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Morocco Facts

Official name: The Kingdom of Morocco


National name: al-Mamlaka al-Maghrebia

Independence: 2 March 1956 (from France)

Area: 710,850 sq km (including W Sahara)

Land area: 172,317 sq mi (446,301 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 33,757,175 (growth rate: 1.5%); birth rate: 21.6/1000; infant mortality rate: 38.9/1000; life expectancy: 71.2; 69 years (men), 73 years (women), density per sq mi: 196

Literacy rate: 52% (2003 est.)

Capital (2003 est.): Rabat, 1,636,600

Largest cities: Casablanca, 3,397,000; Fez, 941,800; Marrakech, 755,200

Major languages: Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French (Often used for business, government, and diplomacy), Spanish.

Religions: Islam 99%, Christian 1%

Ethnicity/race: Arab-Berber 99.1%, Jewish 0.2%, other 0.7%

Location: Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara.

Land boundaries: 2,017.9 km

Border countries: Algeria 1,559 km, Western Sahara 443 km, Spain (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Spain (Melilla) 9.6 km

Coastline: 1,835 km

Maritime claims: Territorial sea: 12 nm, contiguous zone: 24 nm

Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation.

Climate: Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior.

Terrain: Northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains.

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m

Highest point: Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m

Natural hazards: Northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts.

Environment - Current Issues

Land degradation/desertification (soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, destruction of vegetation); water supplies contaminated by raw sewage; siltation of reservoirs; oil pollution of coastal waters.

Environment - International Agreements

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

Economic summary

GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $127 billion;

Per capita: $3,800

Real growth rate: 2.1%.

Inflation: 2.1%.

Unemployment: 15%.

Arable land: 19%.

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

Labor force: 11.35 million; agriculture 40%, services 45%, industry 15% (2003 est.).

Industries: Phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism. Natural resources: Phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt.

Exports: $12.73 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Export commodities: Clothing, fish, inorganic chemicals, transistors, crude minerals, fertilizers (including phosphates), petroleum products, fruits, vegetables.

Exports - partners: Spain 20.6%, France 20.5%, UK 4.8%, Italy 4.7%, India 4% (2006)

Imports: $22.15 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Import commodities: Crude petroleum, textile fabric, telecommunications equipment, wheat, gas and electricity, transistors, plastics.

Imports - partners: France 17.5%, Spain 13.9%, Saudi Arabia 6.9%, China 6.9%, Italy 6.3%, Germany 6% (2006)

Major trading partners: France, Spain, UK, Italy, India, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China (2006).

Budget

Revenues: $20.58 billion

Expenditures: $21.71 billion (2007 est.)

Public debt: 72.4% of GDP (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 3,746 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption: 176,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - exports: 21,890 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil - imports: 186,100 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil - proved reserves: 100 million bbl (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production: 47.95 million cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 47.95 million cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 1.629 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Pipelines: Gas 720 km; oil 439 km (2007)

Current account balance: -$71 million (2007 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $651.8 million (2005)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $24.29 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Debt - external: $19.91 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $26.52 billion (2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $567 million (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares: $49.6 billion (2006)

Currency (code): Moroccan dirham (MAD)

Exchange rates: Moroccan dirhams per US dollar - 8.3563 (2007), 8.7722 (2006), 8.865 (2005), 8.868 (2004), 9.574 (2003).

Communications

Telephones: main lines in use: 1.266 million (2006)

Mobile cellular: 16.005 million (2006).

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 Service Providers (ISPs): 137,187 (2007).

Internet users: 6.1 million (2006).

Transportation

Railways: total: 1,907 km (2006).

Highways: total: 57,493 km; paved: 32,716 km (includes 507 km of expressways); unpaved: 24,777 km (2004).

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

Airports: 60 (2007).

Government type: Constitutional Monarchy

Administrative divisions: 15 regions; Grand Casablanca, Chaouia-Ouardigha, Doukkala-Abda, Fes-Boulemane, Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen, Guelmim-Es Smara, Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra, Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, Meknes-Tafilalet, Oriental, Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer, Souss-Massa-Draa, Tadla-Azilal, Tanger-Tetouan, Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate.

Constitution: 10 March 1972; revised 4 September 1992, amended (to create bicameral legislature) September 1996

Legal system: Based on Islamic law and French and Spanish civil law systems; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal (as of January 2003)

Executive Branch

Chief of State: King MOHAMED VI (since 30 July 1999)

Head of Government: Prime Minister Abbas EL FASSI (since 19 September 2007)

Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch

Elections: the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch following legislative elections.

Legislative branch: Bicameral Parliament consists of a Chamber of Counselors (or upper house) (270 seats; members elected indirectly by local councils, professional organizations, and labor syndicates for nine-year terms; one-third of the members are elected every three years) and Chamber of Representatives (or lower house) (325 seats; 295 members elected by multi-seat constituencies and 30 from national lists of women; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms).

Elections - Chamber of Counselors - last held 8 September 2006 (next to be held in 2009); Chamber of Representatives - last held 7 September 2007 (next to be held in 2012).

Judicial branch

Supreme Court: Judges are appointed on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, presided over by the monarch.

National holiday:

Throne Day (accession of King MOHAMED VI to the throne), 30 July (1999).

Political parties and leaders

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

Political pressure groups and leaders

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

International organization participation

ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO.

International disputes: 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 thus far have rejected other proposals; Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, the islands of Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; Morocco also rejected Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands in 2002 to set limits to undersea resource exploration and refugee interdiction; Morocco allowed Spanish fishermen to fish temporarily off the coast of Western Sahara after an oil spill soiled Spanish fishing grounds.

Internet country code: .ma

International dialling code: +212.

Last Updated on Friday 13th November 2009