MOROCCO

Conventional Name: Kingdom of Morocco (Al Mamlikah al Maghribiyah)

Etymology: from the Arabic al-Maghrib «the west», litteraly «where the sun sets». Name given to the most western territory of the Ommeyade empire.

Capital: Rabat

Surface area: 450.000 km² (not including Western Sahara)

Comparison with a European country: about 1,5 the size of Italy

Administrative Divisions : 37 provinces and 2 wilayas (Rabat-Sale and Casablanca)

Population (2012):  32’309’239

Population Density (2012): 72.3  inhabitants/km2

Young people under 15 Years Old (2004): 32.6%

Annual population growth (2005): 3,0%

Fecundity rate (2005): 2,76

Life expectancy (2005):  69,5

Infant mortality (2005):  38,1 ‰

Urban population (2012): 58,1%

Illiteracy rate (2012): men 34,3%; women 60.4%

Language: Arabic (official), French (the second official language for the administration and businesses), Berber dialects (not official, but used in some publications, radio and TV programmes)

Ethnic background: Arab and Berber 99,1%

Religions: Sunni Muslims 98%, Christian 1.8%, Jewish 0.2%.

HDI (Human Development Indicator, UNDP 2008) : within the 177 countries selected Morocco is ranked 126 (rate 0,646 middle development)

Currency: (1 Dirham = 0,08 euro (July 2008)

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (2011): $ 99’240’000’000

GDP per capita (2011): 5 100 $

Annual growth: (1994-2004) : 3,0% – 2005 : 1,8

Unemployment Rate (2011): 19%

Labour Force by Economic Sector of Activity (2003): agriculture 22.9%, industrie 35.5% and services 41.5%

Exports (2005): 9 926 millions de $

Imports (2005): 19 417 millions de $

Major Trading Partners: France, Spain, UK, Italy, germany, US

Agricultural products: Barley, wheat, citrus, wine, olives

Total External Debt (2003): 17.320Million US $

Year of independence: 2 March 1956 (from France)

Admitted in the UN : 1956

Member i.a. of : League of Arab States, Maghreb Arab Union, W.T.O., Organisation of the islamic Conference (OIC)

Parties to i.a.: Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Chemical Weapons Convention (CWP).

Territorial dispute with: RASD (Western Sahara), Spain (over Ceuta and Melilla)

State nature: Kingdom

Regime nature Constitutional monarchy (divine law)

Head of State (King): MOHAMMED VI Commander of the faithfuls (he was enthroned on the 29th July 1999. He is the 18th sovereign of the Alouites dinasty, reigning in Morocco since 1666. He succeded his father, Hassan II, enthroned since 1961)

Crown Prince: Prince Moulay Rashid (King’s brother).

Government of October 2007

Prime Minister: M.Abass EL FASSE

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation : M. Taëb FASSI FIHRI

Minister of Interior: M.Chakib BENMOUSSA

Main newspapers: in Arabic Al-Ittihad al-Ichtiraki (Socialist Unity) (110.000) ; Al-Alam (100.000) ; Al-Anba’a (15.000) ; in French: Maroc Soir (50.000) ; Le Matin du Sahara (100.000) ; Al-Maghrib (15.000) ; L’Opinion (60.000)

Sources (figures): L’Etat du Monde 2003 (La Découverte), CIA World Factbook 2004, Arab Human Development Report 2002 (PNUD), l’Etat du Monde 2007 (La Découverte).