Morocco is an average sized Arab state located in North Africa, a region that was pre-dominantly colonized by the French during the late 19th and early 20th century. Geographically, the nation borders the Mediterranean Sea on the eastern coastal shoreline and the Atlantic Ocean on the western coastal line. Currently the population stands at approximately 32 million persons who occupy the approximate area of 446,550 square kilometers (World Fact Book 2012). In addition, the country has moderate deposits of natural energy resources such as oil and gas. However, the nation has had its fair challenges that have impacted the economic growth rate and the welfare of its citizens since attaining independence from the French colony in the year 1956. This paper will analyze broadly these myriad of challenges faced by Morocco since attaining self-rule in the ensuing paragraphs below.
Problem of Unemployment
Involuntary unemployment levels remain high over the past two decades. This can be attributed to the high population growth rate in the country and the fact that agriculture is the main sector of the economy that employs about 44% of the total population (Davis 89). This means if there is failure in any sectors of the economy, the unemployment levels are going to rise. Unemployment is a major challenge to the growth of any economy in the world and especially when it is involuntary unemployment. This negative phenomenon in Morocco can be attributed to the high population of the jobless youths in the country. Morocco’s youth account for about 30% of the total population, 49% of whom are neither working or in school. This statistic is alarming and poses a bigger challenge to the development of the nation since majority of the youthful population are not able to secure jobs. Consequently, the level of crime is likely to increase unless these young people are able to secure employment in technical and other manual jobs to keep them busy. It has been a big challenge for the government to include these youths in any form of activity and yet they have so much energy that can be channeled towards development. This exclusion has resulted into a frustrated section of the population that lacks respect for the authorities, and cases of crime perpetrated by the youths (Naggar 156).
Poor Structure of Governance
Morocco is governed by a constitutional monarchy, therefore the ultimate authority rests with the ruling King. Currently occupying the throne is King Mohammed VI. This means the constitution is not adhered to strictly when it comes to matters of governance unlike the case in nations that embrace democracy such as the United States of America. In democratic states, the will of the people prevails when it comes to matters of national interest. However, this is not the case in Morocco. The King presides over a council of ministers and has powers to dismiss ministers who oppose views. In addition, the powers of the King extend to ability to dissolve parliament and call for elections at his will.
This presents a challenge on ways of empowering the state institutions and to cleanse them from corruption by encouraging accountability through separation of their mandates according to what they have specialized in. This is because these state organs are not impartial since they are prone to interference from the top political class who wish to pursue vested interests at the expense of the citizens. Consequently, cases of corruption are rampant, the governed citizens’ have lost confidence with the civil servants and this is continuing to hamper efforts channeled towards fostering development and national unity.
Less developed education system and qualified labor force
Morocco has shocking gaps when it comes to literacy levels. Though education is free and compulsory up to the age of 15 years, majority of rural children, especially the girl child do not enroll for schooling. The average dropout rate for both sexes is about 21%, which represents one of the largest figures compared to other developing nations. There are fears that the needs of the labor market regarding economic and social welfare are not being addressed (Clement and Robert 27). The situation is worsened further by the fact that the few skilled workers supposed to steer the working population forward is seeking greener pastures abroad. The government of Morocco has not invested adequately to encourage and support projects in fields such as technology and research. According to Abdeljelil Bakri, a professor at the University of Cadi Ayyad, the Moroccan higher education, science and technology is handicapped by three notable elements (University world news 2012). These are:
1. The lack qualified academic, technical and administrative personnel
2. The lack of sustainable resources
3. The lack of precise short, medium and long-term strategies
The don suggests that the Moroccan government should set the targets and allocate adequate financial and human resources that are essential for the nation to promote its continuous training and human capacity building to conquer new challenges and needs. He insists that the curriculum should be designed to encourage entrepreneurial creativity and connect students with active life.
Measures to tackle these broad Challenges
In conclusion, Morocco is a country with great potential for development. It has moderate deposits of oil that contributes greatly to its growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Morocco is faced with challenges that range from unemployment, dependence on agriculture as their main economic activity, failure to separate different powers of state organs, lack of accountability and transparency in these institutions, lack of a well-developed legal framework among others (Davis 92). However, the nation has put necessary steps in place to ensure that a means of dealing with these challenges is reached amicably. Youth population in Morocco is also high and a significant percentage of them do not have proper education to enable them secure jobs in key sectors of the economy. This is a big challenge that needs to be addressed to ensure that the required development levels are reached within the required time period. The government of Morocco should partner with its multilateral trade partners, that are countries from the European Union to establish scholarships that will see bright students flown to institutions of higher learning in these developed nations where they can acquire good training and bring the acquired skill home to foster national development. The problem of bad governance can be tackled through strengthening of the state’s institutions and limiting powers of the monarchy. When these measures are implemented, the nation will be propelled to greater heights as more persons will be involved in economic activities and politics will stabilize.
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