Country Profile

Morocco Country Profile

Situated on the western tip of North Africa, Morocco – also known by its ancient name Al Maghreb, meaning “the West” in Arabic – contains a mix of indigenous Berber, Arab, African and European influences. Most of its 33m people live near the northern plains and cities along the Atlantic coast and speak Arabic, French or one of the varieties of Berber. As the region’s only monarchy, the kingdom has fashioned its rich cultural heritage into a tolerant state, whose pragmatic and inclusive approach to social and economic development has allowed it to sidestep the instability that has shaken some of its neighbours in recent years. A spate of modest political and governmental reforms, alongside a rapidly improving business environment, has allowed the country to expand its influence both in the Mediterranean basin and more broadly on the African continent.

This chapter contains viewpoints from His Majesty King Mohammed VI and Joe Biden, US Vice-President; and interviews with Abdel-Ilah Benkiran, Head of Government; and Jack Lang, former French Minister of Culture and President of the Arab World Institute.