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Introduction - Morocco:

BackgroundIn 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, successive Moorish dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Saadi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Moroccos sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Morocco virtually annexed Western Sahara during the late 1970s, but final resolution on the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature, which first met in 1997. Lower house elections were last held in September 2002, while upper house elections were last held in September 2006.

Location - Morocco:
LocationNorthern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara

Geographic coordinates32 00 N, 5 00 W

Map referencesAfrica

Areatotal: 446,550 sq km
land: 446,300 sq km
water: 250 sq km

Area comparativeslightly larger than California

Land boundariestotal: 2,017.9 km
border countries: Algeria 1,559 km, Western Sahara 443 km, Spain (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Spain (Melilla) 9.6 km

Coastline1,835 km

Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

ClimateMediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior

Terrainnorthern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains

Elevation extremeslowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m
highest point: Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m

Natural resourcesphosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt

Land usearable land: 19%
permanent crops: 2%
other: 79% (2005)

Irrigated land14,450 sq km (2003)

Natural hazardsnorthern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts

Environment current issuesland 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 agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea

Geography notestrategic location along Strait of Gibraltar

People - Morocco:
Population33,757,175 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure0-14 years: 31% (male 5,339,730/female 5,140,482)
15-64 years: 63.9% (male 10,750,240/female 10,815,470)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 740,686/female 970,567) (2007 est.)

Median agetotal: 24.3 years
male: 23.8 years
female: 24.8 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate1.528% (2007 est.)

Birth rate21.64 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate5.54 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate-0.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.039 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.994 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.763 male(s)/female
total population: 0.994 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality ratetotal: 38.85 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 42.56 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 34.96 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 71.22 years
male: 68.88 years
female: 73.67 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate2.62 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate0.1% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids15,000 (2001 est.)

Hiv aids deathsNA

Nationalitynoun: Moroccan(s)
adjective: Moroccan

Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: may be a significant risk in some locations during the transmission season (typically April through November) (2007)

Ethnic groupsArab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%

ReligionsMuslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%

LanguagesArabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 52.3%
male: 65.7%
female: 39.6% (2004 census)

Government - Morocco:
Country nameconventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco
conventional short form: Morocco
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
local short form: Al Maghrib

Government typeconstitutional monarchy

Capitalname: Rabat
geographic coordinates: 34 01 N, 6 49 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions15 regions; Grand Casablanca, Chaouia-Ouardigha, Doukkala-Abda, Fes-Boulemane, Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen, Guelmim-Es Smara, Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra, Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, Meknes-Tafilalet, Oriental, Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer, Souss-Massa-Draa, Tadla-Azilal, Tanger-Tetouan, Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate
note: Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara, the political status of which is considered undetermined by the US Government; portions of the regions Guelmim-Es Smara and Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra as claimed by Morocco lie within Western Sahara; Morocco claims another region, Oued Eddahab-Lagouira, which falls entirely within Western Sahara

Independence2 March 1956 (from France)

National holidayThrone Day (accession of King MOHAMED VI to the throne), 30 July (1999)

Constitution10 March 1972; revised 4 September 1992, amended (to create bicameral legislature) September 1996

Legal systembased on Islamic law and French and Spanish civil law systems; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage18 years of age; universal (as of January 2003)

Executive branchchief of state: King MOHAMED VI (since 30 July 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Driss JETTOU (since 9 October 2002)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch following legislative elections

Legislative branchbicameral Parliament consists of a Chamber of Counselors (or upper house) (270 seats; members elected indirectly by local councils, professional organizations, and labor syndicates for nine-year terms; one-third of the members are elected every three years) and Chamber of Representatives (or lower house) (325 seats; 295 members elected by multi-seat constituencies and 30 from national lists of women; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Counselors - last held 6 October 2003 (election moved to 2007); Chamber of Representatives - last held 27 September 2002 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: Chamber of Counselors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RNI 42, MDS 33, UC 28, MP 27, PND 21, PI 21, USFP 16, MNP 15, PA 13, FFD 12, other 42; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - USFP 50, PI 48, PJD 42, RNI 41, MP 27, MNP 18, UC 16, FFD 12, PND 12, PPS 11, UD 10, other 38

Judicial branchSupreme Court (judges are appointed on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, presided over by the monarch)

Political parties and leadersAction Party or PA [Muhammad EL IDRISSI]; Alliance of Liberties or ADL [Ali BELHAJ]; Annahj Addimocrati or Annahj [Abdellah EL HARIF]; Avant Garde Social Democratic Party or PADS [Ahmed BENJELLOUN]; Citizen Forces or FC [Abderrahman LAHJOUJI]; Citizens Initiatives for Development [Mohamed BENHAMOU]; Constitutional Union or UC [Mohamed ABIED]; Democratic and Independence Party or PDI [Abdelwahed MAACH]; Democratic and Social Movement or MDS [Mahmoud ARCHANE]; Democratic Forces Front or FFD; Democratic Socialist Party or PSD [Aissa OUARDIGHI]; Democratic Union or UD [Bouazza IKKEN]; Environment and Development Party or PED [Ahmed EL ALAMI]; Front of Democratic Forces or FFD [Thami EL KHYARI]; Istiqlal Party (Independence Party) or PI [Abbas El FASSI]; Justice and Development Party or PJD [Saad Eddine El OTHMANI]; Moroccan Liberal Party or PML [Mohamed ZIANE]; National Democratic Party or PND [Abdallah KADIRI]; National Ittihadi Congress Party or CNI [Abdelmajid BOUZOUBAA]; National Popular Movement or MNP [Mahjoubi AHERDANE]; National Rally of Independents or RNI [Ahmed OSMAN]; National Union of Popular Forces or UNFP [Abdellah IBRAHIM]; Parti Al Ahd or Al Ahd [Najib EL OUAZZANI]; Party of Progress and Socialism or PPS [Ismail ALAOUI]; Party of Renewal and Equity or PRE [Chakir ACHABAR]; Party of the Unified Socialist Left or GSU [Mohamed Ben Said AIT IDDER]; Popular Movement or MP [Mohand LAENSER]; Popular Movement Union or UMP [Mohamed LAENSER]; Reform and Development Party or PRD [Abderrahmane EL KOUHEN]; Social Center Party or PSC [Lahcen MADIH]; Socialist Union of Popular Forces or USFP [Mohammed El-YAZGHI]

Political pressure groups and leadersDemocratic Confederation of Labor or CDT [Noubir AMAOUI]; General Union of Moroccan Workers or UGTM [Abderrazzak AFILAL]; Moroccan Employers Association or CGEM [Hassan CHAMI]; National Labor Union of Morocco or UNMT [Abdelslam MAATI]; Union of Moroccan Workers or UMT [Mahjoub BENSEDDIK]


Diplomatic representation in the uschief of mission: Ambassador Aziz MEKOUAR
chancery: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 462-7979
FAX: [1] (202) 265-0161
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the uschief of mission: Ambassador Thomas T. RILEY
embassy: 2 Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat
mailing address: PSC 74, Box 021, APO AE 09718
telephone: [212] (37) 76 22 65
FAX: [212] (37) 76 56 61
consulate(s) general: Casablanca

Flag descriptionred with a green pentacle (five-pointed, linear star) known as Sulaymans (Solomons) seal in the center of the flag; red and green are traditional colors in Arab flags, although the use of red is more commonly associated with the Arab states of the Persian gulf; design dates to 1912

Economy - Morocco:
Economy overviewMoroccan economic policies brought macroeconomic stability to the country in the early 1990s but have not spurred growth sufficient to reduce unemployment that nears 20% in urban areas. Poverty has increased due to the volatile nature of GDP, Moroccos continued dependence on foreign energy, and its inability to promote the growth of small and medium size enterprises. However, GDP growth rebounded to 6.7% in 2006 due to high rainfall, which resulted in a strong second harvest. Despite structural adjustment programs supported by the IMF, the World Bank, and the Paris Club, the dirham is only fully convertible for current account transactions and Moroccos financial sector is rudimentary. Moroccan authorities understand that reducing poverty and providing jobs is key to domestic security and development. In 2004, Moroccan authorities instituted measures to boost foreign direct investment and trade by signing a free trade agreement with the US, which entered into force in January 2006, and sold government shares in the state telecommunications company and in the largest state-owned bank. Long-term challenges include preparing the economy for freer trade with the US and European Union, improving education and job prospects for Moroccos youth, and raising living standards, which the government hopes to achieve by increasing tourist arrivals and boosting competitiveness in textiles.

Gdp purchasing power parity $152.5 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate $58.07 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate9.3% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp $4,600 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sectoragriculture: 13.3%
industry: 31.2%
services: 55.5% (2006 est.)

Labor force11.25 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupationagriculture: 40%
industry: 15%
services: 45% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate7.7% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line19% (2005 est.)

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

Distribution of family income gini index40 (2005 est.)

Inflation rate consumer prices 2.8% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed 21.7% of GDP (2006 est.)

Budgetrevenues: $15.85 billion
expenditures: $20.39 billion; including capital expenditures of $2.19 billion (2006 est.)

Public debt70.9% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture productsbarley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables, olives; livestock

Industriesphosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism

Industrial production growth rate4% (2004 est.)

Electricity production18.48 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption18.89 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports0 kWh (2004)

Electricity imports1.7 billion kWh (2004)

Oil production300 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil consumption170,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports21,890 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil imports186,100 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil proved reserves100 million bbl (2006 est.)

Natural gas production50 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption50 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves1.218 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance$389 million (2006 est.)

Exports$11.72 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commoditiesclothing, fish, inorganic chemicals, transistors, crude minerals, fertilizers (including phosphates), petroleum products, fruits, vegetables

Exports partnersFrance 21.4%, Spain 20.5%, UK 4.9%, Italy 4.7%, India 4.1% (2006)

Imports$21.22 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commoditiescrude petroleum, textile fabric, telecommunications equipment, wheat, gas and electricity, transistors, plastics

Imports partnersFrance 17.4%, Spain 13.4%, Saudi Arabia 6.9%, China 6.8%, Italy 6.3%, Germany 5.9% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$18.21 billion (2006 est.)

Debt external$17.9 billion (2006 est.)

Economic aid recipientODA, $706 million (2004)

Currency code Moroccan dirham (MAD)

Exchange ratesMoroccan dirhams per US dollar - 8.7722 (2006), 8.865 (2005), 8.868 (2004), 9.574 (2003), 11.021 (2002)

Communications - Morocco:
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Telephones main lines in use1.266 million (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular16.005 million (2006)

Telephone systemgeneral assessment: modern system with all important capabilities; however, density is low with only 4 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: country code - 212; 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 stationsAM 27, FM 25, shortwave 6 (1998)

Television broadcast stations35 (plus 66 repeaters) (1995)

Internet country code.ma

Internet hosts3,218 (2006)

Internet users6.1 million (2006)

Transportation - Morocco:
Airports60 (2006)

Airports with paved runwaystotal: 26
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runwaystotal: 34
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 11 (2006)

Heliports1 (2006)

Pipelinesgas 715 km; oil 285 km (2006)

Railwaystotal: 1,907 km
standard gauge: 1,907 km 1.435-m gauge (1,003 km electrified) (2006)

Roadwaystotal: 57,493 km
paved: 32,716 km (includes 507 km of expressways)
unpaved: 24,777 km (2004)

Merchant marinetotal: 41 ships (1000 GRT or over) 382,781 GRT/285,435 DWT
by type: cargo 5, chemical tanker 6, container 9, passenger/cargo 13, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 5
foreign-owned: 5 (France 1, Germany 2, Switzerland 1, UK 1)
registered in other countries: 1 (Panama 1) (2006)

Ports and terminalsAgadir, Casablanca, Mohammedia, Nador, Safi, Tangier

Military - Morocco:
Military branchesRoyal Armed Forces (Forces Armees Royales, FAR): Royal Moroccan Army (includes Air Defense), Navy (includes Marines), Royal Moroccan Air Force (Force Aerienne Royale Marocaine) (2007)

Military service age and obligation18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (2004)

Manpower available for military servicemales age 18-49: 7,908,864
females age 18-49: 7,882,879 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military servicemales age 18-49: 6,484,787
females age 18-49: 6,675,729 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annuallymales age 18-49: 353,377
females age 18-49: 341,677 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp5% (2003 est.)

Disputes internationalclaims and administers Western Sahara whose sovereignty remains unresolved - UN-administered cease-fire has remained in effect since September 1991, but attempts to hold a referendum have failed and parties thus far have rejected all brokered proposals; Morocco protests Spains control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, the islands of Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; discussions have not progressed on a comprehensive maritime delimitation, setting limits on resource exploration and refugee interdiction, since Moroccos 2002 rejection of Spains unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands; Morocco serves as one of the primary launching areas of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>