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Morocco Overview


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Morocco gained independence about 40 years ago from the French. The country has since tackled many social problems which mainly included the educational and health fields. The French left behind a well developed industrial sector, reasonably well planned irrigation system and an efficient transportation network. The Kingdom of Morocco is a democratic and constitutional monarchy, currently run by King Hassan II who is a member of the Alouite dynasty, which has been in power for the last 300 years.

The rich phosphate deposits and mild Mediterranean climate as well as resourceful land and water supplies play an important role on the self-sufficiency of Morocco. The strong manufacturing sector contributes just over a third of the Gross Domestic Product. Fast-growing services include the tourism industry which claims to be the most promising economical sector in today’s Morocco.

Berbers, Arabs or mixed raced people are the large majority of Moroccans. Increasing trade activities between Morocco and the other African countries have caused a black African population to settle in Morocco, who have settled mostly in the southern regions of the country especially in Meknes and Marrakesh.

Morocco Quick Facts
Location: Northern Africa
Area: 710,850 sq km
Border countries: Algeria and Mauritania
Population: 30 million
People: Moroccans are generally descendants of the indigenous Berbers, although the people of both Hamitic Berber and Semitic Arab origins together constitute 99% of the population with Jews being the only true minority.
Language: The official language is Arabic, although only 60% of the population speak it as their mother tongue while Berber accounts for the other 40%.
Religion: The official religion is Islam with 99% of the population Sunni Muslims while a minority of Christians and Jews account for the remainder.
Independence: 2 March 1956 (from France)
Head of State: King Mohammed VI
Capital: Rabat
Currency: Dirham (DH) - Exchange Rate(link popup window)
Export Commodities: Clothing, Fish, Fruit and Vegetables, Metal Ores, Petroleum Products, Phosphates, Phosphoric Acid.
Agriculture - products: Almonds, Cereals, Citrus Fruits, Dates, Fish, Goats, Grapes, Iron, Lead, Manganese, Olives, Phosphates, Poultry, Pulses, Sheep, Timber, Vegetables.
GDP growth: 4.6% (2002 est.)
GDP per capita: $3,900 (2002 est.)
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