Morocco

It is an Islamic country located in the far west of North Africa, its capital is Rabat and its largest city is Casablanca; it overlooks the Mediterranean Sea in the north and the Atlantic Ocean in the west and is bordered by Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south; and in the narrow maritime strip separating Morocco and Spain, there are disputed concentrations between the two countries, namely Ceuta, Melilla and a number of islands.

The constitution states that the state is Islamic and that the country is multicultural: “The Kingdom of Morocco is an Islamic state (…) united by the fusion of all its components, Arab-Islamic, Amazigh, and Saharan Hassaniya, rich in African, Andalusian, Hebrew and Mediterranean tributaries.”

Morocco is a member of the League of Arab States, the Union for the Mediterranean, and the African Union; there is a strategic partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council, an economic partnership with the European Union, a military partnership with NATO, and there is an investment orientation towards African countries.

The country’s population was 36,838,400 as of January 15, 2023, according to the inductive estimate of official data, with a population growth of 1.26% per year between 2015 and 2020, while the total fertility rate was 2.29 children per woman in 2021.

Are Moroccans Arab or African?

Most of the population is Moroccan, Arab, and Amazigh, and they are Muslims according to the Maliki school. There are minorities of the black race known as Haratine and Gnawa The number of Jews in Morocco was 265,000 in 1948, but it dropped to about 2,500 in 2018 due to the immigration of many of them to Israel and Europe.

Do Moroccans have black genes?

Genetic studies on Moroccans have shown that Arabs and Amazighs (who are distinguished on linguistic grounds) do not differ significantly in terms of their genetic makeup, and these researchers concluded that Arabization in Morocco was mainly through a process of cultural assimilation. The European Bulletin of Human Genetics states that the Moroccans in West North Africa were genetically closer to the Iberian population than to the Bantu people living in sub-Saharan Africa.

Most foreigners residing in Morocco are of European origin, especially French and Spaniards, who numbered nearly half a million settlers before independence and congregated in the capital Rabat or major cities such as Casablanca, Tangier, and Tetouan. Christianity in Morocco is about 1.1 percent, or about 380,000 inhabitants, according to 2009 estimates; according to various estimates, there are between 2,000 and 150,000 Moroccans who converted to Christianity, most of whom worship secretly for fear of persecution.

Languages and dialects

A person who speaks the Moroccan dialect.

Moroccan Darija is one of the dialects of Arabic, classified within the Maghreb tongue (which is the tongue of Moroccans, Algerians, and Tunisians), used by most Moroccans as the language of communication and is the mother tongue of 50% of Moroccans, and spoken in some Amazigh-speaking regions as a secondary tongue. The Moroccan dialect is widespread in European countries such as France, Spain, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands; the Moroccan and Algerian dialects have a clear influence on the French street dialect.

Arabic and Amazigh are the official languages of Morocco. About 13.5 million people out of 32 million, or about 45% of the population (no official statistics) speak Amazigh in its three dialects: Tarifit, Tachelhit and Atlantic; most of them live in rural areas and for them this language is either their first language or they speak it along with Moroccan dialect.

Infrastructure – Transportation

Morocco’s infrastructure is among the most developed in Africa and modernization plans are underway. The country has a road network of about 57,334 kilometers, a motorway network of 1,588 kilometers according to 2015 data, and underground roads, most notably the Almohad Tunnel, which is among the longest in Africa.

The automotive market in Morocco is described as one of the most important with 133,315 cars sold in 2020. Electric cars are available at charging stations distributed on the most important road axes. Foreign vehicles are eligible for compulsory insurance if they have a green card or orange card valid in terms of duration and included in the scope of the guarantee for Morocco.

Morocco has adopted huge financial investments to renovate and develop railways, build new and modern train stations, acquire high-speed trains and build their own railway lines, and until 2018, the length of the railways in Morocco reached 3,815 kilometers, of which 64% are electrified railways and 585 passenger cars. The number of passengers reached 35 million, and the number of train stations reached 137. The country has rapid transit systems through the Rabat Tramway between Rabat and Salé, and Casa Tramway in Casablanca.

How rich is Morocco?

Morocco is a developing country and is an emerging market. Since 1993, the Moroccan government has pursued a policy of privatization of some public sectors to increase their efficiency and remove part of the burden they carry. The Ithmaar Resources Fund is Morocco’s sovereign wealth fund, targeting long-term investment in the local and African market.

The Moroccan dirham is the official currency of the country, and the exchange rate set by Bank Al-Maghrib is based on a ±2.5% fluctuation around the pivotal exchange rate based on the basket of currencies consisting of the euro and the US dollar at 60% and 40%, respectively.

Foreign direct investment in Morocco increased from $2.4 billion in 2006 to $2.57 billion in 2007, placing the country fourth in Africa among the beneficiaries of FDI, although other studies give much higher figures. Morocco ranks 53rd globally with a “very easy” rating in the 2020 Ease of Doing Business Index.

How safe is Morroco

Tourism in Morocco

Tourism in Morocco plays an important role in Morocco’s economy, given the stability it enjoys compared to other neighboring countries in North Africa.

The Moroccan government established the first Ministry of Tourism in 1985. Tourism in Morocco is the nucleus of the service sector in Morocco, which has a road and railway network of 59,474 km and 1,813 km, and the most important international airports are located in: Casablanca, Rabat, Agadir, Fez, Marrakech, Tangier, Jeddah, Laayoune, Nador, Errachidia and Dakhla. The most important ports are also located in Casablanca, Mohammedia, Kenitra, Tangier, Dakhla, Nador and Agadir. The Ministry of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicrafts and Social Economy oversees Morocco’s tourism sector.

Morocco has many World Heritage Sites: the archaeological site of Volubilis, the palace of Ait Ben Haddou, Mazagan (El Jadida), the Medina of Essaouira, the Medina of Fez, the Medina of Marrakech, the Medina of Tetouan, the historic Medina of Meknes, the cultural space of Jamaâ El Fna Square, the Medina of Tangier and the Medina of Tan-Tan.