Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco

Morocco A link between Europe and Africa

Morocco is an important link between Europe and Africa – politically, culturally and economically. King Mohammed VI is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of this north African country, and has been since 1999. Following the wave of protests that swept through many Arab countries starting in December 2010 (Arab Spring), demands for political and social reforms were also made in Morocco.

King Mohammed VI responded with steps to modernise the state. In July 2011, for example, a new constitution was adopted containing for the first time ever a list of fundamental rights and emphasising the country's pluralist identity.

Despite the reforms carried out in recent years, the King's key position has essentially remained unchanged.

The social challenges facing the country include, in particular, the high level of unemployment and the lack of job opportunities for its young population.

Relations between Morocco and Germany

Morocco is a key partner for Germany in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. In their 2013 Rabat Declaration, the foreign ministers of the two countries agreed to engage in continuous cooperation and to deepen their dialogue on democratic development, the rule of law, civil society and human rights.

The focus of German-Moroccan development cooperation is on sustainable economic development and employment, renewable energies and water.

Morocco is part of the G20 Compact with Africa initiative to improve the enabling environment for private investment. Under the initiative German Development Minister Gerd Müller and the Moroccan Finance Minister Mohamed Benchaâboun agreed at the end of November 2019 to start a German-Moroccan reform partnership.

Royal Guard at the Mausoleum of King Mohammed V and his sons in Rabat, Morocco

A monarchy with democratic elements Internal link

Morocco is a monarchy with elements of a parliamentary democracy. King Mohammed VI determines the political lines to be followed. In 2015, a territorial reform came into force, giving the regions more political responsibilities.

Beekeepers have formed a cooperative.

Gap between town and country Internal link

Living conditions are difficult for many Moroccans. There is a wide gap between rich and poor. The current Human Development Index (HDI) published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ranks Morocco 121st out of 189 countries.

Food stall in Marrakech

Improved business climate, jobs in short supply Internal link

Morocco is currently going through a far-reaching process of transformation from an agricultural country to an economy based on manufacturing and services. The economic environment and the business climate have improved significantly in recent year

The night market on the square Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakesh, Morocco

The night market on the square Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakesh, Morocco

The night market on the square Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakesh, Morocco

German development cooperation with Morocco

At the government negotiations in October 2018, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) made a new commitment of 151.7 million euros for Morocco. Of this sum, 49.1 million euros is for Technical Cooperation and 102.6 million euros is for Financial cooperation. For the most part this funding is provided in the form of loans at near-market conditions.

The following were agreed as priority areas of cooperation:

  • Sustainable economic development and employment
  • Renewable energy
  • Water

In addition, the BMZ is promoting good governance in Morocco, for example with regard to migration and decentralisation (see below).

Employee in a textile factory in Morocco, which offers a dual training system based on the German model

More jobs for young people in rural areas Internal link

The focus of German-Moroccan cooperation in this priority area is on both the demand side and the supply side of the labour market. On the demand side, the emphasis is on vocational training, particularly for young people in rural areas. On the supply side, cooperation activities are mainly concerned with access to finance and with improving business services for MSMEs and for the self-employed.

An employee of the solar power plant in Ouarzazate looks over a solar field.

Providing climate-friendly energy Internal link

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is assisting the Moroccan government in implementing a climate-friendly energy strategy. Important areas of cooperation are expanding renewable energies and improving energy efficiency, along with training, employment and research in the field of renewable energy.

Women are fetching water from a well in Morocco.

Drinking water, waste­water and resource management Internal link

Over the last few decades, German support has helped to significantly improve drinking water supplies for the Moroccan population. Today, a special focus of this development cooperation is on rural areas and small and medium-sized towns.

During his trip to North Africa in February 2016, Minister Müller visited an integration centre in Rabat which had been set up with German support and which is a contact point for immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Germany will extend such welcome centres to a further ten municipalities.

Displace­ment and migration | Decentral­isation Internal link

Germany and Morocco also work together in areas outside the agreed priority areas. For example, the German government is assisting Morocco in implementing its national migration and asylum strategy, and in realising the legal provisions for decentralisation.

Sale of mussel soup - food stall on the square Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakech, Morocco

Sale of mussel soup - food stall on the square Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakech, Morocco

Sale of mussel soup - food stall on the square Djemaa el-Fna in Marrakech, Morocco