Morocco/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.2 Public actors and cultural diplomacy

Initiating bi- and multilateral agreements is addressed by the two ministries stated previously. Examples include bilateral cultural agreements and executive cooperation programs were signed with Malaysia, Tunisia, China, Laos, Bolivia, Italy, Lebanon, Vanuatu, Mexico and Bahrain.

Recent examples are the cultural, media and health agreements signed between Morocco and Oman.

Morocco and Jordan signed executive programs for exchanging cultural, educational, scientific and public information from 2008 to 2011.

Some multilateral agreements include:

  • The film co-production agreement between the United Kingdom and Morocco.
  • The purpose of the co-production agreement is to provide an official framework under which film producers in both countries can share financial, technical and creative resources, enabling them to make films and qualify for government aid in their own country.
  • The International Jazz festival (Jazz au Chellah) between Morocco and Europe.

Morocco is also witnessing a steady increase in the number of art and film festivals. However, the lavishness associated with staging international film festivals has been criticised, as has the lack of budget transparency and the government’s weak monitoring capacities. Hence the National Agency for the Protection of Public Money objects to this type of cultural development.

Other criticisms of large foreign investments in the national film industry have been raised. And while some call the city of Warzazat the “African Hollywood”, its last movie theatre was closed in 2008 due to low attendance and poor box-office returns.

As of 2009, talk will focus on cultural diplomacy as a new concept, being a new vital process to promote presence, openness, enrichment and cultural exchanges with the rest of the world. In 2013, financial allocations were observed as follows:

  • International cultural forums and seminars: 550.000 dirhams
  • Moroccan cultural days abroad: 3.300.000 dirhams
  • Participating in international exhibitions and book fairs: 3.850.000 dirhams

Thus the grand total of allocations for cultural diplomacy programs reaches: 5.201.761 dirhams.

Chapter published: 05-05-2016