A brand new Menas Associates off-the-shelf publication for 2018. Morocco Focus is produced monthly and analyses the political, economic, and security challenges that the country faces. If you would like to receive a free copy, then hit the button below:
The Forecast, 2018
Below is a summary of The Forecast: Morocco 2018 – download the pdf version of the document here:
Domestic politics and policy
The underlying risk of social unrest remains real.
Government data suggests that the Moroccan security forces remain on top of the local recruitment of jihadists to Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist networks, and that local intelligence will limit further serious attacks on tourist sites within Morocco. By the end of 2017, Morocco’s security services had reportedly intercepted and detained a total of nine terrorist networks, 186 terrorists and 20 jihadists returning to Morocco from conflict zones in Libya, Syria and Iraq.
However, the risk of domestic infiltration, particularly in areas of high unemployment and official neglect remains high, although notably not within the civil protest movement in Al Hoceima.
The still-unresolved status of the Western Sahara — over which Morocco has claimed sovereignty since the mid-1970s — continues to act as a drag on external diplomatic energies and resources. This issue has little prospect of being resolved in 2018.
Morocco will remain a stable and relatively dynamic economic partner in 2018, but frustration about inequality, territorial imbalances and a sense of underachievement against its own vision of economic development will remain. King Mohamed VI admitted as much in a speech in October 2017, surprising many observers by saying that ‘our national development model no longer responds to citizens’ growing demands and pressing needs; it has not been able to reduce disparities between segments of the population, correct inter-regional imbalances or achieve social justice.’
Energy & Other Indusrty
Morocco’s exports continue to diversify faster than that of its neighbours, above all the hydrocarbon-dependent Algeria, which is now facing stiff competition from Morocco’s overtures to Chinese investors.
- Morocco’s success in attracting offshore automotive assembly plants now means that cars represent Morocco’s largest export.
- Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD has recently joined Samsung’s plans to establish electric car manufacturing plants in the Tangler free zone.
- Aerospace also remains a key sector for expansion, with plans to more than double existing jobs from 11,500 to 34,500 by 2020.
Latest blog pieces
Morocco is one of Africa and the world’s leaders in renewable energy. Since 2011, it has included provisions regarding sustainable development in the constitution. It opened Africa’s largest wind farm at Tarfaya in southern Morocco in 2014 and the world’s largest...read more
Morocco has announced that it would be severing diplomatic relations with Tehran because of the latter’s support for the Polisario Front, the Saharawis movement for Western Sahara independence (among other things). Morocco has accused Iran and Hezbollah of training...read more
King Mohammed VI had not been seen in Morocco for months before reports surfaced on 16 April that he had returned for a brief visit. Earlier in the month a ‘selfie’ — taken and posted by the embattled Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri — appeared on social media...read more