rates:
Moroccan dirhams per US dollar - 8.3563 (2007), 8.7722 (2006), 8.865 (2005), 8.868 (2004), 9.574 (2003)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Morocco
Telephones - main lines in use:
2.394 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
20.029 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern system with all important capabilities; however, density is low with only 4 fixed lines available for each 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership is approaching 50 per 100 persons
domestic: good system composed of open-wire lines, cables, and microwave radio relay links; Internet available but expensive; principal switching centers are Casablanca and Rabat; national network nearly 100% digital using fiber-optic links; improved rural service employs microwave radio relay
international: country code - 212; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Gibraltar, Spain, and Western Sahara; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria; participant in Medarabtel; fiber-optic cable link from Agadir to Algeria and Tunisia
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 27, FM 25, shortwave 6 (1998)
Radios:
6.64 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
35 (plus 66 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions:
3.1 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.ma
Internet hosts:
137,187 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
8 (2000)
Internet users:
7.3 million (2007)
Transportation Morocco
Airports:
60 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 27
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 33
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 11 (2007)
Heliports:
1 (2007)
Pipelines:
gas 720 km; oil 439 km (2007)
Railways:
total: 1,907 km
standard gauge: 1,907 km 1.435-m gauge (1,003 km electrified) (2006)
Roadways:
total: 57,626 km
paved: 35,665 km (includes 639 km of expressways)
unpaved: 21,961 km (2005)
Merchant marine:
total: 33 ships (1000 GRT or over) 326,342 GRT/230,546 DWT
by type: cargo 3, chemical tanker 6, container 7, passenger/cargo 12, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 4
foreign-owned: 15 (France 14, Germany 1)
registered in other countries: 4 (Gibraltar 4) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Agadir, Casablanca, Mohammedia, Safi
Military Morocco
Military branches:
Royal Armed Forces (Forces Armees Royales, FAR): Royal Moroccan Army (includes Air Defense), Navy (includes Marines), Royal Moroccan Air Force (Al Quwwat al Jawyiya al Malakiya Marakishiya; Force Aerienne Royale Marocaine) (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 9,152,580
females age 16-49: 9,080,830 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 7,627,988
females age 16-49: 7,754,873 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 355,479
female: 343,016 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
5% of GDP (2003 est.)
Transnational Issues Morocco
Disputes - international:
claims and administers Western Sahara whose sovereignty remains unresolved - UN-administered cease-fire has remained in effect since September 1991, but attempts to hold a referendum have failed and parties thus far have rejected all brokered proposals; Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, the islands of Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; discussions have not progressed on a comprehensive maritime delimitation, setting limits on resource exploration and refugee interdiction, since Morocco's 2002 rejection of Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands; Morocco serves as one of the primary launching areas of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa
Illicit drugs:
one of the world's largest producers of illicit hashish; shipments of hashish mostly directed to Western Europe; transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe; significant consumer of cannabis

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008


 

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