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المملكة المغربية (Arabic)
ⵜⴰⴳⵍⴷⵉⵜ ⵏ ⵍⵎⴰⵖⵔⵉⴱ (Tamazight)

al-Mamlaka al-Maghribīya (Arabic)
Tageldit n Elmaɣrib (Tamazight)
Kingdom of Morocco
Flag of Morocco
Coat of arms of Morocco
flag coat of arms
Motto : الله ، الوطن ، الملك Allaah, al-Waṭan, al-Malik
ⴰⴽⵓⵛ, ⴰⵎⵓⵔ, ⴰⴳⵍⵍⵉⴷ Akuc, Amur, Agellid

( Arabic and Tamazight for "God, Home, King")

Official language Arabic and Tamazight ( Berber ); French with semi-official status
Capital Rabat
Form of government Hereditary monarchy
Government system constitutional
Head of state King
Mohammed VI
Head of government Prime Minister
Saadeddine Othmani
area 446,550 km²
(including Western Sahara ) 712,550 km²
population 33,986,655 (without Western Sahara)
34,589,908 (with Western Sahara)
(July 2017)
Population density 76 inhabitants per km² (excluding Western Sahara)
49 (including Western Sahara) inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 0.99% (2016) per year
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 109.8 billion ( 61st )
  • $ 298.6 billion ( 57th )
  • 3,151 USD ( 127. )
  • 8,567 USD ( 119. )
Human Development Index   0.676 ( 121st ) (2019)
currency Dirham (MAD)
independence March 2, 1956 (from France )
National anthem an-Nashid al-Sharif
Time zone UTC + 1
License Plate MA
ISO 3166 MA , MAR, 504
Internet TLD .ma
Phone code +212
All information relates to the core area without the Western Sahara.
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Morocco ([ maˈrɔko ], Arabic المغرب al-Maghrib , DMG al-Maġrib  'the West', Moroccan Tamazight ⵍⵎⴰⵖⵔⵉⴱ Elmaɣrib / ⵎⵓⵕⵕⴰⴽⵓⵛ Muṛṛakuc ), officially Kingdom of Morocco ( Arabic المملكة المغربية, DMG al-Mamlaka al-Maġribiyya ), is a state in northwestern Africa . It is separated from the European continent by the Strait of Gibraltar . As the westernmost of the five (with Western Sahara six) Maghreb countries , it borders the Mediterranean Sea in the north, the Atlantic Ocean in the west and Algeria in the east . Because of the Western Sahara conflict, Morocco's southern border is internationally controversial until a UN referendum is held on the future membership of Western Sahara .

Morocco has been independent again since 1956 and is a constitutional monarchy according to the 1992 constitution . The most important cities in the North African country are Casablanca , the capital Rabat , Fez , Marrakech , Agadir , Tangier and Meknes . Nine sites are part of the world heritage in Morocco .

Country name

While the country calls itself in its own official state name al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiyya 'The Western Kingdom' as the ' Maghreb Kingdom' (until the 1960s ' Sherif Maghreb Kingdom'), the European derivation of the name of the former capital Marrakech has become internationally ( Moroccan Tamazight ⵎⵕⵕⴰⴽⵛ Mṛṛakc ) enforced for the entire Kingdom of Morocco.


Morocco Mediterranean coast (west side) - aerial view from Bades over El Jebha to Tétouan with Rif mountains , Tangier-Tétouan region (2014)

Compared to other African countries , Morocco does not have a large national territory , but its surface shape shows an extremely varied picture. Essentially, the following natural units can be distinguished: the coastal regions in the north and west; the Atlantic region with the Moroccan Meseta ; the montane region with the High and Middle Atlas and the Rif Mountains ; finally the transmontane region with the plateaus in the northeastern border area, the anti-Atlas and the basin landscapes on the edge of the Sahara .

View from Spain to Morocco

The Mediterranean coast is mostly steep and rocky and has many capes and bays. Only at the mouth of the Moulouya near the Algerian border does the Mediterranean coastal landscape expand into a basin. In the west, the mountainous stretch of coast ends in the crescent-shaped north-western tip of Africa, which faces Europe .

The Atlantic coast, on the other hand, is a flat, barely indented compensation coast with heavy sand transport and is therefore not very suitable for ports. Inland, broader coastal plains follow, such as the Sebou lowland near Kenitra and the extensive coastal meseta of Casablanca . Further inward, the terrain rises to about 450 m above sea level to the central part of the Moroccan meseta, a wide table landscape, which is also known as the inland meseta or the plateau of Marrakech. It consists mainly of gently undulating, steppe-like plateaus, over which isolated island mountains tower up.

In the south and east, the Meseta is framed by the striking mountain ranges of the High and Middle Atlas. This huge mountain range of folds was lifted out of the sedimentation basin of the time when the African and Eurasian plates collided in the Tertiary . Earthquakes like the one in Agadir in 1960 show that the mountain-forming processes in this area have not subsided to this day. The Atlas Mountains form, as it were, the morphological backbone of the country and represent both a natural and economic-cultural barrier. As an important climatic divide, the mountain wall separates the Atlantic-Mediterranean Morocco from the Saharan part of the country.

The High Atlas stretches in a gentle curve over around 800 km from southwest to northeast. With its rugged, ridged mountain shapes and steep peaks, it has the character of a high mountain. Here are the highest peaks of the entire Atlas mountain system and at the same time all of North Africa , including the highest mountain in Morocco, the 4167 m high Jabal Toubkal .

To the northeast, the High Atlas continues in the lower Algerian Sahara Atlas ; In central Morocco, offset to the north, the Middle Atlas joins for more than 300 km. In its eastern chain, which descends steeply to the Moulouya Depression, it also has over 3000 m high peaks, but otherwise has more low mountain ranges. The northern section of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains is formed by the Rif, which is up to 2,456 m high, a wild, rugged mountain arc that extends from the Strait of Gibraltar parallel to the Mediterranean coast to the Moulouya estuary. The longitudinal furrow between the Rif and the Middle Atlas, the "Gate of Taza ", is the most important west-east through valley in Morocco.

East of the Moulouya Valley, which separates the montane from the transmontane region in northern Morocco, the terrain gradually rises to form wide, steppe-like plateaus that lead to the Schotts highlands in Algeria. The mountain ranges southeast of the main Atlas ridge, the Anti-Atlas and its eastern continuation Jabal Sarhro and the parallel Jabal Bani to the south , no longer belong to the Tertiary fold mountains, but are part of the old African mass. In the south of it there are peripheral landscapes of the Sahara, which also include the basin region of the Tafilalt and the depression of the Draa .

In the Western Sahara region, a broader coastal plain is followed by sandstone plateaus that rise up to over 350 m, cut up by wadis and covered with dunes, which are also part of the Sahara.


The climate of Morocco shows a transition from the Mediterranean- influenced north-west of the country to the Saharan- continental south-east and south. The High and Middle Atlas, which together can be understood as a separate climatic area, form the climatic divide with their main ridge. The north-western part of the country has hot, dry summers with a mean August temperature of 23 ° C and mean temperature maxima between 26 ° C (Casablanca) and 29 ° C ( Tangier ). The winters are mild (January mean 12 ° C) and rainy, whereby the amount of precipitation decreases towards the south (Tangier 900 mm, Agadir200 mm annual precipitation). Inland, the moderating influence of the sea decreases rapidly, so that there is a pronounced continental climate in the central Meseta and the Atlas Mountains: In Marrakech (August average 29 ° C) in summer 45 ° C can be reached, while in winter temperatures can be around freezing point ; barely 250 mm of precipitation falls. On the other hand, uphill rain on the western roofing of the mountains sometimes brings more than 1000 mm of precipitation per year, which usually falls as snow above 1000 m above sea level in the winter months. In the regions on the edge of the Sahara south of the Atlas, there is an extremely dry, hot desert climate. There is only irregular rainfall, which rarely reaches 200 mm per year, so that agriculture is only in oasescan be operated with irrigation. During the summer months, the Scirocco , a hot, dust-laden wind from the Sahara, blows at times .

Flora and fauna

Goats in a field of argan trees

The flora is also divided into two parts by the Atlas Mountains: the north-west of the mountains is dominated by Mediterranean vegetation, and to the south-east of this is the desert steppe. Closed forest stands with stone and cork oaks , thuys , Atlas cedars and Aleppo pines can still be found in the rainy mountain areas and the western plains; they only cover about a tenth of the country's area. Argan trees and jujubes grow in the southern coastal area . In the rest of Morocco, centuries of overexploitation have left the Mediterranean vegetation on tree heaths , unless it has had to give way to cultivated areas .Reduced strawberry trees , pistachios , junipers and dwarf palms . Above the tree line (at 3100 m) there is a level of cushion plants . Beyond the Atlas Mountains, dry steppe vegetation with tufted grasses and thorn bushes is predominant; Resistant half -grass grows in the north-eastern steppe . In the few oases are date palms cultivated.

The wild animals have withdrawn to the sparsely populated areas of Morocco; some species, such as the leopard and the desert lynx , are threatened with extinction. Other mammals in the country are barbary macaques (magots), gazelles , hyenas , jackals and desert foxes ( fenneks ); also reptiles ( lizards , chameleons , turtles , snakes) occur numerous. By 2003, 452 different bird species were found in Morocco. 209 species, 49% of the recorded bird species, breed regularly in the country, while 15 species only breed irregularly in the country. The recorded bird species include storks , eagles , vultures , buzzards and kites . There are several national parks in Morocco . The area around the Jabal Toubkal in the High Atlas was declared a national park as early as 1942. The Ifrane National Park protects vast cedar forests where Barbary macaques live.


Population development (million inhabitants)
Population pyramid Morocco 2016

Around 1950 there were nine million people in Morocco; in 2017 it was 35.7 million. The population growth was 1.3% in 2015 and the average age was 28 years. The fertility rate was 2.1 children per woman in 2018. In the same year there were 17.5 births and 4.9 deaths for every 1000 inhabitants. Due to the falling birth rate, the very young population is slowly beginning to age.

About 45% of the population are Berbers including 21% Arabized Berbers . Today they are mostly sedentary farmers; only a minority still live as nomads or semi-nomadic in remote areas of the Middle Atlas or on the high plateaus in the east of the country. Around 44% of Moroccans are of Arab origin . Northern Morocco with the old metropolis of Fès is more Arab (34% of the population Arabs , 25% Arabized Berbers), while southern Morocco and its metropolis Marrakech are more Berber (30% of the Berber population). These 10% are originally from Mauritania originating Moorsand 1% others. These include several thousand foreigners, including mainly French , Spanish , Italians , Tunisians and Algerians .

The population in Morocco is very unevenly distributed. Two thirds of the population live on about a tenth of the country's area in the northwest or west. Urban areas are the coastal areas in the north and northwest and the Sebou lowlands. Morocco has an old urban culture; In 2015, 60.2% of the population lived in cities. The urbanization progressed more slowly than in other African countries. 27.3% of the population were younger than 15 in 2015; 6.1% were older than 65 years. Life expectancy was 74.3 years (women: 75.3 years; men: 73.3 years).


About 90% of Moroccans speak Moroccan Arabic , called Darija , while only about 0.7% of the population speak the Hassania dialect. Various Berber languages ​​are spoken by Moroccans of Berber descent, and a good half of Moroccans speak a Berber language. The Berber languages ​​in Morocco include Central Atlas Tamazight (also Tamazight , in the Middle Atlas), Ghomara , Tarifit (in the Rif Mountains), Taschelhit (in southern Morocco), Tassoussit (in the Sous region), Senhaja de Srair and today only isolatedJudaeo-Berber .

The official languages ​​of Morocco are Arabic and Moroccan Tamazight . French is used throughout the country as a commercial, educational and informal working language. At the National Railway Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF) it is the operating language. In the north of Morocco, the Western Sahara and around Sidi Ifni , Spanish is also used. English is gaining in importance as the language of educated youth.


The state religion is Islam . Around 98.7% of the population are Muslims , 90% of whom are Sunni of the Maliki direction. Around 0.1% of the population profess Christianity (mostly Catholics ), most of them Europeans and African migrants - see also Christianity in Morocco - and an estimated 2,000 people believe in Judaism . Belief in ghosts - as legacy of pre-Islamic Berbers and African influences - is deeply rooted in popular religion.


From 1972 - a year before the recruitment of migrant workers in many European countries - to 2005, the number of Moroccans living in major European countries (excluding Great Britain and Scandinavia) increased nine-fold. Numerous Moroccans are temporarily living abroad, especially in Western and Southern Europe, or have left their country permanently in search of better economic prospects. In many countries, Moroccans and people of Moroccan origin make up the largest Muslim populationLocal community. Around 1.2 million live in France, around 750,000 in Spain, around 500,000 in Italy, around 350,000 in Belgium, around 330,000 in the Netherlands and around 100,000 in Germany. Other churches also exist in Norway, Sweden and Great Britain. Smaller, but rapidly growing, communities of highly skilled expats reside in the United States (at least 100,000) and Canada (at least 78,000). An estimated 300,000 Moroccans live in other states of the Maghreb or in states in the Middle East.


With the kingdom's growing economic power, fewer and fewer Moroccans are emigrating to other countries. On the other hand, the illegal immigration of black Africans (sub-Saharan) is increasing . Since the mid-1990s, Morocco has developed into a transit country primarily for migrants from West Africa who have left their homeland for economic or political reasons; More and more of them want to stay in the country permanently. In 2005, 25,000 black African migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were living legally in Morocco. Since the entry into Europe has become extremely difficult, they decide to stay in Morocco. In addition to the African migrants, 28,000 Europeans resided in the country in the same year, mostly in cities likeMarrakech . In 2017, 0.3% of the population was born abroad.

Social situation

Development of life expectancy in Morocco
year Life expectancy in
year Life expectancy in
1960 48.4 1990 64.7
1965 50.6 1995 66.8
1970 52.5 2000 68.5
1975 54.4 2005 70.4
1980 57.3 2010 72.6
1985 61.4 2015 74.3

In terms of per capita income, Morocco is in the higher group of African countries. Social insurance includes old age, survivors' and disability pensions. Sickness, pregnancy and family benefits are also granted. However, only employees in industry and trade or cooperative members are insured. Unemployment (an average of 9.6% in 2015) is particularly high among young people (19.6%). Many male adolescents therefore migrate to EuropeanStates off. In order to solve the problem of unemployment, state measures are moving in the direction of "Moroccanization", that is, displacement of foreign skilled workers. Inflation averaged 1.6% in 2015. The healthcare system is well developed compared to other African countries. The medical care of the urban population is, however, much better than that of the rural population. Almost half of all doctors practice in Casablanca and Rabat. The main problems of health care are combating diarrhea and parasitic diseases, malaria and, in some cases, malnutrition. In 2015 health expenditure amounted to 2.0% of the gross domestic product(GDP). In 2015, 77% of the total population had access to sanitary facilities, but only 66% in rural areas. There is general compulsory schooling for 7 to 13 year olds, but only 91% of all boys and only 88% of all girls go to school. With a slightly downward trend, 27.6% of adults are still illiterate. The older society, which has never had to go to school, is particularly affected by illiteracy. The school system has three levels: after five years of primary education, secondary education is followed by a four-year lower level and a three-year upper level. This is followed by higher education. Universities are located in Rabat , Casablanca , Oujda , Marrakech , Ifrane ,Fes , Tangier , Tetouan and occasionally in smaller towns. Universities of applied sciences were also founded, such as B. in Al-Hoceima . In general, most universities - including the newer ones - are still completely inadequate. The Islamic Al-Qarawiyin University in Fes, which was founded in 859, can look back on a long tradition .


Moroccan children at a sporting event on the beach
Reading ability of the population over 15 years of age of Morocco 1980–2015

School attendance has been compulsory for 5- to 13-year-olds since 1963 and was expanded in 2002 to include those up to 15-year-olds. The school enrollment rate is 92%, but only half of the 15-year-olds attend school. In the first two years of school, classes are exclusively in Arabic, after which math and science are taught in French. The literacy rate in 2015 was 72.4% (women: 62.5%, men: 82.7%).

Education efforts have been greatly increased since around 2000. The education budget has since exceeded that of many other Arab countries, but according to analyzes by the World Bank , the efficiency is still very low. The dropout rate in secondary educationis high; less than 15% of students graduate from high school. According to World Bank analyzes, Morocco, along with Yemen and Iraq, formed the bottom group in a ranking of school performance in the Arab countries in 2003. In mathematics and natural sciences, Morocco brought up the rear in the comparison of Arab countries in 2003. Since then, one focus of the educational efforts has been on IT training. But the newly founded schools and universities are also underfunded. There is a lack of computers, textbooks and places for internships; the subject structure is z. Some of the needs are not met, so that many graduates from secondary schools and universities find it difficult to find suitable employment in the country.

The World Bank sees the causes of these weaknesses primarily in the quantitative and qualitative inadequate primary education , to which the high-cost modernized superstructure of the secondary school system and the universities is disproportionate, as well as in traditionalist pedagogical and didactic training, centralized decision-making structures and a lack of evaluation . Accordingly, the vocational school system is only poorly developed; there is a lack of practical training opportunities.



Already in the 2nd millennium BC BC Berber tribes settled what is now Morocco. From the 12th century BC The Phoenicians established trading establishments on the coast, including Carthage in what is now Tunisia , which has been in existence since the 8th century BC. Established bases in the Mediterranean area. In the interior of the country, probably already in the 4th century BC. The kingdom of Mauritania , which was formed by the merger of several Berber tribes.

Roman mosaic in Volubilis

After the destruction of Carthage in the Third Punic War in 146 BC. The trading establishments on the coast and the kingdom of Mauritania came under Roman influence. 33 BC The area became a Roman protectorate and finally in 42 AD as Mauretania Tingitana with the capital Tingis (today Tangier ) and Mauretania Caesariensis with the capital Caesarea (today Cherchell in Algeria) to Roman provinces. As a result, Rome erected a border wall in the south to protect against the Berber tribes living in the mountains and in the Sahara (Limes ).

In 429 the Vandals invaded North Africa, but were only able to maintain their position in Tangier and Ceuta until 477 . Under Emperor Justinian I (527-565), Eastern Roman troops advanced as far as the Strait of Gibraltar , but limited their rule in what is now Morocco to these two cities and fortified them.

middle age

Around 700 the Arabs reached the area on their forays to the west, began to Islamize the subjugated population and named them “ Maghreb ” after the Arabic word for west or sunset : Al-Maghrib is the official name of Morocco today. An Islamized Berber , Tariq ibn Ziyad , then crossed the strait to Spain with a troop of horsemen from Ceuta in 711 and conquered the Visigoth Empire . The place of landing, the "Rock of Tarik" (Arabic Jabal Tariq ), bears his name: Gibraltar .

The Arabs were initially unable to break the resistance in North Africa; Around 750 there were numerous Berber uprisings against the rule of the caliphs . 789 finally Mulay Idris established as Idris I. The dynasty of Idrisids with capital Fez . The empire was the center of Islam in North Africa until the end of the 10th century . The Almoravids , who ruled from 1062 to 1147 and belonged to a Berber sect from the south, moved the capital to Marrakech. The Almohads (1147 to 1269) made Morocco the centerpiece of an empire that extended from Sicilystretched in the east over the Atlas Mountains far into Spain. The rule of the following dynasty, the Merinids , lasted about 150 years; the capital, Fez, became a center of art and science. As early as 1420, their cousins, the Wattasids, took over the active regency on their behalf . The sovereignty fell to you in full from 1465. However, they could not gain authority over the local Berber princes, the religious brotherhoods and the local city lords, and failed in the Atlantic ports and the onset of immigration due to the Spanish Reconquistato control. The coastal cities of the Maghreb came under the control of Portugal during this time, as well as, with the conclusion of the Reconquista from 1492, also by the newly emerging great power Spain, which in turn was confronted with an alliance between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans at the beginning of modern times . The Ottoman Empire extended its sphere of influence in the Mediterranean to the Maghreb.

Modern times

While the power of wattasid dynasty eroded rapidly, strong in the south of the Maghreb, the next dynasty , namely those of the Saadian (Banu Saad), which as scherifischer from 1,510 communities, the Islamic brotherhoods and marabouts could unite southern Morocco and organize resistance against Portugal. They recaptured Agadir from the Portuguese in 1541 . This gave the clan broad recognition also in the north of the country, so that they finally achieved suzerainty over the entire country with the conquest of Fez as the first Sherif sultanate . Only from 1578 succeeded underAhmad al-Mansur an economic and political stabilization of the country. A halt to the constant attacks by corsairs on the Maghrebian coast could only be achieved by recognizing the suzerainty of the Ottomans. However, new trade and consular agreements with European powers as well as a focus on Trans-Saharan trade allowed a careful emancipation from Ottoman attempts at influence. A controversy for the succession to the throne after the death of al-Mansur in 1603 led to another fragmentation of the country, the effects of which made the country ungovernable and led to the end of the dynasty.

Until power finally passed to the Alawid dynasty in 1669 , which still rules Morocco today, smaller princes had stabilized their local power - their economic power was based on the tributary markets and ports, the latter often the basis of internationally operating privateers and corsairs . The best-known example of such a city-state within Morocco is the pirate republic in Salé .

The Alavids gradually liberated most of the coastal cities occupied by Spain and Portugal and expanded their influence. The widespread toleration and use of piracy to protect economic and geostrategic interests, however, earned the Sultanate of Morocco and the Ottoman reigns in Algiers , Tunis and Tripoli the name of barbaric states . In this context, there were several military conflicts with France , Spain and Venice .

A sustainable inner balance between the autonomy of Berber tribes and cities on the one hand and the suzerainty of the Alawid dynasty on the other only came into effect from 1757 under Mulai Muhammad . The necessary financial means were promised through friendship and trade agreements with various European countries, and also with the USA .

The international partners did not expect too much from the goods in Morocco. On the other hand, the safe access to Moroccan ports, the driving back of piracy and the still frequent trade in European slaves promised a sustainable protection of merchant shipping in the Mediterranean against the influence of the great power of the Ottomans, and one was prepared to pay for it - albeit with grinding of teeth and under conditions. The treaty powers subsequently used their growing influence and thus achieved an official ban on piracy in the Sultanate of Morocco in 1817, as well as further trade and customs relief.

While the Alawids were able to increase their domestic influence, they suffered sensitive setbacks in foreign policy, mainly because pirates operating from Moroccan ports continued to jeopardize sea trade in the Mediterranean, and because, in the wake of the great powers tugging for influence in the Maghreb, the Alawids fought local resistance against the French supported occupation of Algeria in 1830.

As a result, France tried to expand its influence in Morocco. In 1843/44 the war broke out, which ended with the defeat of the Moroccan troops, whereupon the Sultanate of Morocco became completely the bone of contention among the competing European powers.

German post offices have been set up in Morocco to ensure smooth postal traffic with Germany; these worked from 1899 to 1914 in the French and until 1919 in the Spanish area

At the beginning of the 20th century, in the course of this development, France faced the German Empire , which tried to assert its own economic and political interests against the growing French influence in Morocco. In 1905, Kaiser Wilhelm II paid a demonstrative visit to the Sultan in Tangier (→  First Morocco Crisis ). Nevertheless, the German Empire was isolated with its claims at the Algeciras Conference in 1906 and had to recognize Morocco as a French sphere of influence in the Berlin Morocco-Congo Treaty of 1911 (→ Second Morocco Crisis / "Panther Jump to Agadir").

Just one year later, in the Protectorate Treaty of November 1912, the country was divided into the protectorates of French Morocco and Spanish Morocco in the north; the city of Tangier received international status as the Tangier Zone in 1923 . Formally, the Sultan remained ruler of Morocco.

In the south, Tihami al-Glawi , the head of the influential Glaoui Berber tribe, supported the French protectorate regime against the leader of the anti-colonial uprising Ahmed al-Hiba (El Hiba) in southern Morocco and western Sahara from the start . The latter had taken over the fight against the colonial power from his father Mā al-ʿAinin . The unanimous resistance of the Berbers in the north at this time came from Moha ou Hammon, whose ancestral home was Khénifrathe French captured on June 12, 1914. On November 13, 1914, the Berber troops gathered under Moha ou Hammon inflicted the worst defeat on the French during the "pacification campaigns" a few kilometers south of Khénifra. 613 French soldiers died and for General Resident Hubert Lyautey the entire protectorate seemed to fail.

Even after the First World War , Berbers rose again and again . Under the leadership of Abd al-Karim , the Rif- Kabyle uprising broke out in the Spanish zone in 1921 . The unrest also spread to the French protectorate . It was not until 1926 that France and Spain jointly managed to put down the uprising. Under Sultan Mohammed V (1927 to 1961), who sided with France in World War II , the Arab nationalist independence movement was able to gain influence. In 1944 the “Party of Independence” (Al-hizb al-istiqlal) was constituted .

At the beginning of the 1950s, tensions arose between the sultan and the French protectorate administration due to the growing struggle for independence. In August 1953 the French banished him to Madagascar and installed his uncle Muhammad Mulay ibn Arafah as sultan. As a result, the country was gripped by a wave of national outrage against foreign rule. France and Spain could no longer maintain their protectorate power. Muhammad V was able to return in 1955.

The country achieved full independence from France and Spain in 1956. Only the enclaves of Ceuta , Melilla and Sidi Ifni (until 1969) remained in Spanish ownership. In 1957, Muhammad V accepted the title of king. On September 1, 1959, women's suffrage was guaranteed at both the local and national levels. It was first used on June 18, 1963.

After the death of Muhammad V in 1961, he was succeeded by his son as Hassan II , who from the outset strove for a course of western orientation with strong ties to France and the Europe of the later European Community . The tensions with independent Algeria led to the Algerian-Moroccan border war in 1963 . In all Arab politics, he tried to play a mediator role. In 1971/72 and 1983 attempts to establish a republic failed .

In 1976, Spain granted its Spanish Sahara (Western Sahara) province independence. Mauritania and Morocco quickly divided the country among themselves. Shortly afterwards, the fighting began between the Moroccan army and units of the Frente Polisario (people's liberation movement of the Western Sahara) and units of Algeria that supported the Polisario. This called the " Democratic Arab Republic of the Sahara“And founded a government in exile. In 1979 Mauritania signed a peace treaty with the Polisario and gave up its stake in Western Sahara. Then Morocco occupied the whole territory. Since then, a bloody war has raged in Western Sahara, which put a heavy burden on Morocco. In August 1988, Morocco, which was increasingly isolated internationally on the Western Sahara question, and the Polisario agreed to the United Nations' Western Sahara Planto, which provided for a ceasefire and the holding of a referendum on the future fate of the occupied territory. In 1991 a ceasefire was agreed. Since then, the referendum has been postponed again and again because both sides were unable to reach an agreement on the exact number of voters. Meanwhile, Morocco is pursuing a comprehensive settlement policy in the Western Sahara. A large part of the Western Saharan population lives in refugee camps in Algeria.

There are still unresolved territorial disputes with Spain over the exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and the coastal islands of Isla Perejil , Chafarinas, Alhucemas and Vélez de la Gomera . The sovereignty of Spain over the named areas is not recognized by Morocco. The dispute escalated in 2002 when a tiny contingent of Moroccan troops occupied Isla Perejil. A Spanish army commando bloodied the Moroccan soldiers and repatriated them. The dispute became diplomatic through the mediation of the USA and the EUdefused. Regardless of this small incident, the practical cooperation between the Spanish and Moroccan authorities on site is excellent, which both sides have always officially assured. American-Moroccan relations, on the other hand, are so good that in June 2004 the United States granted Morocco the status of a major ally outside of NATO .

King Mohammed VI set up an independent national commission for equality and reconciliation in April 2004 , which should deal with the coming to terms with human rights violations from the reign of his father, King Hassan. From December 2004 public hearings of former prisoners took place, which were also broadcast on radio and television. In order not to endanger the idea of ​​national reconciliation, the accused were not mentioned by name. The main aim is not to prosecute the perpetrators, but to provide moral reparation for the victims and their families. The human rights situation nevertheless gave rise to criticism. The organization Reporters Without Bordersat the same time made serious charges against the government for the detention and torture of journalists. In addition, between 2,000 and 7,000 people were arrested in connection with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and in Casablanca (May 16, 2003) and Madrid (2004) . Therefore, in May 2005, a new program was started for the economic and social development of the slums, which are considered the main breeding ground for Islamist violence.

At the beginning of 2011, in the wake of the Arab Spring , protests broke out in several cities calling for a democratic constitution. The top government responded with a constitutional referendum , which was boycotted by the opposition movement. The constitutional amendment, which was adopted with 98% approval, for the first time codifies Moroccan Tamazight as the official language alongside Arabic and shifts some powers from the king to the prime minister and parliament. The king is also now obliged to appoint the prime minister from the party that won the most parliamentary seats in the elections. So far he has had a free hand in this regard.


Political system

Saadeddine Othmani, Prime Minister since April 5, 2017

According to the constitution of 1992, last amended in 1996 and 2011, Morocco is a nominal constitutional monarchy whose current head of state has been King Mohammed VI since July 23, 1999 . is that the dynasty of Alawites belongs. He is the commander in chief of the armed forces. The king not only appoints the prime minister , who is usually proposed by the strongest political party in parliament, but also individual ministers and has to approve the entire cabinet. He also has the right to dissolve Parliament at any time and to declare a state of emergency. Compared to EuropeanAs a monarch, the Moroccan king has more extensive powers under a limited separation of powers . In the 2019 Democracy Index of the British magazine The Economist, Morocco ranks 96th out of 167 countries and is therefore a "hybrid regime" of democratic and authoritarian elements. In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “partially free”.

Under the influence of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt , the Moroccans also demonstrated on February 20, 2011 for political reforms and more democracy. In response, King Mohammed VI suggested . proposed a constitutional reform on June 17, 2011 , which was confirmed in a referendum on July 1, 2011 . According to the reform, the king is giving up some of his previous rights to parliament and prime minister. He is also obliged to choose the head of government from the party with the most seats in parliament.

Prime Minister since November 2011 has been Abdelilah Benkirane , previously Secretary General of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) , the strongest party in parliament since the parliamentary elections in Morocco in 2011 . After the parliamentary elections in Morocco in 2016 , which the PJD also won, Benkirane was unable to form a new government. On March 15, 2017, he was officially dismissed by the King as Prime Minister, and his party colleague Saadeddine Othmani was entrusted with forming a government. He was sworn in on April 5, 2017.

houses of Parliament

After the constitutional reform of 1996, Morocco had a bicameral system made up of a national assembly and a senate. The National Assembly now consisted of 325 members who are directly elected every five years; 30 seats were reserved for women. All Moroccans over the age of 20 were eligible to vote. The National Assembly was able to express its distrust in the Prime Minister with a two-thirds majority . The Senate consisted of 270 members who were elected indirectly every nine years. The laws passed by parliament required the approval of the monarch. In order to implement the reforms quickly, the parliamentary election was heldbrought forward by about ten months to November 25, 2011. According to the new constitution, a total of 395 parliamentary seats will be allocated, 305 of them via party lists in 92 electoral districts. The other 90 seats are chosen from a so-called national list ; 60 seats are reserved for women and 30 seats for young MPs under 40 years of age.


The last election under the old constitution took place in September 2007. It was regarded as orderly and transparent, but the turnout was only 37% - a historic low. The strongest parties were Istiqlal (PI), PJD , which subsequently provided the Prime Minister, the MP , RNI and UNFP . The moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) became the second largest party.

The 2011 parliamentary elections in Morocco , in which 31 national parties or lists took part, were won by the Party for Justice and Development , French Parti de la justice et du développement (PJD). Despite calls for boycotts by some opposition groups, voter turnout was just under 45%, which is significantly higher than in the last election. However, this percentage only refers to the number of registered voters, which despite population growth was around 13.5 million, lower than in 2007 (around 15 million). The total eligible population was around 21 million.

The parliamentary elections in Morocco in 2016 , with 24 participating parties, were once again won by the PJD - even more votes were achieved. The previous Prime Minister Abdelillah Benkirane was therefore once again commissioned by the King to form a government, which, however, failed. On March 15, 2017, Benkirane was therefore dismissed as Prime Minister despite his election victory.

Political party Expression Leading head Results 2011 Results 2016
Share of votes Seats Share of votes Seats
Justice and Development Party (PJD) Conservatism , Islamism , economic liberalism Abdelillah Benkirane 22.8% 107 27.9% 125
Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) indefinite, favored by the king Iliad El Omari 11.1% 047 21.0% 102
Istiqlal or "Party of Independence" (PI) Conservatism , nationalism Abdelhamid Chabat 11.9% 060 10.7% 046
National Association of Independents (RNI) Liberalism , center-right Aziz Akhannouch 11.3% 052 09.4% 037
Popular Movement (MP) Royalism , representation of rural areas Mohand Laenser 07.5% 032 06.9% 027
Socialist Union of People's Forces (USFP) Social democracy Driss Lachgar 08.6% 039 06.2% 020th
Constitutional Union (UC) Royalism, conservatism , economic liberalism Mohammed Sajid 05.8% 023 04.7% 019th
Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS) socialism Mohamed Nabil Benabdallah 05.7% 018th 04.5% 012

The remaining seven seats are divided between four other parties.

Legal system

The country's constitution grants an independent judiciary . The legal system is largely based on the French model. The Moudawana , which contains European civil law and is based on the laws of Sunni Islam ( Shari'a ), applies to family and inheritance law . For Jews applies Talmudic family law. The highest judicial authority is the Supreme Court in Rabat. Its judges are appointed by the king.

Human rights

Amnesty International sees the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly in connection with state security severely restricted. The government sometimes reacts very intolerantly to opinions or information that are viewed as an attack on the monarchy. Human rights defenders, journalists and others were prosecuted for denouncing corruption and criticizing the authorities.

In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Morocco was ranked 133rd out of 180 countries. Four bloggers and citizen journalists are in custody in Morocco . According to the NGO report, the press freedom situation in the country is "difficult".

In the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International , the country, along with Liberia , Indonesia , North Macedonia and Colombia, was ranked 90th out of 176 countries (as of 2016).

Women's rights

According to the constitution (from 2011), women and men have the same rights. The Moroccan Constitution also requires women to be of legal age to marry, although certain exceptions are allowed. However, the Moroccan Ministry of Justice found in a study that the number of underage married people almost doubled between 2004 and 2013 (from 18,341 to 35,152). According to the Geneva World Economic Forum, Morocco ranks 133rd out of 142 for women's rights.

Homosexuality especially among men

The Moroccan criminal law Article 489 threatens same-sex acts - regardless of the gender of the person - with a prison sentence of six months to three years and a fine. In the 19th century and up to the 1960s, Morocco was considered a tolerant country, especially in the Arab world, with regard to sexual affection among men, which is still practiced today.

In 2009, 25 participants in a pilgrimage in honor of Saint Sidi Ali Ben Hamduch, who, according to legend, was homosexual, were arrested on suspicion of being gay. For many years before that, the participation of homosexual couples in this event had been tolerated. The homosexual organization Kifkif (from Gleich zu Gleich) detects regression and reports specifically on a campaign by the Islamist party PJD and a fatwa against the “glossing over homosexuality”. There are repeated raids and arrests of men.

Foreign policy

Diplomatic relations

Morocco is a member of

Because of the admission of the Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara (Western Sahara) to the African Union (AU), Morocco was the only African state to withdraw its membership in the AU, which Morocco co-founded, for 33 years. On January 30, 2017, Morocco was re-admitted to the African Union.

Morocco is an important partner of the European Union (EU). The Association Agreement, which entered into force in 2000, provides the general framework for relations between the EU and Morocco. Morocco and the EU are cooperating within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP).

In 1987 Morocco had applied for membership of the EC . This was rejected by the Council of the EC on July 14, 1987 for geographical reasons. Morocco cooperates with the EU as part of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership .

In 2012, the EU and Morocco concluded a liberalization agreement with measures for the mutual liberalization of trade in agricultural products, processed agricultural products, fish and fishery products, the territorial scope of which is the same as that of the EU-Morocco Association Agreement.

In December 2011, the Council gave the European Commission the green light to start trade negotiations with Morocco. Since then, the EU has been negotiating a deeper and comprehensive free trade agreement with Morocco.

On June 7, 2013, the EU and Morocco agreed on a mobility partnership, based on which negotiations on an agreement to facilitate visa issuing procedures for certain categories of people (including students, academics and business people) could be entered and negotiations on an agreement on the readmission of illegal migrants could resume .

Morocco has been on the list of major non-NATO ally since 2004 , making it one of the USA's closest diplomatic and strategic partners outside of NATO .


Moroccan Floreal-class frigate: MUHAMMED V (FFGHM 611)

The Moroccan military was founded in 1956 after independence from France and Spain. Today it is divided into five parts.

part people founding
Royal Moroccan Army 175,000 1956
Royal Moroccan Air Force 013,500 1956
Royal Moroccan Navy 011,500 1960
Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie 023,000 1956
Royal Moroccan Protection Force 003,000 1956
All in all 226,000 -

Between 1951 and 1963 there were several bases of the US Strategic Air Command in Morocco .

The military fought in 1973 in the Yom Kippur War , took part in the Green March in 1975 and intervened in the Shaba conflict between Zaire and Angola in 1977 . On August 31, 2006, general conscription was abolished in Morocco. Morocco spent almost 3.2% of its economic output or 3.5 billion US dollars on its armed forces in 2017.

Administrative division

In 1997, as part of a decentralization program, the country's prefectures and provinces became 16  regions (arab.جهة jiha ) summarized; these were reduced to 12 in 2015. At the head of each region is a wali (governor)appointed by the king.

The regions are further subdivided into 13 prefectures (عمالة ʿAmāla ) and 62 provinces (إقليم, DMG iqlīm ), with the prefectures largely comprising urban areas and the provinces being more rural. The lowest level of regional authorities is made up of over 1500 municipalities (جماعة jamāʿa ). Between the municipalities and the provincial and prefecture levels, as part of a deconcentration program, districts (دائرة dāʾira ), paschaliks (باشوية bāschawiyya ) and Caïdats (قيادة qiyāda ).

The twelve regions of Morocco
Regions, provinces and prefectures of Morocco
region Area
in km²
prefecture / province
Al Hoceïma
16,170 3,556,729 Al Hoceïma Province 399,654
Chefchaouen Province 457.432
Fahs-Anjra Province 76,447
Larache Province 496,687
M'Diq-Fnideq prefecture 209,897
Ouezzane Province 300,637
Tangier-Asilah Province 1,065,601
Tetouan Province 550.374
Oriental 66,110 2,314,246 Berkane Province 289.137
Driouch Province 211.059
Figuig Province 138,325
Guercif Province 216.717
Jerada Province 108,727
Nador Province 565,426
Oujda-Angad Prefecture 551,667
Taourirt Province 233.188
Fès-Meknes 38,880 4,236,892 Boulemane Province 197,596
El Hajeb Province 247.016
Fes prefecture 1,150,131
Ifrane Province 155.221
Meknes prefecture 835,695
Moulay Yacoub Province 174.079
Sefrou Province 286,489
Taounate Province 662.246
Taza Province 528.419
Rabat-Salé-Kénitra 17,690 4,580,866 Province of Kénitra 1,061,435
Khémisset Province 542.221
Rabat prefecture 577,827
Salé prefecture 982.163
Sidi Kacem Province 522.270
Sidi Slimane Province 320.407
Skhirate-Témara Province 574,543
Béni Mellal-Khénifra 27,750 2,520,776 Azilal Province 554.001
Béni Mellal Province 550,678
Fquih Ben Salah Province 502,827
Province of Khénifra 371.145
Khouribga Province 542.125
Casablanca Settat 20,190 6,861,739 Benslimane Province 233.123
Berrechid Province 484,518
Casablanca prefecture 3,359,818
El Jadida Province 786.716
Médiouna Province 172,680
Mohammedia prefecture 404.648
Province of Nouaceur 333,604
Settat Province 634.184
Sidi Bennour Province 452,448
Marrakech-Safi 39,040 4,520,569 Al Haouz Province 573.128
Chichaoua Province 369.955
El Kelaâ des Sraghna Province 537,488
Essaouira Province 450,527
Marrakech prefecture 1,330,468
Rehamna Province 315,077
Safi Province 691.983
Youssoufia Province 251.943
Drâa-Tafilalet 86,140 1,635,008 Errachidia Province 418.451
Midelt Province 289,337
Ouarzazate Province 297.502
Tinghir Province 322.412
Zagora province 307.306
Souss-Massa 53,720 2,676,847 Agadir-Ida ou Tanane Prefecture 600,599
Chtouka-Aït Baha Province 371.102
Inezgane-Aït Melloul prefecture 541.118
Taroudant Province 838.820
Tata Province 117,841
Tiznit Province 207,367
Oued Noun
44,130 433,757 Assa-zag province 44,124
Guelmim Province 187,808
Sidi Ifni Province 115,691
Tan-Tan Province 86,134
Sakia El Hamra
140.018 367,758 Boujdour Province 50,566
Es-Semara Province 66,014
Laayoune Province 238.096
Tarfaya Province 13,082
Oued Ed-Dahab
142,865 142.955 Aousserd province 16,190
Oued ed Dahab Province 126,765

Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab , the greater part of Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra and a small part of Guelmim-Oued Noun form the Western Sahara , whose membership of Morocco is not internationally recognized.

Biggest cities

The population of the largest cities, some with suburbs, based on a calculation from 2012:

  1. Casablanca : 3,672,900 inhabitants
  2. Rabat : 1,722,860 inhabitants (with Salé and Temara )
  3. Fès : 1,077,468 inhabitants
  4. Marrakech : 920,142 inhabitants
  5. Tangier : 792,166 inhabitants
  6. Agadir : 781,795 inhabitants
  7. Meknes : 696,108 inhabitants
  8. Oujda : 427,533 inhabitants
  9. Kenitra : 403,262 inhabitants
  10. Tetouan : 363,000 inhabitants



The mainstays of the Moroccan economy are agriculture and mining ; work is also being carried out on building up (the infrastructure) of the fish industry. The production of phosphate is of great importance . The increasing processing of the rock phosphates in the own fertilizer and chemical industry increases the export value. In order to promote industrialization in other areas as well, Morocco is trying to attract foreign investors.

Morocco has a market economy- oriented economic system that provides for the protection of property as well as freedom of trade and establishment and competition . At the time of Hassan II , Morocco applied for membership in the EC, but it was rejected. Morocco's goal of closer ties to the EU has come a little closer with the signing of an association agreement with the EU in 1996 (which came into force in 2000). The kingdom has been trying to privatize its state-owned enterprises since the late 1980s, with fewer than a quarter of these state-owned companies having gone through this process to date. Only recently did Morocco allow foreign credit institutions to acquire minority stakes in Moroccan banks. Most of the investments (especially in infrastructure) are still made by the state; they also concentrate on the coastal region, such as the expansion of the motorways and railways. The economic benefits of these major projects for the development of the country are often disputed, such as the expansion of the Tangier-Rabat high-speed line. The rural and agricultural regions benefit only slightly from these investments.

A free trade area was agreed with the USA in 2004 . The US- Moroccan Free Trade Agreement was ratified by the US Senate in July 2004 and came into force on July 1, 2006, allowing 95% of industrial and consumer goods to be traded without tariffs. Since then, the volume of trade between the two countries has increased more than 20 times.

A free trade agreement for agricultural products has been in place with the EU since 2012, as has a fisheries protocol since 2014. At the beginning of 2014, the third round of negotiations on a free trade agreement with the European Union was concluded. However, according to the judgment of the European Court of Justice in December 2016, products from the Western Sahara territory are excluded from the agreement.

In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Morocco ranks 71st out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). In 2017, Morocco ranked 86th out of 180 countries in the Economic Freedom Index .

Key figures

All GDP values ​​are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).

year 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
GDP PPP (billion $) 028.90 043.83 063.46 078.02 103.65 147.80 163.88 174.18 188.11 197.59 207.63 233.04 248.54 259.76 274.52 281.42 298.57 314.74
GDP PPP per capita 1,487 1.997 2,626 2,957 3,665 4,891 5,354 5,619 5,993 6.216 6,451 6,846 7,095 7,446 7,691 8,045 8,160 8,566
GDP growth (real) 3.8% 6.3% 4.0% −5.4% 1.9% 3.3% 7.6% 3.5% 5.9% 4.2% 3.8% 5.2% 3.0% 4.5% 2.7% 4.6% 1.2% 4.2%
Inflation in percent 9.4% 7.7% 6.0% 6.1% 1.9% 1.0% 3.3% 2.0% 3.9% 1.0% 1.0% 0.9% 1.3% 1.9% 0.4% 1.5% 1.6% 0.8%
Public debt as a
percentage of GDP
... ... 76% 78% 70% 62% 57% 52% 45% 46% 49% 53% 57% 62% 63% 65% 65% 64%

Natural resources

Morocco is rich in phosphate ; around 75% of the phosphate extracted worldwide comes from Morocco. There are also deposits of crude oil , natural gas , coal , salt , iron ore , lead , copper , zinc , silver , gold , manganese , nickel , and cobalt . Morocco can only cover around 13% of its energy requirements from its own resources. In the controversial Western Sahara large amounts of phosphate are also present, and large oil and natural gas deposits are suspected there.

Morocco, unusually, does not legally restrict the export of meteorites it finds . This often leads to the search for meteorites in the desert, including the smuggling of meteorites from neighboring countries such as Libya and a wide range of public markets. A crowdfunding for the purchase of the two-part, larger lunar meteorite Oued Awlitis 001 for 110,000 euros for the Natural History Museum Vienna failed in January 2015.

Energy industry

Electricity supply

The Amogdoul wind farm, which went into operation in 2007 near Essaouira . With an output of 60 MW, the annual electricity generation is over 210
GWh due to the strong trade winds and the coastal location  .

According to the Office National de l'Electricité et de l'Eau Potable (ONEE), the installed capacity of power plants in Morocco was 8,261.7 MW at the end of 2016  , of which 5,412 MW were thermal power plants and 1,770 MW were hydropower plants .

Supply-dependent wind turbines and solar power plants were installed to the extent of 898 MW and 181 MW respectively. A total of 30.8 TWh were produced in 2016  , of which 0.4 TWh from pump storage, 3.0 TWh from wind turbines and 0.4 TWh from solar power plants. In 2016, Morocco was 68th in the world both in terms of annual generation with 28.75 billion kWh and in terms of installed capacity with 8,303 MW.

As of 2014, the largest power plant in the country is the Jorf Lasfar coal-fired power plant with an installed capacity of 2,056 MW, which covers about 1/3 of Morocco's electricity needs.

The grid of Morocco since 1997 with the European grid system synchronized, as a first phase current - submarine cables (400  kV , 700  MW was installed) from Spain. Another submarine cable with the same output followed in 2006, so that the transmission capacity between Spain and Morocco is now 1,400 MW. Morocco receives 5.289 TWh annually  (2016) from Spain.

Morocco is 99.4% electrified in rural areas; this value was still 20% in the mid-1990s.

energy transition

Morocco has set itself ambitious goals to transform the energy industry through an energy turnaround and thus to strengthen the sustainability and energy security of Morocco's energy industry. The conversion from fossil to renewable energies while increasing energy efficiency , which is being promoted within the framework of the National Energy Plan, is considered to be the most important task of Moroccan politics. In order to become less dependent on fossil energy imports, the country is investing in the expansion of wind and solar energy . On May 10, 2013, a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony was held by King Mohammed VI.the implementation of the Moroccan solar plan to build up two gigawatts of solar capacity by 2020 has started. The first to be built is the Ouarzazate solar thermal power plant , which is funded by Germany with around 770 million euros.

In February 2013, the French energy supplier GDF Suez announced that it intends to build (or have Siemens built) and operate the Tarfaya wind farm in Morocco . 131  wind turbines with a nominal output of 301 megawatts were built near the coastal town of Tarfaya . The wind farm went into operation in 2014.

In March 2014 a tender for a further 850 MW of wind power capacity was put out to tender. Two gigawatts of wind power are to be installed by 2020 and a separate wind power industry is to be set up in parallel. At that time, 495 MW were in operation across the country, 450 MW under construction and over 500 MW in planning.

In February 2016, the first part of the Ouarzazate solar thermal power plant went into operation; At the UN climate conference in Marrakech , the country decided in an alliance with other countries affected by climate change (CVF) to switch completely to renewable energies as quickly as possible.

At the UN climate conference in Marrakech 2016, the country was able to present itself as a pioneer for climate protection in Africa with the construction of new solar power plants ; by 2030, half of the electricity is to be generated with sun, wind and hydropower plants: In Ouarzazate, the radiation intensity is the Sun with an annual 2500 kilowatt hours per square meter is twice as high as in Germany, for the daily peak demand in the evening, the solar energy can be stored with 537,000 parabolic troughs (Noor I) in a silo with special salt and retrieved with a turbine. In addition to the large power plants, solar modules on house roofs should also contribute to the energy supply in the future.

In the Climate Protection Index , an instrument for evaluating the climate protection performance of countries, Morocco achieved 7th place in 2021.


Aerial view: fields near Casablanca

The Agriculture Morocco made in 2003 17% of GDP from, but can be considered as the most important economic sector, since 43.6% of the working population is employed. The west and north-west of Morocco are mainly used for agriculture; around 18% of the country's area is arable land. Extensive irrigation cultures can be found in the coastal plains of Rharb ( Sebou lowland) and Sous as well as near Marrakech and Fès; In order to be able to irrigate further areas, additional dams are built. The unequal distribution of land between the small farmers and the large landowners, who cultivate most of the land, could hardly be changed even by several agricultural reforms. Are cultivated cereals ( wheat , barley , corn , millet , rice ), legumes , sugar beets , dates , sunflower , peanuts , olives , citrus fruits (especially tangerines ), cotton ,Wine , almonds , apricots , strawberries , new potatoes , asparagus , artichokes and tobacco .

Cattle breeding in the steppes of the Meseta, in the east of the country and in the mountains is partly nomadic ( sheep , goats , cattle , donkeys , dromedaries , horses , poultry ). Around 10% of the forest is made up of cork oaks ; Morocco is the third largest cork producer in the world, after Portugal and Spain. Inshore and deep sea fisheries on the Atlantic coast ( sardines and shellfish ) are important for export.

Cannabis is grown on an area of ​​around 250,000 hectares to produce hashish , which has a market share of around 70% in Europe. An estimated 200,000 farmers with families, i.e. around a million people, make their living from exports, which include around 3,000 tons of hashish per year.


View of a tannery and dye works in Fez

In 2003, the industrial, mining and construction sectors generated a total of 30% of GDP , but only 19.7% of all persons in employment are employed there. The industry is strongly oriented towards the internal market; however, foreign markets are gaining in importance. In the food industry , sugar and oil production and the production of canned fruit , vegetables and fish dominate. Metal and plastics processing as well as the automotive industry and the assembly of electrical appliances have developed favorably . There is also an important chemicalIndustry, cement production and petroleum processing . Traditional handicrafts ( carpets , leather , copper , gold and silver work ) are still an important branch of the economy .

The largest company in Morocco is OCP, with its headquarters in Casablanca. OCP is the world market leader in phosphate and fertilizer production.


Fish market in Essaouira

The main trading partner is Europe, e.g. B. in the powder industry , i.e. H. Boiled North Sea prawns are brought to Poland, Russia or Morocco for pulping (removal of the chitin shell) because pulping there is 20 times cheaper than machine winding in Germany. The jobs are in demand. The workers, mostly women (30% can read and write), can earn around 150 euros a month. When the shrimp come back to Germany, they are around three weeks old.

The money to modernize the fishing industry comes from the EU . It has paid EUR 36 million annually for fishing licenses since 2007. Ports have been modernized, fishing centers and research facilities have been built. However, the waters were systematically emptied by the industrial mass fishing methods, the local fishermen could not keep up in order to survive, as ferrymen they transport economic refugees to Europe ( Canary Islands ). "In this way, the EU indirectly takes care of tour operators and boat refugees who are experienced at sea ".

Services and tourism

In 2003, the service sector generated 54% of GDP , with 36.7% of the workforce working in this sector.

Morocco is one of the most important travel destinations in North Africa and generates 10% of its foreign exchange through tourism . Around 80% of the tourists who visit Morocco are Europeans ; the largest group in 2013 was French (33%), followed by Spaniards (12.8%) and Germans (4.46%). Morocco received 10.3 million tourists in 2016; In 2012 it was 9.4 million, in 2008 it was a total of eight million, generating sales of around 115 billion dirhams. Morocco is now the most visited country in Africa. In addition to the diverse landscape and cultural differences, Morocco offers a multitude of sights of its oriental history. The most visited cities areMarrakech , Agadir , Casablanca , Tangier , Fez , Ouarzazate and Rabat . In 2016, revenue totaled by tourists in Morocco about 6,548 million US dollars . There are a total of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country . Tourism is one of the most important pillars for the economic development of Morocco. It contributes around ten percent of GDP and currently provides more than 500,000 jobs.

Morocco had 207,572 classified hotel beds in 2013. In addition, there are thousands of overnight accommodations in riads , renovated traditional houses mostly in the old towns.

Foreign trade

In 1961 a trade agreement was concluded between the Federal Republic of Germany and Morocco.

In 2004 goods with a total value of 9.6 billion US dollars were exported. Morocco's main export goods are consumer goods , which accounted for 37% of the export volume (of which 31% textiles ). 27% were semi-finished goods (8% phosphoric acid , 6% transistors , 5% fertilizer ), 16% food , 8% capital goods and 7% raw materials . The main buyers of Moroccan goods are France (33%), Spain (17%), Great Britain (8%), Italy (5%), the USA (4%), India (4%) as well as Germany andBrazil (3% each).

Goods with a total value of US $ 14.9 billion are imported into Morocco every year. These are mainly industrial intermediate and semi-finished goods (23%), consumer goods (23%), capital goods (21%), crude oil (9%), food (9%), fuels (7%) and animals and plants (5th %). The main suppliers of these imported goods are France (18%), Spain (12%), Italy (7%), Germany (6%), Russia (6%), Saudi Arabia (5%) and the PR China (4%).

Since 2012, the year the Renault plant opened in Tangier in northern Morocco, exports from the automotive industry have grown steadily. In 2015 these goods exported to the value of 4.45 billion euros (in 2014 it was 3.8 billion euros), before phosphate products with 4.1 billion euros and agriculture and fisheries with 3.9 billion euros. The exports of the textile and leather industry amounted to 2.8 billion euros in 2013. This year the offshoring and electronics sectors each exported EUR 0.7 billion. In 2014, the young aviation industry exported goods worth EUR 0.7 billion.

The country can partially offset its deficit trade balance through remittances from Moroccans working abroad and through increasing income from tourism. In Europe alone there are around 2.5 million Moroccan labor emigrants who, through their transfers, ensure a foreign exchange supply of around five billion euros. In 2013 Morocco was visited by almost ten million tourists. This brought in EUR 5.2 billion.

State budget

The state budget in 2017 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 26.75 billion, which was offset by income equivalent to US $ 22.81 billion. This results in a budget deficit of 3.6% of GDP .

The national debt was 65.1% of GDP in 2017. The state 's government bonds are rated BBB− by the American rating agency Standard & Poor’s (as of November 2018). The country is thus considered to be a debtor of average quality.

In 2006, the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was as follows:


Road traffic

The traffic routes are well developed, especially in the northwest. The road network covers 62,000 km, around half of which is paved . Over 1677 km are motorways . In the big cities the streets are partly congested.

The road network maintained by the Ministère de l'Equipement, du Transport et de la Logistique is classified into four categories: motorways, national roads, regional roads and provincial roads.

Rail transport

The railroad is operated by the state's Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF) . The backbone of the railway network (2109 kilometers long) is the route from Oujda on the Algerian border via Fes and Casablanca to Marrakech, from which several branch lines branch off. Over 1000 km of the railway are electrified. Two TGV lines are planned between Tangier and Agadir and between Casablanca and Oujda, which should go into operation by 2030. The first stage of the LGV Tanger – Kenitra was opened on November 15, 2018. In rail freight transport is the transport of phosphateto the ports on the Atlantic with about 27 million tons.

air traffic

Morocco has a well-developed flight network with 15 international airports and a large number of small national airports. The leading airport is Casablanca. The most important airport for tourism is Agadir. The leading airline is the state-owned Royal Air Maroc . The airports are operated by the Office National des Aéroports (ONDA) .


From 2006 to 2008 one of the largest port projects in the Mediterranean region was implemented in Tangier . A container port with a deep-water container terminal, terminals for bulk goods, general cargo, oil and gas, and a ferry port for five million passengers and 500,000 vehicles per year were built. The port of Tangier competes with the port of Algeciras (Spain) opposite .




Morocco is still a popular location for historical and Bible adaptations . Many well-known directors, including Ridley Scott ( Gladiator , Kingdom of Heaven ) and Franco Zeffirelli ( Jesus of Nazareth ) have shot their films here. The 13-part TV series The Bible was also produced here between 1993 and 2001 . Many of the residents of Ouarzazate , Aït-Ben-Haddou and the immediate vicinity, as well as their families, make a living from the film industry, as they often take care of the authentic extras during production.



The highest Moroccan league of the national sport of football is the Groupement National de Football (GNF 1).


Web links

Wiktionary: Morocco  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Morocco  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Morocco  Travel Guide
Wikisource: Morocco  - Sources and full texts
Wikimedia Atlas: Morocco  geographical and historical maps

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Coordinates: 31 °  N , 8 °  W