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Morocco Flag

Country Profile

Capital City: Rabat

Other Cities: Agadir, Casablanca, Fez, Marrakech, Meknes, Tangier (Tanger), Tetouan

Local Time: UTC +0h (no UTC/GMT offset)

Location: Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Area: 446 550 sq. km. (172 413 sq. mi.)
(The disputed territory of Western Sahara comprises another 267 000 sq. km or 102 700 sq. mi.).
Terrain: Coastal plains, mountains, desert.
Border countries: Algeria, (Mauritania) Western Sahara, Spain

Climate: Mediterranean, more extreme in the interior.


Type: Constitutional Monarchy.
Independence: 2 March 1956 (from France).

Nationality: Moroccan(s).
Population: 30 million
GNI per capita PPP: $ 4 444 (year) Ethnic groups: Arab, Berber, mixed Arab-Berber. Religions: Muslim
Languages: Arabic (official), several Berber dialects; French, usually the language of business, government, and diplomacy.
Literacy: 52%


Currency: Moroccan Dirham (MAD)

Natural resources: Phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt.

Agriculture products: Barley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables, olives; livestock.

Industries: Phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism.

Exports partners:
France 25.3%, Spain 18.4%, UK 8%, Italy 4.9%, Germany 4.6%, USA 4.6% (2004)

Imports partners: France 21.2%, Spain 14.9%, Germany 7.3%, Italy 6.9%, Saudi Arabia 4.8%, China 4.8% (2004)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Morocco

Premier Ministre

La Chambre des Representants - Parlement du Maroc

Mincom.. Ilaycom - The Kingdom of Morocco

Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres et de la Cooperation

Diplomatic Missions
Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the UN

Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Seoul

Moroccan Embassies & Consulates  abroad

Diplomatic corps & Consular accredited in Morocco

Direction de la Statistique

Institut National de Statistique et d'Economie Appliquée

Map of Morocco

Map of North Africa and the Middle East



Background:  Morocco's long struggle for independence from France ended
in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier was 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 in 1997.

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:  contiguous zone: 24 NM territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation exclusive
economic zone: 200 NM

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:
Jbel Toubkal 4,165 m

Natural resources:  phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc,
fish, salt

Land use:  arable land: 20% permanent crops: 2% other: 78% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  12,910 sq km (1998 est.)

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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes,
Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution,
Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Geography - note:  strategic
location along Strait of Gibraltar

People Morocco

Population:  31,167,783 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 33.8% (male 5,364,948; female 5,166,666)
15-64 years: 61.5% (male 9,518,503; female 9,640,292) 65 years and over:
4.7% (male 661,054; female 816,320) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  1.68% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  23.69 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  5.86 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  -1.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.81 male(s)/female total population: 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  46.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   72.08 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  2.97 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.03% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

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: 43.7% male: 56.6% female: 31% (1995 est.)

Government Morocco

Country name:   Kingdom of Morocco conventional short form:  Maghribiyah

Government type:  constitutional monarchy

Capital:  Rabat

Administrative divisions:  37 provinces and 2 wilayas*; Agadir, Al
Hoceima, Azilal, Beni Mellal, Ben Slimane, Boulemane, Casablanca*,
Chaouen, El Jadida, El Kelaa des Sraghna, Er Rachidia, Essaouira, Fes,
Figuig, Guelmim, Ifrane, Kenitra, Khemisset, Khenifra, Khouribga,
Laayoune, Larache, Marrakech, Meknes, Nador, Ouarzazate, Oujda,
Rabat-Sale*, Safi, Settat, Sidi Kacem, Tanger, Tan-Tan, Taounate,
Taroudannt, Tata, Taza, Tetouan, Tiznit note: three additional provinces
of Ad Dakhla (Oued Eddahab), Boujdour, and Es Smara as well as parts
of Tan-Tan and Laayoune fall within Moroccan-claimed Western Sahara;
decentralization/regionalization law passed by the legislature in March
1997 created many new provinces/regions; specific details and scope of
the reorganization not yet available

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
system; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber
of Supreme Court

Suffrage:  21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:   King MOHAMED VI (since 23 July 1999) head of
government:  Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch elections:
none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
following legislative elections

Legislative branch:  bicameral Parliament consists of an upper house or
Chamber of Counselors (270 seats; members elected indirectly by local
councils, professional organizations, and labor syndicates for nine-year
terms; one-third of the members are renewed every three years) and a lower
house or Chamber of Representatives (325 seats; members elected by popular
vote for five-year terms) elections: Chamber of Counselors - last held 15
September 2000 (next to be held NA 2002); Chamber of Representatives -
last held 14 November 1997 (next to be held NA November 2002) election
results: Chamber of Counselors - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats
by party - NA; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party -
NA%; seats by party - USFP 57, UC 50, RNI 46, MP 40, MDS 32, IP 32,
MNP 19, PND 10, MPCD 9, PPS 9, FFD 9, PSD 5, OADP 4, PA 2, PDI 1

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];
Avant Garde Social Democratic Party or PADS [Abderrahman BENAMROU];
Citizen's Forces [Abderrahman LAJOUJI]; Constitutional Union or CU
[Mohamed ABIED (interim)]; Democratic Forces Front or FFD [Thami EL
KHYARI]; Democratic Socialist Party or PSD [Eissa OUARDIGHI]; Democratic
Party for Independence or PDI [Abd al Wahid AL MAASH]; Democratic Union
or UD [Bouazza IKKEN]; Istiqlal Party or IP [Abbas El FASSI]; Moroccan
Liberal Party [Mohamed ZIANE]; National Democratic Party or PND [Abdallah
KADIRI]; National Popular Movement or MNP [Mahjoubi AHERDANE]; National
Rally of Independents or RNI [Ahmed OSMAN]; Organization of Democratic
and Popular Action or OADP [Mohamed Ben Said AIT IDDER]; Party of Justice
and Development or PJD (note - formerly the Popular Constitutional and
Democratic Movement or MPCD) [Dr.  Abdelkarim KHATIB]; Party of the
National Unionist Congress [Abdelmajid BOUZOUBAA]; Party of Progress
and Socialism or PPS [Ismail ALAOUI]; Party of Reform and Development
[Abderrahman EL KOUHEN]; Popular Movement or MP [Mohamed LAENSER];
Social Democratic Movement or MDS [Mahmoud AARSHANE]; Socialist Union
of Popular Forces or USFP [Abderrahman EL-YOUSSOUFI]

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 [leader
NA]; National Labor Union of Morocco or UNMT [Abdelslam MAATI]; Union
of Moroccan Workers or UMT [Mahjoub BENSEDDIK]

International organization participation:  ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, AFESD,
ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA,

Diplomatic representation in the US:   Ambassador Abdullah MAAROUFI
consulate(s) general:  7982 chancery: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington,
DC 20009

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Ms. Margaret TUTWILER (since 11 Jul.
 2 Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat mailing address:  (37) 76 56 61
 consulate(s) general: Casablanca

Flag description:  red with a green pentacle (five-pointed, linear
star) known as Solomon's seal in the center of the flag; green is the
traditional color of Islam

Economy Morocco

Economy - overview:  Morocco faces the problems typical of developing
countries - restraining government spending, reducing constraints on
private activity and foreign trade, and achieving sustainable economic
growth. Following structural adjustment programs supported by the IMF,
World Bank, and the Paris Club, the dirham is now fully convertible for
current account transactions, and reforms of the financial sector have
been implemented. Droughts depressed activity in the key agricultural
sector and contributed to a stagnant economy in 1999 and 2000.  During
that time, however, Morocco reported large foreign exchange inflows from
the sale of a mobile telephone license and partial privatization of the
state-owned telecommunications company.  Favorable rainfall in 2001 led
to a growth of 5%. Formidable long-term challenges include: servicing
the external debt; preparing the economy for freer trade with the EU;
and improving education and attracting foreign investment to boost living
standards and job prospects for Morocco's youth.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $112 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  5% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $3,700 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 15% industry: 33% services:
52% (2000 est.)

Population below poverty line:  19% (1999 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 30.9% (1998-99)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  39.5 (1998-99)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  1% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  11 million (1999)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture 50%, services 35%, industry 15%
(1999 est.)

Unemployment rate:  23% (1999 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $13.8 billion expenditures: $14.6 billion, including
capital expenditures of $2.1 billion (2001 est.)

Industries:  phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing,
leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism

Industrial production growth rate:  0.5% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production:  14.243 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 91.27% hydro: 8.73%
other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  14.346 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  1.1 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  barley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables,
olives; livestock

Exports:  $8.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  phosphates and fertilizers, food and beverages,

Exports - partners:  France 26%, Spain 10%, UK 8%, Italy 6%, Germany 5%,
India 5%, US 5% (2000)

Imports:  $12.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  semiprocessed goods, machinery and equipment,
food and beverages, consumer goods, fuel

Imports - partners:  France 25%, Spain 11%, Germany 6%, Italy 6%, UK 5%,
US 5% (2000)

Debt - external:  $19 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $565.6 million (1995)

Currency:  Moroccan dirham (MAD)

Currency code:  MAD

Exchange rates:  Moroccan dirhams per US dollar - 11.584 (January 2002),
11.303 (2001), 10.626 (2000), 9.804 (1999), 9.604 (1998), 9.527 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Morocco

Telephones - main lines in use:  1.391 million (1998)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  116,645 (1998)

Telephone system:  general assessment: modern system with all important
capabilities; however density is low with only 4.6 main lines available
for each 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: 7 submarine cables;
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 (1998)

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 Service Providers (ISPs):  8 (2000)

Internet users:  220,000 (2001)

Transportation Morocco

Railways:  total: 1,907 km standard gauge: 1,907 km 1.435-m gauge (1,003
km electrified; 540 km double-tracked) (2001)

Highways:  total: 57,847 km paved: 30,254 km (including 327 km of
expressways) unpaved: 27,593 km (1998)

Waterways:  none

Pipelines:  crude oil 362 km; petroleum products 491 km (abandoned);
natural gas 241 km

Ports and harbors:  Agadir, El Jadida, Casablanca, El Jorf Lasfar,
Kenitra, Mohammedia, Nador, Rabat, Safi, Tangier; also Spanish-controlled
Ceuta and Melilla

Merchant marine:  total: 41 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 227,364
GRT/277,306 DWT ships by type: cargo 10, chemical tanker 6, container 6,
petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 8, short-sea
passenger 1 note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as
a flag of convenience: Germany 1, Hong Kong 1, Netherlands 2, Norway 2
(2002 est.)

Airports:  67 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 26 over 3,047 m: 9 2,438 to 3,047
m: 6 914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 41 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524
to 2,437 m: 10 under 914 m: 11 (2001) 914 to 1,523 m: 19

Heliports:  1 (2001)

Military Morocco

Military branches:  Royal Armed Forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force),
Gendarmerie, Auxiliary Forces

Military manpower - military age:  18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 8,393,772 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 5,289,283
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 348,380
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $1.4 billion (FY99/00)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  4% (FY99/00)

Transnational Issues Morocco

Disputes - international:  claims and administers Western Sahara, but
sovereignty remains unresolved; UN-administered cease-fire has remained in
effect since September 1991, but attempts to hold a referendum have failed
and parties reject other proposals; Spain controls three small possessions
off the coast of Morocco - the islands of Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de
Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas and two autonomous communities
on the coast of Morrocco - Ceuta and Mellila; Morocco rejected Spain's
unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands in 2002 to
explore undersea resources and to interdict illegal refugees from Africa

Illicit drugs:  illicit producer of hashish; trafficking increasing
for both domestic and international drug markets; shipments of hashish
mostly directed to Western Europe; transit point for cocaine from South
America destined for Western Europe

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Moroccan News in French:
Al Bayane

Aujourd'hui Le Maroc

La Gazette Du Maroc

Le Matin

Maroc Hebdo International

Maghreb Arabe Presse

Arts & Culture
Moroccan Cinematographic Center

Business & Economy
Bank Al-Maghrib

Banque Commerciale du Maroc

BMCE Bank Group

Royal Air Maroc

Destination Morocco - Travel and Tour Guides
Office National Marocain du Tourisme

Moroc Net

Travel to Morocco

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City Guides


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