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How Morocco became Such an Economic Powerhouse in Africa?

Morocco is among the richest and most advanced economies of the African continent. This fact is, of course, not random. If Morocco has achieved such unprecedented levels of economic development, it is because the economy of Morocco is considered a relatively liberal economy, governed by the law of supply and demand. Since 1993, Morocco had followed a policy of privatization of certain economic sectors which used to be in the hands of the government. Thus Morocco has become the 5th largest African economy by GDP. Indeed, Morocco has a GDP of $142.9 billion. As a result, as of 2020, income per capita in Morocco rose to nearly $4,000 while the average GDP per capita of Sub-Saharan Africa is less than $2,000.

We know that a great majority of African countries still rely on their agricultural sector to create output. More importantly, many African countries are still selling their raw materials to the global market. Countries such as Japan, Singapore, or western European countries, which lack raw materials, buy these raw materials, manufacture them, and sell them back to African countries at a much higher price, which secured them a profit on the sale. Thus, many African countries have been struggling to advance economically due to their lagging and difficulty adjusting to the global market. Morocco, on the other hand, has heavily invested in its manufacturing sector. Moroccans fathomed that the transformation of their raw materials into finished products is the key to remaining competitive and taking the lead in certain markets. The major resources of the Moroccan economy are agriculture, phosphate minerals, and tourism. Industry and mining contribute about one-third of the annual GDP. And it is important to highlight that Morocco is the world’s third-largest producer of phosphates after the United States and China, and the price fluctuations of phosphates on the international market greatly influence Morocco’s economy.

Morocco possesses then one of the most industrialized sectors of its economy, which enables it to become one of the most reliable economies of the African continent. It is essential to understand that the reliability of the Moroccan economy is also based on the stability of its political system. Morocco is not a liberal democracy. It is a constitutional monarchy like the United Kingdom or Spain. This system has been in place for decades, if not hundreds of years. The stability of the Moroccan political system insured investors that Morocco is a safe place to invest.

Source: UNCTAD

According to the UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2022, FDI (Foreign Direct Investments) flows to Morocco reached $2.1 billion in 2021, up by more than half compared to one year earlier. The main investing countries have been France, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, the United States, and the Netherlands. These countries aforementioned make up the wealthiest countries on the planet. Foreign investment is an important indicator of the economic performance and political condition of a country. The higher and more foreign investment a country receives, the better the living standards of that country improves. And the high level of foreign investment in Morocco indicates that Morocco is becoming a very strong continental economic power.


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