The current policies, implemented between 1999 and now, created by the Moroccan Government, King Mohammed VI, and Bank Al-Maghrib (the Central Bank of Morocco) are aimed at the final objective to become an emerging industrial country by 2015. These policies have already been showing optimism towards Morocco’s growth because they include a diverse and disciplinary approach to the development of the non-agricultural aspect of the Moroccan economy. They are focused on improving non-agricultural employment opportunities and making them more numerous. This includes investments in the creation of special sectorial zones in industry, tourism, and services outsourcing. Moroccan policy makers are trying to avoid depending on agriculture to produce GDP because the yield of crops fluctuate dramatically from year to year and droughts are unpredictable and inevitable. Morocco’s investments in tourism, services, and industry should cause demand growth in Europe, which is Morocco’s key export market and source of tourism, meaning that Morocco should become more attractive to European nations. To explain how I would supplement or change the existing policies in Morocco, I recommend four different plans of action.
Policy makers, dealing with tourism which is looking to become one of Morocco’s most profitable industries, should continue to implement policies that will direct some of Morocco’s GDP away from depending on agriculture. With 45% of Morocco’s population being farmers, government intervention can decrease that amount by giving farmers the incentive to work in industry, tourism, or services. Not only can the government prove that these three occupations are more stable than farming but they can also influence farmers by offering them a promised wage that is set at what the most a farmer could make if their crops yielded as much as it possibly could. They could also offer farmer free or very cheap trainging. On average, agriculture only makes up 14% of Morocco’s GDP. If Morocco wants to make investments that will better its future, the government and Bank Al-Maghrib should work out a deal to decrease the farming population and gradually increase the population of Moroccans in industry, tourism, and service within the next 5 to 10 years by incentivising farmers to stop farming.
Another policy that Morocco should follow to improve its GDP and way of life is to invest in new construction and infrastructure, which they can advertise to attract tourist from around the world. The Moroccan government should dedicate much of its GDP to the creation of new resorts, water parks, and other attractions that would give investors the incentive to invest in Moroccan property and the incentive for tourists to visit. Morocco’s northern border is lined with thousands of miles of coastal land that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean all the way into the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco should take advantage of this ocean front property and build beach resorts and other tourist attractions. This is an investment that I believe would dramatically reshape Morocco’s image in 20 to 30 years.
I believe Morocco, having the second largest GDP (only to Egypt) among Muslim countries without oil, can further increase its GDP by loosening up on religious policy. Although over 98% of the population is Muslim, the Government should make a sacrifice and advocate for the practice of freedom of religion. Moroccans do have a choice to practice other religions, but it is largely looked down upon and scolded because many orthodox Muslims show no tolerance towards other religions (Jewish Virtual Library). If Morocco were to reach a state where people aren’t discriminated because of their religion, I believe they would have an even better chance to increase GDP because tourism would eventually increase, they would be open to negotiate and/or trade with other countries, women would be seen more as equals, and the overall image of Morocco would gradually be changed in the long-run. Although this could cause some adverse effects, such as the entire Muslim world abandoning Morocco, I believe it is worth the risk and within 20 years Morocco could be seen as more of a Muslim European or Muslim Mediterranean country, rather than an orthodox Muslim country.
Although King Mohammed VI announced a change to the personal status code in 2003 that would give women greater rights on matters covering marriage and divorce, I believe allowing Moroccan women to have even more rights would be beneficial to the overall well being of the country. Ever since the beginning of U.S. history we have experienced problems facing women's rights but, even though the U.S. is nothing like Morocco, now American women are attending college more than American men (Marklein. 2005). I believe that if the Moroccan government can overcome the strict nature of Islamic tradition and advocate for the rights of women, eventually women will become more educated and this will give Moroccan’s more people who can grow up and better their country. Although women's rights in the U.S. took over 200 years to come about, I believe Morocco is further ahead in women's rights than most other Muslim countries (Huffington Post. 2009). If the Government and King Mohammed VI allow influential Moroccan women to come up with their own women's rights policies, I believe Moroccan women will experience freedom from being treated as inferior to men within 50 years.
I believe these four policies can eventually give Morocco the chance to become a world power, but they may have some adverse effects. The policies that could experience negative consequences could be the plans to advocate for religious freedom and women's rights. Although I believe these would dramatically benefit Morocco in the long-run, there is a possibility that these policies could cause the rest of the Muslim world to abandon Morocco and show them little to no support, or even opposition, because most Muslim countries believe in following strict traditional Islamic laws, called Sharia (Pipes. 2008). Morocco shouldn’t be worried about other Muslim countries scolding it for changing its views because if Morocco decides to implement these four policies and become more westernized, it may have the support of the U.S. and/or other westernized countries.
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