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Morocco vs. Western Sahara

Introduction

MoroccoWestern Sahara
BackgroundIn 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, a series of Moroccan Muslim dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad al-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. The Alaouite Dynasty, to which the current Moroccan royal family belongs, dates from the 17th century. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Sultan MOHAMMED V, the current monarch's grandfather, organized the new state as a constitutional monarchy and in 1957 assumed the title of king. Since Spain's 1976 withdrawal from what is today called Western Sahara, Morocco has extended its de facto administrative control to roughly 80% of this territory; however, the UN does not recognize Morocco as the administering power for Western Sahara. The UN since 1991 has monitored a cease-fire between Morocco and the Polisario Front - Western Sahara's liberation movement - and leads ongoing negotiations over the status of the territory.
King MOHAMMED VI in early 2011 responded to the spread of pro-democracy protests in the region by implementing a reform program that included a new constitution, passed by popular referendum in July 2011, under which some new powers were extended to parliament and the prime minister but ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch. In November 2011, the Justice and Development Party (PJD) - a moderate Islamist party - won the largest number of seats in parliamentary elections, becoming the first Islamist party to lead the Moroccan Government. In September 2015, Morocco held its first ever direct elections for regional councils, one of the reforms included in the 2011 constitution. The PJD again won the largest number of seats in nationwide parliamentary elections in October 2016.
Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria. After Spain withdrew from its former colony of Spanish Sahara in 1976, Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania's withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco's sovereignty ended in a 1991 cease-fire and the establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation. As part of this effort, the UN sought to offer a choice to the peoples of Western Sahara between independence (favored by the Polisario Front) or integration into Morocco. A proposed referendum never took place due to lack of agreement on voter eligibility. The 2,700 km- (1,700 mi-) long defensive sand berm, built by the Moroccans from 1980 to 1987 and running the length of the territory, continues to separate the opposing forces with Morocco controlling the roughly 80 percent of the territory west of the berm. Local demonstrations criticizing the Moroccan authorities occur regularly, and there are periodic ethnic tensions between the native Sahrawi population and Moroccan immigrants. Morocco maintains a heavy security presence in the territory.

Geography

MoroccoWestern Sahara
LocationNorthern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara
Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Mauritania and Morocco
Geographic coordinates32 00 N, 5 00 W
24 30 N, 13 00 W
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 446,550 sq km
land: 446,300 sq km
water: 250 sq km
total: 266,000 sq km
land: 266,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than three times the size of New York; slightly larger than California
about the size of Colorado
Land boundariestotal: 2,362.5 km
border countries (3): Algeria 1,900 km, Western Sahara 444 km, Spain (Ceuta) 8 km, Spain (Melilla) 10.5 km
note: an additional 75-meter border segment exists between Morocco and the Spanish exclave of Penon de Velez de la Gomera
total: 2,049 km
border countries (3): Algeria 41 km, Mauritania 1,564 km, Morocco 444 km
Coastline1,835 km
1,110 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
contingent upon resolution of sovereignty issue
ClimateMediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior
hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew
Terrainmountainous northern coast (Rif Mountains) and interior (Atlas Mountains) bordered by large plateaus with intermontane valleys, and fertile coastal plains
mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 909 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m
highest point: Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m
mean elevation: 256 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Sebjet Tah -55 m
highest point: unnamed elevation 805 m
Natural resourcesphosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt
phosphates, iron ore
Land useagricultural land: 67.5%
arable land 17.5%; permanent crops 2.9%; permanent pasture 47.1%
forest: 11.5%
other: 21% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 18.8%
arable land 0%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 18.8%
forest: 2.7%
other: 78.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land14,850 sq km (2012)
0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsnorthern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts
hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility
Environment - current issuesland degradation/desertification (soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, destruction of vegetation); water supplies contaminated by raw sewage; siltation of reservoirs; oil pollution of coastal waters
sparse water and lack of arable land
Geography - notestrategic location along Strait of Gibraltar; the only African nation to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines
the waters off the coast are particularly rich fishing areas
Population distributionthe highest population density is found along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts; a number of densely populated agglomerations are found scattered through the Atlas Mountains
most of the population lives in the two-thirds of the area west of the berm (Moroccan-occupied) that divides the territory; about 40% of that populace resides in Laayoune

Demographics

MoroccoWestern Sahara
Population33,655,786 (July 2016 est.)
587,020
note: estimate is based on projections by age, sex, fertility, mortality, and migration; fertility and mortality are based on data from neighboring countries (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 26.08% (male 4,459,511/female 4,319,538)
15-24 years: 17.22% (male 2,882,145/female 2,913,917)
25-54 years: 42.24% (male 6,874,144/female 7,341,892)
55-64 years: 7.89% (male 1,318,302/female 1,337,192)
65 years and over: 6.56% (male 995,620/female 1,213,525) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 37.54% (male 111,389/female 108,958)
15-24 years: 19.57% (male 57,855/female 57,049)
25-54 years: 34.14% (male 98,659/female 101,733)
55-64 years: 4.95% (male 13,552/female 15,490)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 9,823/female 12,512) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 28.9 years
male: 28.3 years
female: 29.5 years (2016 est.)
total: 21.1 years
male: 20.7 years
female: 21.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.99% (2016 est.)
2.76% (2016 est.)
Birth rate18 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
29.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate4.8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 22.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 53.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 76.9 years
male: 73.8 years
female: 80.1 years (2016 est.)
total population: 63 years
male: 60.7 years
female: 65.4 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.12 children born/woman (2016 est.)
3.93 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.12% (2015 est.)
NA
Nationalitynoun: Moroccan(s)
adjective: Moroccan
noun: Sahrawi(s), Sahraoui(s)
adjective: Sahrawi, Sahrawian, Sahraouian
Ethnic groupsArab-Berber 99%, other 1%
Arab, Berber
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS24,300 (2015 est.)
NA
ReligionsMuslim 99% (official; virtually all Sunni, <0.1% Shia), other 1% (includes Christian, Jewish, and Baha'i); note - Jewish about 6,000 (2010 est.)
Muslim
HIV/AIDS - deaths900 (2015 est.)
NA
LanguagesArabic (official), Berber languages (Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit), French (often the language of business, government, and diplomacy)
Standard Arabic (national), Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic
Urbanizationurban population: 60.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.26% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 80.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.27% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities - populationCasablanca 3.515 million; RABAT (capital) 1.967 million; Fes 1.172 million; Marrakech 1.134 million; Tangier 982,000 (2015)
Laayoune 262,000 (2014)
Demographic profileMorocco is undergoing a demographic transition. Its population is growing but at a declining rate, as people live longer and women have fewer children. Infant, child, and maternal mortality rates have been reduced through better health care, nutrition, hygiene, and vaccination coverage, although disparities between urban and rural and rich and poor households persist. Morocco’s shrinking child cohort reflects the decline of its total fertility rate from 5 in mid-1980s to 2.2 in 2010, which is a result of increased female educational attainment, higher contraceptive use, delayed marriage, and the desire for smaller families. Young adults (persons aged 15-29) make up almost 26% of the total population and represent a potential economic asset if they can be gainfully employed. Currently, however, many youths are unemployed because Morocco’s job creation rate has not kept pace with the growth of its working-age population. Most youths who have jobs work in the informal sector with little security or benefits.
During the second half of the 20th century, Morocco became one of the world’s top emigration countries, creating large, widely dispersed migrant communities in Western Europe. The Moroccan Government has encouraged emigration since its independence in 1956, both to secure remittances for funding national development and as an outlet to prevent unrest in rebellious (often Berber) areas. Although Moroccan labor migrants earlier targeted Algeria and France, the flood of Moroccan “guest workers” from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s spread widely across northwestern Europe to fill unskilled jobs in the booming manufacturing, mining, construction, and agriculture industries. Host societies and most Moroccan migrants expected this migration to be temporary, but deteriorating economic conditions in Morocco related to the 1973 oil crisis and tighter European immigration policies resulted in these stays becoming permanent.
A wave of family migration followed in the 1970s and 1980s, with a growing number of second generation Moroccans opting to become naturalized citizens of their host countries. Spain and Italy emerged as new destination countries in the mid-1980s, but their introduction of visa restrictions in the early 1990s pushed Moroccans increasingly to migrate either legally by marrying Moroccans already in Europe or illegally to work in the underground economy. Women began to make up a growing share of these labor migrants. At the same time, some higher-skilled Moroccans went to the US and Quebec, Canada.
In the mid-1990s, Morocco developed into a transit country for asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa and illegal labor migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia trying to reach Europe via southern Spain, Spain’s Canary Islands, or Spain’s North African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla. Forcible expulsions by Moroccan and Spanish security forces have not deterred these illegal migrants or calmed Europe’s security concerns. Rabat remains unlikely to adopt an EU agreement to take back third-country nationals who have entered the EU illegally via Morocco. Thousands of other illegal migrants have chosen to stay in Morocco until they earn enough money for further travel or permanently as a “second-best” option. The launching of a regularization program in 2014 legalized the status of some migrants and granted them equal access to education, health care, and work, but xenophobia and racism remain obstacles.
Western Sahara is a disputed territory; 85% is under Moroccan control. It was inhabited almost entirely by Sahrawi pastoral nomads until the mid-20th century. Their traditional vast migratory ranges, based on following unpredictable rainfall, did not coincide with colonial and later international borders. Since the 1930s, most Sahrawis have been compelled to adopt a sedentary lifestyle and to live in urban settings as a result of fighting, the presence of minefields, job opportunities in the phosphate industry, prolonged drought, the closure of Western Sahara’s border with Mauritania from 1979-2002, and the construction of the defensive berm separating Moroccan- and Polisario-controlled (Sahrawi liberalization movement) areas. Morocco supported rapid urbanization to facilitate surveillance and security.
Today more than 80% of Western Sahara’s population lives in urban areas; more than 40% live in the administrative center Laayoune. Moroccan immigration has altered the composition and dramatically increased the size of Western Sahara’s population. Morocco maintains a large military presence in Western Sahara and has encouraged its citizens to settle there, offering bonuses, pay raises, and food subsidies to civil servants and a tax exemption, in order to integrate Western Sahara into the Moroccan Kingdom and, Sahrawis contend, to marginalize the native population.
Western Saharan Sahrawis have been migrating to Europe, principally to former colonial ruler Spain, since the 1950s. Many who moved to refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, also have migrated to Spain and Italy, usually alternating between living in cities abroad with periods back at the camps. The Polisario claims that the population of the Tindouf camps is about 155,000, but this figure may include thousands of Arabs and Tuaregs from neighboring countries. Because international organizations have been unable to conduct an independent census in Tindouf, the UNHCR bases its aid on a figure of 90,000 refugees. Western Saharan coastal towns emerged as key migration transit points (for reaching Spain’s Canary Islands) in the mid-1990s, when Spain’s and Italy’s tightening of visa restrictions and EU pressure on Morocco and other North African countries to control illegal migration pushed sub-Saharan African migrants to shift their routes to the south.
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 50.1
youth dependency ratio: 40.9
elderly dependency ratio: 9.3
potential support ratio: 10.8 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 40.2
youth dependency ratio: 36.1
elderly dependency ratio: 4.1
potential support ratio: 24.4 (2015 est.)

Government

MoroccoWestern Sahara
Country name"conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco
conventional short form: Morocco
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
local short form: Al Maghrib
etymology: the English name ""Morocco"" derives from, respectively, the Spanish and Portuguese names ""Marruecos"" and ""Marrocos,"" which stem from ""Marrakesh"" the Latin name for the former capital of ancient Morocco; the Arabic name ""Al Maghrib"" translates as ""The West""
"
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Western Sahara
former: Rio de Oro, Saguia el Hamra, Spanish Sahara
etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the territory's western location on the African continent's vast desert
Government typeparliamentary constitutional monarchy
legal status of territory and issue of sovereignty unresolved - territory contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government-in-exile of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), near Tindouf, Algeria, was led by President Mohamed ABDELAZIZ until his death in May 2016; current President Brahim GHALI elected in July 2016; territory partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976 when Spain withdrew, with Morocco acquiring northern two-thirds; Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979; Morocco moved to occupy that sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administrative control; the Polisario's government-in-exile was seated as an Organization of African Unity (OAU) member in 1984 - Morocco between 1980 and 1987 built a fortified sand berm delineating the roughly 80 percent of Western Sahara west of the barrier that currently is controlled by Morocco; guerrilla activities continued sporadically until a UN-monitored cease-fire was implemented on 6 September 1991 (Security Council Resolution 690) by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)
Capitalname: Rabat
geographic coordinates: 34 01 N, 6 49 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1 hr, begins last Sunday in April; ends last Sunday in September
Laayoune (administrative center)
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in April; ends last Sunday in September
Administrative divisions11 regions (recognized); Beni Mellal-Khenifra, Casablanca-Settat, Draa-Tafilalet, Fes-Meknes, Guelmim-Oued Noun, Laayoune-Sakia al Hamra, Oriental, Marrakech-Safi, Rabat-Sale-Kenitra, Souss-Massa, Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima
note: Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara, the political status of which is considered undetermined by the US Government; portions of the regions Guelmim-Oued Noun and Laayoune-Sakia al Hamra as claimed by Morocco lie within Western Sahara; Morocco also claims a 12th region, Dakhla-Oued ed Dahab, that falls entirely within Western Sahara
none officially; the territory west of the Moroccan berm falls under de facto Moroccan control; Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara, the political status of which is considered undetermined by the US Government; portions of the regions Guelmim-Es Smara and Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra, as claimed by Morocco, lie within Western Sahara; Morocco also claims Oued Eddahab-Lagouira, another region that falls entirely within Western Sahara
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
none; (residents of Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara participate in Moroccan elections)
Executive branchchief of state: King MOHAMMED VI (since 30 July 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Saad-Eddine al-OTHMANI (since 17 March 2017)
cabinet: Council of Ministers chosen by the prime minister in consultation with Parliament and appointed by the monarch
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch from the majority party following legislative elections
none
Political pressure groups and leadersDemocratic Confederation of Labor or CDT [Noubir EL AMAOUI]
General Union of Moroccan Workers or UGTM [Mohamed KAFI CHERRAT]
Justice and Charity Organization or JCO [Mohammed ben Abdesslam ABBADI]
Moroccan Employers Association or CGEM [Miriem BENSALAH-CHAQROUN]
National Labor Union of Morocco or UNMT [Mohamed YATIM]
Union of Moroccan Workers or UMT [Miloudi EL MOUKHARIK]
Polisario Front
International organization participationABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, CAEU, CD, EBRD, FAO, G-11, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNSC (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
AU, CAN (observer), WFTU (NGOs)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Lalla JOUMALA Alaoui (since 24 April 2017)
chancery: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 462-7979
FAX: [1] (202) 462-7643
consulate(s) general: New York
none
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Stephanie MILEY (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: Km 5.7 Avenue Mohammed VI, Souissi, Rabat 10170
mailing address: Unit 9400, Box Front Office, DPO, AE 09718
telephone: [212] 537 637 200
FAX: [212] 537 637 201
consulate(s) general: Casablanca
none

Economy

MoroccoWestern Sahara
Economy - overviewMorocco has capitalized on its proximity to Europe and relatively low labor costs to work towards building a diverse, open, market-oriented economy. Key sectors of the economy include agriculture, tourism, aerospace, automotive, phosphates, textiles, apparel, and subcomponents. Morocco has increased investment in its port, transportation, and industrial infrastructure to position itself as a center and broker for business throughout Africa. Industrial development strategies and infrastructure improvements - most visibly illustrated by a new port and free trade zone near Tangier - are improving Morocco's competitiveness.

In the 1980s, Morocco was a heavily indebted country before pursuing austerity measures and pro-market reforms, overseen by the IMF. Since taking the throne in 1999, King MOHAMMED VI has presided over a stable economy marked by steady growth, low inflation, and gradually falling unemployment, although poor harvests and economic difficulties in Europe contributed to an economic slowdown. To boost exports, Morocco entered into a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the US in 2006 and an Advanced Status agreement with the EU in 2008. In late 2014, Morocco eliminated subsidies for gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil, dramatically reducing outlays that weighted on the country’s budget and current account. Subsidies on butane gas and certain food products remain in place. Morocco also seeks to expand its renewable energy capacity with a goal of making renewable more than 50% of installed electricity generation capacity by 2030.

Despite Morocco's economic progress, the country suffers from high unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy, particularly in rural areas. Key economic challenges for Morocco include reforming the education system and the judiciary.
Western Sahara has a small market-based economy whose main industries are fishing, phosphate mining, and pastoral nomadism. The territory's arid desert climate makes sedentary agriculture difficult, and Western Sahara imports much of its food. The Moroccan Government administers Western Sahara's economy and is a key source of employment, infrastructure development, and social spending in the territory.

Western Sahara's unresolved legal status makes the exploitation of its natural resources a contentious issue between Morocco and the Polisario. Morocco and the EU in December 2013 finalized a four-year agreement allowing European vessels to fish off the coast of Morocco, including disputed waters off the coast of Western Sahara.

Oil has never been found in Western Sahara in commercially significant quantities, but Morocco and the Polisario have quarreled over who has the right to authorize and benefit from oil exploration in the territory. Western Sahara's main long-term economic challenge is the development of a more diverse set of industries capable of providing greater employment and income to the territory. However, following King MOHAMMED VI’s November 2015 visit to Western Sahara, the Government of Morocco announced a series of investments aimed at spurring economic activity in the region, while the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises announced a $609 million investment initiative in the region in March 2015.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$282.8 billion (2016 est.)
$277.7 billion (2015 est.)
$265.7 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$906.5 million (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1.8% (2016 est.)
4.5% (2015 est.)
2.6% (2014 est.)
NA%
GDP - per capita (PPP)$8,400 (2016 est.)
$8,300 (2015 est.)
$8,000 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$2,500 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 13.1%
industry: 29.8%
services: 57.2% (2016 est.)
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: 40% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line15% (2007 est.)
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 33.2% (2007)
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.8% (2016 est.)
1.6% (2015 est.)
NA%
Labor force12.23 million (2016 est.)
144,000 (2010 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 39.1%
industry: 20.3%
services: 40.5% (2014 est.)
agriculture: 50%
industry and services: 50% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate9.9% (2016 est.)
9.7% (2015 est.)
NA%
Budgetrevenues: $25.22 billion
expenditures: $29.43 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
Industriesautomotive parts, phosphate mining and processing, aerospace, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, energy, tourism
phosphate mining, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate1.6% (2016 est.)
NA%
Agriculture - productsbarley, wheat, citrus fruits, grapes, vegetables, olives; livestock; wine
fruits and vegetables (grown in the few oases); camels, sheep, goats (kept by nomads); fish
Exports$18.72 billion (2016 est.)
$18.48 billion (2015 est.)
$NA
Exports - commoditiesclothing and textiles, automobiles, electric components, inorganic chemicals, transistors, crude minerals, fertilizers (including phosphates), petroleum products, citrus fruits, vegetables, fish
phosphates 62% (2012 est.)
Imports$33.15 billion (2016 est.)
$32.74 billion (2015 est.)
$NA
Imports - commoditiescrude petroleum, textile fabric, telecommunications equipment, wheat, gas and electricity, transistors, plastics
fuel for fishing fleet, foodstuffs
Debt - external$42.98 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$42.25 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$NA
Exchange ratesMoroccan dirhams (MAD) per US dollar -
9.929 (2016 est.)
9.7351 (2015 est.)
9.7351 (2014 est.)
8.3798 (2013 est.)
8.6 (2012 est.)
Moroccan dirhams (MAD) per US dollar -
9.929 (2016 est.)
9.7351 (2015 est.)
9.7351 (2013)
8.3803 (2013)
8.6 (2012)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
GDP (official exchange rate)$104.9 billion (2016 est.)
$NA
Taxes and other revenues24% of GDP (2016 est.)
NA%
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4% of GDP (2016 est.)
NA%

Energy

MoroccoWestern Sahara
Electricity - production27 billion kWh (2014 est.)
90 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption29 billion kWh (2014 est.)
83.7 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports100 million kWh (2014 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports6.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production160 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports145,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves680,000 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves1.444 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production97 million cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption597 million cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports500 million cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity7.7 million kW (2014 est.)
58,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels69% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants19.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources4.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production149,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption296,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
1,700 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports28,510 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports186,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
1,702 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy39 million Mt (2013 est.)
300,000 Mt (2013 est.)

Telecommunications

MoroccoWestern Sahara
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: good system composed of open-wire lines, cables, and microwave radio relay links; principal switching centers are Casablanca and Rabat; national network nearly 100% digital using fiber-optic links; improved rural service employs microwave radio relay; Internet available but expensive
domestic: fixed-line teledensity is below 10 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership exceeds 120 per 100 persons
international: country code - 212; landing point for the Atlas Offshore, Estepona-Tetouan, Euroafrica, Spain-Morocco, and SEA-ME-WE-3 fiber-optic telecommunications undersea cables that provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Gibraltar, Spain, and Western Sahara; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria; participant in Medarabtel; fiber-optic cable link from Agadir to Algeria and Tunisia (2015)
general assessment: sparse and limited system
domestic: NA
international: country code - 212; tied into Morocco's system by microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and satellite; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) linked to Rabat, Morocco (2015)
Internet country code.ma
.eh
Broadcast media2 TV broadcast networks with state-run Radio-Television Marocaine (RTM) operating one network and the state partially owning the other; foreign TV broadcasts are available via satellite dish; 3 radio broadcast networks with RTM operating one; the government-owned network includes 10 regional radio channels in addition to its national service (2007)
Morocco's state-owned broadcaster, Radio-Television Marocaine (RTM), operates a radio service from Laayoune and relays TV service; a Polisario-backed radio station also broadcasts (2008)

Transportation

MoroccoWestern Sahara
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Casablanca, Jorf Lasfar, Mohammedia, Safi, Tangier
container port(s) (TEUs): Tangier (2,093,408)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Jorf Lasfar
major seaport(s): Ad Dakhla, Laayoune (El Aaiun)
Airports55 (2013)
6 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 31
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 24
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 11
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Transnational Issues

MoroccoWestern Sahara
Disputes - internationalclaims and administers Western Sahara whose sovereignty remains unresolved; Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, the islands of Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; both countries claim Isla Perejil (Leila Island); discussions have not progressed on a comprehensive maritime delimitation, setting limits on resource exploration and refugee interdiction, since Morocco's 2002 rejection of Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands; Morocco serves as one of the primary launching areas of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa; Algeria's border with Morocco remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; the National Liberation Front's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco is a dormant dispute
"many neighboring states reject Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; several states have extended diplomatic relations to the ""Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic"" represented by the Polisario Front in exile in Algeria, while others recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara; approximately 90,000 Sahrawi refugees continue to be sheltered in camps in Tindouf, Algeria, which has hosted Sahrawi refugees since the 1980s
"

Source: CIA Factbook