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:

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Domestic politics and policy
The ability of the Moroccan establishment to deliver on its domestic promises will remain a central issue in 2018. There are concerns that the periodic culling of under-performing and, in some cases, corrupt public servants, will not necessarily result in the speedier delivery of large-scale reform programmes and social services in neglected regions.

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.

International Affairs
King Mohamed VI will continue his strategy of repairing relations with individual European states — above all with France since the election of President Emmanuel Macron — after a 2016 European Court of Justice ruling prohibited goods exported from Western Sahara to be included in Morocco’s Enhanced Status agreement.

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.

  1. Morocco’s success in attracting offshore automotive assembly plants now means that cars represent Morocco’s largest export.
  2. Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD has recently joined Samsung’s plans to establish electric car manufacturing plants in the Tangler free zone.
  3. Aerospace also remains a key sector for expansion, with plans to more than double existing jobs from 11,500 to 34,500 by 2020.

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Revamping Morocco’s development model

Revamping Morocco’s development model

Following his 29 July throne day speech — in which he highlighted the failings of previous development programmes — King Mohamed VI reiterated his calls for a new development model for the Kingdom in a subsequent speech on 20 August commemorating the 66th Anniversary...

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