According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, the Kingdom of Morocco is located in the far northwest of Africa on the Atlantic and Mediterranean. The country’s nature is shaped by several chains of the Atlas Mountains, which frame the Moroccan meseta, a wide, flat, undulating steppe landscape in the north and east. In the north there is a Mediterranean climate. However, towards the south towards the Sahara, precipitation decreases sharply. Morocco is an agriculturally structured developing country with agriculture, mining and tourism as the main sources of income.
The Kingdom of Morocco is the westernmost state in North Africa and just a stone’s throw from Europe. The country lies on the Strait of Gibraltar, the westernmost gateway of the Mediterranean into the Atlantic. It has a 400 km long, mainly steep coast on the Mediterranean Sea and a flat coastal fringe on the Atlantic Ocean, which is 1400 km longer. The Mediterranean ports of Melilla and Ceuta (across from Gibraltar) have been Spanish property since the late Middle Ages.
In the east and south-east Morocco borders on Algeria, in the south on the Democratic Arab Republic of the Sahara, which Morocco has occupied since 1979 (Fig. 1). The state capital and residence of the Moroccan kings (currently MUHAMMAD IV.) Has been Rabat, located on the Atlantic, since 1912.
Morocco is a land of natural contrasts. There are fertile green regions in the coastal plains on the Atlantic Ocean and on the rivers as well as the high, snow-capped mountains in the Atlas Mountains or the dry, hot peripheral areas of the Sahara with the green splashes of color of their oases.
However, Morocco’s landscape is mainly shaped by the Atlas Mountains. They cross the country from southwest to northeast and continue in neighboring Algeria and Tunisia.
In the far north, the rainy Rifatlas, a wildly rugged mountain arch, stretches from the Strait of Gibraltar to the east along the Mediterranean coast.
The Rifatlas is bounded in the south by a valley running to the west-east, the so-called “Taza-Narrow”. It is traversed by the Sebou, which flows into the Atlantic. The Sebou is one of only two rivers in Morocco that carry water all year round.
From the Taza Narrows, the Moroccan Meseta rises to almost 500 m to the south. The meseta is a wide table landscape, which mainly consists of flat, undulating, steppe-like plateaus overlooked by isolated island mountains. The Meseta is framed to the south and east by the distinctive mountain ranges of the Middle Atlas and the High Atlas.
The Middle Atlas is more of a low mountain range, although it has over 3000 m high peaks. Pine, cork oak and cedar stands thrive on the western slopes with higher levels of precipitation.
The High Atlas, on the other hand, with its rugged, ridged mountain formations and steeply rising peaks has the character of high mountains. The highest peaks of the Atlas mountain system and all of North Africa (Djebel Toubkal 4165 m), which are regularly covered with a blanket of snow in winter, are also located in it.
South of the Anti-Atlas, the Atlas chains merge into the fringes of the Sahara, and to the east into the highlands of the Schotts of Algeria.
The Atlas Mountains as the backbone of the country are also the climatic divide between the Mediterranean-Atlantic shaped western parts of Morocco and the Saharan influenced eastern part of the country.
The north has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The frequent, abundant winter rainfall turns into snow in the higher mountain regions. Here and in the congestion area on the western slope of the Atlas chains, there is not only the widespread maquis (the typical Mediterranean hard-leaved shrub vegetation) but also remnants of the former natural Mediterranean vegetation: forests with stone and cork oaks, Atlas cedars and Aleppo pines.
To the south, summer temperatures increase and rainfall decreases. It is much hotter in Marrakech in summer, and noticeably less rain falls in winter than in Fes. Character plants of this region are argania, ironwood trees that only grow in Morocco.
In the Atlantic plain, the cold Canary Current temperature has a balancing effect on the coastal climate.
In the fringes of the Sahara south of the Atlas, there is a hot, dry desert climate. In the transition area, dry steppe vegetation with thorn bushes still thrives. Agriculture is only possible in oases on irrigated areas.
Important data about the country
|Population density:||70 residents / km²|
|Growth of population:||1.6% / year|
(men / women)
|Form of government:||Constitutional monarchy|
|Population groups:||Arabs and Arabized Berbers 60%, Berbers (Moors) 36%, Black Africans 4%|
|Languages:||Arabic as the official language, Berber dialects|
|Religions:||Islam 99% (Sunni Muslims), Christian and Jewish minorities|
|Climate:||predominantly subtropical with decreasing precipitation inland, July temperatures in Rabat 23 °C, January temperatures 13 °C|
|Land use:||Pasture land 28%, arable land 19%, forest 11%, other areas mostly desert|
|Main export goods:||Phosphate, ores, citrus fruits, wine, vegetables, canned food, cotton, textiles, carpets|
|Gross domestic product:||$ 43,727 million (2003)|
(share of GDP)
|Agriculture 17%, industry
30%, services 53%
|Gross National Product:||US $ 1,310 per resident (2003)|
Agriculture, mining and tourism are of the greatest importance to the developing country of Morocco. The country’s economy is heavily burdened by a deficit budget and high foreign debt. One in five Moroccans is unemployed and over half are illiterate. More than 1.5 million Moroccans are guest workers abroad. By providing for their families, they contribute to a modest level of prosperity compared to other African countries.
Agriculture, which is dominated by large estates, employs 40% of the workforce. Therefore, Morocco can still be considered an agricultural country.
Agriculture is concentrated in the north and the western parts of the Meseta. Extensive irrigation cultures are found mainly in the coastal plains and in the river valleys.
Grain, potatoes, fruit and sugar beets are cultivated for the self-sufficiency of the population. Citrus fruits, vegetables and wine, on the other hand, are mainly export crops. Around a third of export revenues are generated with them. In the drier steppe-like areas in the mountains, livestock farming dominates. Mainly sheep and goats are kept. Fishing in the Atlantic is particularly profitable , which is due to the nutrient richness of the cold Canary Islands. Moroccan canned fish, especially sardines, are highly valued in many European countries.
Natural resources / industry
The rich natural resources are of particular economic importance . In addition to extensive deposits of iron, copper and other ores, Morocco has the world’s largest deposits of phosphate. As the third largest exporter, the country generates almost 20% of its export income with phosphates.
The industry of the country is still not very developed and more focused on the internal market. Nevertheless, there are now also modern companies in the chemical, metal processing and building materials industries. However, the focus is on food and consumer goods, u. a. Textiles and leather goods, mainly produced in small and medium-sized businesses. The traditional craft, e.g. B. the production of carpets, metal and leather goods, is still very important for the domestic market and tourism.
The tourism in Morocco an economic factor of growing importance (foreign visitors in 1995: 1.53 million, 1999: 2.2 million). Foreign guests are mainly attracted by the natural beauties of the country and by interesting testimonies to the culture and way of life of its people. a. to be admired in the villages in the Atlas area:
In the mountain landscapes of the Atlas there are many villages in the traditional Berber style, the Kasba (Fig. 7). The up to five-story houses with tower-like battlements are made of a mixture of clay and corn stalks. They usually serve as a home for a family or clan. With their smooth outer walls, small windows and towers, they look like fortresses. The defensive character is underlined by high walls around the residential castles and around the entire village. The Kasbas, in which up to 1000 people live, are also known for their carved house doors and ornamental decorations on the walls, which are supposed to serve both as decoration and as a defense against evil forces.