Occupying the patch of green at the top of Africa, just before the Sahara Desert, is Morocco. While Morocco has an ideal location for commerce, it has only seen modest economic growth over recent years.
Judiciary issues and the education system are considered areas needing reform and improvement before the country sees a real positive economic change. Until then, they may face continued high unemployment and high rates of poverty. But Morocco also has many positive attributes which show change is occurring and larger growth may be in their future.
- The population of Morocco is about 34 million. (2014, World Bank)
- GNP is $274 billion. (estimated 2015, CIA Factbook)
- Key industries include mining and processing for phosphates, textiles, tourism, food processing and automotive parts. (CIA Factbook)
- 12.3 million people are employed, with an unemployment rate of almost 10%.
- Imports ($37 billion) far exceed exports ($21 billion).
- Classical Arabic is the official language of Morocco.
- French is considered an unofficial language used for government, education, and commerce.
- Berber is also a language spoken by a large segment of the population.
- English is gaining traction as it is being taught in schools and is considered Morocco’s second most-spoken foreign language, after French.
- Close proximity to Spain has resulted in a Spanish presence in the northern part of the country, but only by an estimated 20,000 people.
- The Moroccan flag is red with a green 5 pointed star. The red symbolizes bravery and strength and the star represents religion, such as the Star of Solomon.
- It is usually expected that a visitor/guest will take their shoes off when entering a home.
- Non-Muslims should not expect to visit a Mosque, as this is reserved only for Muslims and is not a tourist spot.
- It is considered offensive to take a picture of someone without their permission.
- Inflation is very low at 1.6% (2015).
- The center of Moroccan business and commerce is the port of Casablanca; Marrakech is a leading tourist center in the country.
- Single person households are the fastest growing segment in Morocco which is expected to be 7.5% of the population by 2018. This is up from 4.3% in 2004.
- 55% of the population is under 25 years of age. The country is seeing growth in modern supermarkets and fast food businesses driven by the under 25 year old population who have a growing interest in western culture.
- International brands are seeing increased acceptance and preference among the Moroccan consumer as the middle class is emerging.
- By 2030 52% of the country’s electric power is targeted to be from renewable sources (wind, solar and hydro).
- Morocco is expected to grow its banking presence in Africa, currently ranked third in Africa for financial services.
- Given their proximity to Europe, stable government, and business growth in western Africa, Morocco is overtake South Africa as the leader in financial services in the future.
- Casablanca Finance City (CFC) is expected to be a financial hub for business in Africa. Many leading global financial companies have signed onto the program and tax breaks are attracting the attention of global businesses looking to grow their business in Africa.
- Tourism is only 15% of their GNP currently. This is a sector that should see large growth going forward.
While Morocco has a king they also have elected officials. The King, considered to be very liberal, has led the country on a stable, democratic path over the past decade. Unfortunately, they also have high corruption with their elected officials. As they continue to improve literacy, remove corruption, grow their business and banking opportunities the future looks to only brighten for Morocco.
Additional Resources on Africa and African Language Translation
In order to support the growing needs of our clients for many of the African and Middle Eastern languages, GPI has opened offices in Dubai, UAE and Cairo, Egypt to support our clients doing business in the Middle East and Africa. GPI has built teams of professional native speakers for many of the African languages whether national or indigenous, who are available to help companies with their African language translations needs.