Morocco/ 2. General objectives and principles of cultural policy  

2.3 Cultural policy objectives

Researcher Abdel Wahed Al Ozry notes that the implementation of cultural policy in Morocco will depend on the efficiency of every minister and the skill of her/his cadres. He asserts that cultural policy is linked to ministry regulations. The MoC’s meagre budget means that many potential cultural projects spend a seemingly endless amount of time waiting for state assistance and for the bulk of cultural and artistic practices, waiting for the technical assistance of the state. In general, cultural policy priorities are determined by the king’s and prime minister’s guidelines.

The major cultural objectives which the minister of culture between 2007 and 2009, Thoreau Jbran Kraitef, pledged to achieve are:

  • Establishing major institutions, such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art and the National Institute of Music and Dance.
  • Improving the social and health conditions of the Moroccan artist, establishing an Artist’s Law, and preparing and issuing an identity card specifically for artists.
  • Encouraging reading, protecting physical and intangible national cultural heritage, and  preserving historical sites and monuments.
  • Developing a support mechanism in all areas of artistic and literary creativity and thought.
  • Renewing structures of production and promotion and continuing their evolution.

In turn, the current Minister of Culture Dr Bensalem Himmich has asserted that raising literacy rates is at the top of his agenda (Al-Hayat newspaper on 18 September, 2009).

The current Minister of Culture, Mr Mohammed Amin Subaihi, has focused on four themes:

  1. The "Cultural Morocco" strategy
  2. The "Heritage 2020" strategy
  3. Creative cultural production
  4. Putting in place a new program for partnership

(See Chapter 4, paragraph 1.4)

Criteria and Process for Evaluating Cultural Policy

Researcher Farid Lamrini indicates that the increasing number of festivals reveals that there are no current mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of cultural projects, despite civic and political outcry over the misappropriation of public money. Perhaps, for this reason,the Ministry of Culture is leading an assessment initiative that is the first of its kind in  Moroccan cultural history. This initiative which was organised by meeting on 27 Dec 2013, aimed at taking a comprehensive look at Moroccan festivals and learning how to organise and closely evaluate the work and performance of officials or supervisors by presenting 3case studies. (Ahydws Festival at Allawh Ein, and Festival of Street Art in Fas, and Alaiyta Festival in AlAsifi). According to its organisers it also thought  to deepen beneficence from the private sector and public institutions through cultural festivals which adopted modern elements but also maintained a distinctive presence on the cultural scene nationally. For the Fez Festival for Ancient World Music, the Boulevard Festival in Casablanca, and Tymtar Festival in Agadir, they would measure this by identifying adopted modern methods and judge the effectiveness of the economic and cultural impact of these festivals on the public, especially on young people. These  specific indicators would assist in the creation of government organisation and would be used as a model for  setting annual budgets and ensure balanced programming that takes into account the physical constraints and diverse peculiarities of local and regional areas. The Ministry of Culture, through this process, was keen on adopting recommendations made by the initiative which could be adopted by other festivals.

The lack of credible assessment tools meant no data existed on: the effect of ministerial campaigns to disseminate books and support reading on the literacy rate, the number of museum visits each year, the cultural and developmental benefit festivals may provide, the spread of Moroccan music in Arabic and international forums, and the quality of Moroccan theatrical productions relative to international standards.

Perhaps, for this reason the Ministry of Culture, in partnership with the Ministry of Communication and the High-Commissioner for Planning, set up a system to develop national cultural statistics. It began its work in the month of October, 2012, with plans for completion in 2014. The aim of this initiative was to create a framework to strengthen governance, building and assessment of provincial policy of the State in cultural fields in a systemic and scientific way.


Chapter published: 05-05-2016