Morocco By | Tuesday, December 1 2009 at 16:37
Kingdom of Morocco
Origins of name:originates from the Latin Morroch, which was the name of Almoravid-a dynasty that lived between current Senegal and south of current Morocco- and Almohad- a Muslim dynasty- capital Marrakech.
King Mohammed VI
Spain occupied Morocco in 1860
French imposed a protectorate over the country in 1912
In the late 1970s, Morocco annexed Western Sahara
In the 1990s, the country established a bicameral legislature which met for the first time in 1997
Ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch
Form of Government
There is a king with vast powers alongside two elected chambers of parliaments.
Opposition political parties are allowed.
King, Prime Minister is the head of government
Manpower fit for military service: 699,534 people
Expenditures: 5% of GDP
Branches: Air Defence, Navy, Royal Moroccan Air Force
1927–1961: King Mohammed V changed title of ruler from Sultan to King in 1957. Deposed and exiled to Corsica and Madagascar
1953-1955: Mohammed Ben Aarafa (French Puppet)
1955-1961 King Mohammed V
1961–1999 King Hassan II
1999 - Present King Mohammed VI
Altitude: 65 metres
Population: 1.7 million
Size: 32,492,700 (2012)
Life expectancy: 71.8 years
Gender Make-Up: 49.85 per cent Males, 50.15 per cent females
GDP per capita
Land boundaries: Border countries: Algeria 1,559km, Western Sahara 443km, Spain (Ceuta) 6.3km, Spain (Melilla) 9.6km
Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy
Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%
Arab-Berber 99.1%, Jewish 0.2%, other 0.7%
Phosphates, Iron ore, Manganese, Lead, Zinc, Fish, Salt
Clothing and textiles, Electric components, Inorganic chemicals, Transistors, Fertilisers (including phosphates), Petroleum products, Citrus fruits, Vegetables, Fish
Arable land: 19%
Permanent crops: 2%
Other: 79% (2005)
Main Port: Casablanca
Airport: Mohammed V International Airport located at 30km southeast of Casablanca.
Contamination of water by raw sewage
Siltation of reservoirs.
King Mohamed bowed to the pressure of the protesting civil society, making a break with the notion of monarchy as an executive power and introducing reforms which provide for a balanced monarchy where power is divided between the king and a government based on parliament.
Has a liberal economy governed by law of demand and supply.
Some key sectors of the economy are in the hand of the government.
France is the main trade partner.
Morocco has signed several free trade agreements with key economic partners.
Effects of illicit Hashish
Poverty and unemployment (standing to about 20 per cent in urban areas).
Wide income gaps between the rich and the poor
One of the worst attacks on Morocco took place in April 2011 when a suicide bomber attacked a cafe in Marrakesh it left 14 people dead including 11 foreigners
Administration of Western Sahara whose sovereignty is yet to be decided.
Morocco continues to receive a lot of US support.
The US considers Morocco a model for economic reforms.
Morocco is not a member of the African Union.
The Major Conflicts
Who: Morocco and Algeria.
Why: Claiming the Bechar and Tindouf regions.
Outcome: Strong tension between the two countries, Algeria’s support for Polisario Front in the Western Sahara conflict.
Western Sahara Conflict
Who: Morocco and Algeria.
Why: Claim for Western Sahara.
Outcome: Algeria withdrew.
Morocco Spain Conflict
Who: Morocco and Spain.
Why: claims the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, as well as Perejil Island
Outcome: Territory still disputed.
What to see?
Mountains- one of the popular features in Morocco including Rift Mountains, Chefchaouen Mountains, Tafraoute Mountains, Oregano Mountains and Sarhro Mountains.
Other topographical features like sandy shorelines, barren deserts and wooded lands.
Famous Sportsmen and Sportswomen
Hicham el Guerrouj: World record holder in 1,500m, mile and outdoor 2,000m races and double Olympics gold medallist.
Noureddine Naybet: Deportivo la Coruna (Spain) player and Morocco international team captain. Naybet was considered one of the best defensive players in Europe.
Previously, it was unlawful to sell a date tree, as it was a source of food for the family
- AU won’t recognise Madagascar poll win by Rajoelina
- Four Nigerians among 5 shortlisted for African writing prize
- Zimbabwe lecturer jailed for Mugabe 'donkey' slur
- The girl who met Gaddafi 'in hell'
- Liberia media to maintain 'blackout' on president
- Somali PM disowns Jubaland 'presidents'
- Is aid to South Africa drying up?
- Juba and Khartoum strike new peace tune
- Somaliland marks unrecognised independence
Beyond the ballot