The Platinum Group USA    Morocco

The Kingdom of Morocco

Land and People

Central Morocco consists largely of the Atlas Mountains, which rise to 13,671 ft (4,167 m) in Jebel Toubkal in the southwest and which dominate most of the country. In the south lie the sandy wastes of the Sahara desert. In the north is a fertile coastal plain. The population of Morocco is concentrated in the coastal region and the mountains, where rainfall is most plentiful. In parts of the Rif Mountains in the northeast some 40 in. (102 cm) of rain fall each year. There are no important rivers in the country, but dams on several coastal streams are used for irrigation and hydroelectric power. The vast majority of Moroccans are Muslims of Arab-Berber ancestry. There are also small Christian and Jewish minorities. Arabic is the official language, but French (often used in business and government), several Berber dialects, and Spanish are also spoken. More than half of all Moroccans live in urban areas. There are universities at Rabat, Fès, Marrakech, and Casablanca.

His Majesty King Mohammed VI


Morocco is a constitutional monarchy and is governed under a 1972 constitution as revised in 1992. The king holds effective power and appoints the prime minister. The bicameral parliament consists of a 270-seat chamber of counselors and 325-seat chamber of representatives. The legal system is based on Islamic law as well as French and Spanish civil law. Administratively, the country is divided into 37 provinces and two municipalities. Morocco is a member of the United Nations and the Arab League.


Agriculture employs about half of Morocco's workforce, which suffers from a high (more than 20%) unemployment rate. In the rainy sections of the northeast wheat and other cereals can be raised without irrigation. On the Atlantic coast, where there are extensive plains, olives, citrus fruits, and wine grapes are grown, largely with water supplied by artesian wells. Forests yield cork, cabinet wood, and building materials. Part of the maritime population fishes for its livelihood. Agadir , Essaouira , El Jadida , and Larache are among the important fishing harbors.

Casablanca is by far the largest port and an important industrial center. Significant industries include textile and leather goods manufacturing, food processing, and oil refining. In the northern foothills of the Atlas Mountains there are large mineral deposits; phosphates are the most important, but iron ore, silver, zinc, copper, lead, manganese, barytine, gold, and coal (the only sizable coal deposits in North Africa) are also found. Marrakech , Meknès , and Fès are the most important centers in the mineral trade. A few oases in southern Morocco, notably Tafilalt, are all that relieve the desert wastes.

Morocco's coastal areas and the mineral-producing interior are linked by an expanding road and rail network, and port facilities are being further developed. Tourism is important economically, as are cash remittances from Moroccans working in France. The main exports are phosphates, clothing, shellfish, citrus fruits, and vegetables. The chief imports are petroleum, chemicals, machinery, and plastics. France and Spain are the leading trade partners.


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