1. National ICT Policy/Plan/Strategy
Digital Morocco is Morocco’s national ICT policy and was originally launched in 2004 by the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies. The current plan is Digital Morocco 2013. The policy was originally in French, but the current policy is in English.
2. Government Websites/webpages:
3. Case Study:
Organization: GENIE Program’ (GENeralization of Information Technologies and Communication in Education in Morocco)
(USAID and National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency/ANRT)
Time Frame: 2005- Present
4. Other Non-Government Resources:
c. https://www.itu.int/net4/itu-d/icteye/CountryProfile.aspx (Morocco)
5. Morocco is a very interesting nation to study ICTs and it certainly helps to know some french!
Currently classified as a low middle-income country, Morocco ranks 10th among 16 Arab states for ICT development, and is seeking to transition to a digitally literate information society in order to facilitate its economic growth and global competitiveness. While the absence of such a transformation precludes Morocco’s inclusion in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Digital Economy rankings, the UN ICT Task Force report identifies Morocco as a high demand country for ICTs. The 85.82% penetration rate of mobile phone subscribers for 2010 indicates that Morocco’s population is becoming increasingly literate in terms of ICT technologies, as does the 60% growth in the number of Internet subscribers from 2005 to 2010. From these figures it reasonable to expect that data on Morocco’s digital economy will be available in the future.
A primary focus of Morocco’s national ICT policy is the harnessing of ICT as a means to improve business productivity. Since Morocco is already a leading destination for Francophone call centers, the government wants to capitalize on this and other areas in which Morocco has demonstrated strong potential for export. Open Society Foundations suggests that increasing offshoring and call centers in Morocco stands to add 0.3 percent annually to GDP growth from 2003 to 2018, reducing the international trade deficit by around 35 percent and create 100,000 new jobs. According to the World Bank, high-technology exports as a percentage of manufactured exports accounted for 8% of Morocco’s GDP in 2010, the most recent available data. After falling from its high of 11% in 2003, high-technology exports plunged to 6% in 2008 from 9% in 2007. This dramatic drop was likely due to the global financial crisis and consequent contraction of investment across the board. Since then, it has been increasing steadily, and will likely continue to add to Morocco’s economy in the future.
The greatest challenge for Morocco is also an opportunity with significant growth potential. Morocco ranked 114th of 144 countries in the skills readiness sub-index of World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report for 2013. Despite these inadequacies in the population’s ICT skills, education initiatives suggest promising developments on the horizon, and positive responses in ICT demand indicate a growing interest in these technologies that Morocco can harness to further industry growth. In order for Morocco to best improve its capacity for ICT it needs to address this disconnect between a high demand for ICT technologies and a low rate of ICT skills within the population and workforce.
National ICT Strategy:
Digital Morocco 2013: The National Strategy for Information Society and Digital Economy
- Also known as: Maroc Numeric (French Version)
- Last Updated: 21 June 2010
- Published by: Ministry of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies.
- Language: English
Programme eGouvernement (Newest supplement to Maroc Numeric 2013)
- Last Updated: 19 January 2011
- Published by: Ministry of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies
- Language: French
National Strategy Documents
Finding ICT resources for Morocco is relatively easy! Morocco is included in most of the comprehensive reports on ICT in developing countries that are available on blackboard. It was helpful knowing French to navigate some of the websites but not necessary. I highly recommend selecting this country… Telecommunications was Morocco’s highest sector of FDI in 2010 so there are a lot of exciting things happening!
This semester in IDEV4100 ICT4D at Tulane has been a wonderful experience. It was great to learn about applicable resources in the development field and be a part of the information dissemination process through twitter, blogging and mapping. The most valuable lesson I learned in ICT4D and something that I thing is crucial in the overall study of the field is the concept of Digital Divide. I have visited and researched the country Morocco a lot over my collegiate career and have always been amazed by the gap between urban and rural areas in terms of development, income, and resources. Through this class, I have realized that a large part of this problem could be attributed to the digital divide and lack of ICT infrastructure in those rural areas thus restricting development in other areas such as economics and health. With G8 countries being home to 15% of the world population and 50% of world Internet users, this is a crucial area of ICT4D that needs attention. This can be addressed by tackling access (technology and bandwidth), skills (personal and professional), policy (use and filtering), and motivation for individuals. By limiting barriers to access such as gender, age, geographic restraints, education and economic status, development projects could uncover a whole new potential in available populations who have access to the NECESSARY resources.
Outside of the area of the digital divide, the most important lesson I personally learned that I feel will help me in my (hopeful) career in development is that importance of using what populations already have. In previous classes when I have been tasked with creating development solutions, I have always had exorbitant budgets bring in all new people, equipment and ideas. After this class, I realize that it is beneficial to the developer and the target populations to use what people already have to ensure education/learning curve, affordability, and acceptance of the development project. Mobile phones are already are being used across the globe at an increasingly high rate and development projects should take advantage of this incredible resource already in place. It would be much more efficient to create programs that people can access via mobiles than trying to set up computers in internet cafes and get Internet connection. By the same token, the “leapfrog effect” is very important to consider here. Areas such as sub Saharan Africa have skipped many previous technological developments and are now steadily picking up the use of mobiles. This illustrates the important of knowing your target population and where they are in the ICT line of development.
This was a great semester to see development in ACTION and learn some valuable lessons that could be applied in areas outside of ICT. It seems to me that the idea still stands that some of the most important things are knowing your target population, creating accessibility for all, and working for a true knowledge society across the globe.