Morocco By | Saturday, September 8  2012 at  16:01

Facts

Form of Government
Constitutional Monarch.
There is a king with vast powers alongside two elected chambers of parliaments.
Opposition political parties are allowed.

Government structure
King, Prime Minister is the head of government

Military Statistics
Manpower fit for military service: 699,534 people
Expenditures: 5% of GDP
Branches: Air Defence, Navy, Royal Moroccan Air Force

Former Rulers
1912–1927: Yusef
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

Capital
Rabat
Altitude: 65 metres
Population: 1.7 million

Population
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
$4,986 (2011)

$4,691 (2010)

Geography
Area: 446,550sqkm
Land boundaries: Border countries: Algeria 1,559km, Western Sahara 443km, Spain (Ceuta) 6.3km, Spain (Melilla) 9.6km

Major Languages
Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy

Religious portfolio
Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%

National Make-up
Arab-Berber 99.1%, Jewish 0.2%, other 0.7%

Natural Resources
Phosphates, Iron ore, Manganese, Lead, Zinc, Fish, Salt

Main exports
Clothing and textiles, Electric components, Inorganic chemicals, Transistors, Fertilisers (including phosphates), Petroleum products, Citrus fruits, Vegetables, Fish

Land Use
Arable land: 19%
Permanent crops: 2%
Other: 79% (2005)

Monetary Unit/Currency
Moroccan dirhams

Dialling Code
+ 212

Internet Code
.ma

Transport
Main Port: Casablanca
Airport: Mohammed V International Airport located at 30km southeast of Casablanca.

Modern issues

Environmental
Desertification.
Overgrazing.
Contamination of water by raw sewage
Siltation of reservoirs.
Oil pollution

Political
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.

Economic
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.

Social
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

Foreign Affairs
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

Sand War
When: 1963
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
When: 1975
Who: Morocco and Algeria.
Why: Claim for Western Sahara.
Outcome: Algeria withdrew.

Morocco Spain Conflict
When: 2002
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.

Sports
Popular Sports
Football
Athletics
Basketball
Golf

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.


Quirks
Previously, it was unlawful to sell a date tree, as it was a source of food for the family.