Morocco/ 6. Financing of culture  

6.1 Short overview

Since 2000, Morocco has become increasingly aware of culture’s importance for developing a modern society. The government has therefore increased funding for the production, circulation and consumption of culture in Morocco.


National Funding

In line with this tendency, investment in cultural spending (see paragraph 6.4) accounted for 0.33% of discretionary spending between 1998 and 2002, a remarkable increase from the 0.07% allocated between 1994 and 1998. 


In general, public expenditure on culture between 1998 and 2002 focused on increasing funding for investment projects and cultural activities. The five-year development plan (1999-2004) allocated MD 366 million (€32.6 million) for cultural development. National Cultural Activity Fund (see paragraph 6.3.2) revenues also rose markedly, from MD 15 million in 1994 to MD 18 million in 2002. Increased funding was put towards finding new ways to invest in historical sites, setting new MoC service rates, and regulating the control and monitoring mechanisms used in cultural development. Funding went specifically to providing more effective support to cultural heritage maintenance, theatrical creativity and other cultural areas in need.


In addition to state budget allocations, the Al-Hasan II Fund for Development (a fund financed through revenue generated from government privatisation) allocated MD 400 million for building and equipping the National Moroccan Library, National Museum for Contemporary Arts, and Casablanca Theatre. The MD 800 million earmarked for this plan vastly exceeds cultural investment in the decade preceding this plan.


The MoC has also recently benefited from the support of international cooperation agreements. It received financial support amounting to € 8.3 million through a MEDA program for building 27 cultural houses. The French government also allocated €3.05 million to develop a network of public libraries, equipped with state-of-the-art communication and media technology. The project recruited and supported needed personnel across the kingdom to form documentary archives.


The MoC also motivated the private sector to provide much-needed assistance to cultural programs. One such example of joint funding was the agreement between the MoC and the Omar Bin Banjaloun Organisation (civil society) to restore the Al-Murabiteen Dome and Ibn Yusuf School in Marrakech, for which over MD 50 million was mobilised. The Miziyan Ben Jelloun Organisation (civil society) contributed about MD 13 million to restore the Al-Buananiya School in Fez, used as a heritage documentation centre.


The MoC also worked to preserve musical heritage for all Moroccans, entering a partnership with Morocco Telecommunications Corporation (a private corporation). They agreed to produce 3,000 copies of the Moroccan Musical Anthology, a collection of 30 CDs and five videos. The project, for which Moroccan Telecommunications Corporation allocated MD 2.3 million, covers all genres of traditional and folkloric Moroccan music.


During the same period, the MoC signed more than 56 agreements with local independent governmental organisations. These agreements helped support building and equipping libraries, cultural houses, musical institutes and children’s recreational facilities. 


Between 1998 and 2001, the government made tremendous strides towards building, restoring and equipping public libraries. The budget for library development increased from MD 2.7 million between 1994 and 1998 to MD 19.1 million between 1998 and 2001. In addition, the budget for book distribution rose from MD 4.3 million to MD 12.6 million. Designed to allow all demographics—especially those living in rural areas—access to books and publications, with support from the Omar Bin Jelloun Organisation the MoC spent MD 840,000 setting up mobile public libraries inside special vehicles and similar facilities.


It must be acknowledged that there is still weakness in public policy on publishing, literacy and book buying. This is evidenced by the rate of book production, the low rate of readership, and the dearth of publishing houses. The number of books published in Morocco since 2010 is around 2,000 titles per year, while the rate of production in France, for example, was 62, 278 books in 2010. 


Funding for Culture in 2011, 2012 and 2013: 

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, culture saw a relative increase in funding compared to the years referenced in the preceding paragraph. For example, the MoC’s budget for 2011 amounted to MD 513 million, or just under 0.3% of the government’s total budget. The MoC’s operating budget was MD 322 million, and the other MD 190 million was allocated to investments. The draft budget was in line with government directives, which insisted on a 10% reduction in expenses given the unstable international conditions that year. 


In 2012, the government took a precautionary measure to ensure that the state's cultural projects would not stopped, particularly the major structural projects. They allocated an additional financial cover of MD 163 million for the follow-up and completion of these projects. 


While in 2012 the MoC’s budget included the same allocations as the former year, the 2013 budget exceeded MD 571 million, with 354 million dirhams allocated to operating expenses and over 216 million dirhams for investments. 



Audio-Visual Media

Three laws regulating audio-visual (A-V) media were issued. The first dealt with A-V electronic media, the second was concerned with the Supreme Council for A-V Communication, and the last discussed the creation of the National Radio & TV Corporation.


Investments in Moroccan radio and television during 1998-2001 amounted to MD 638.5 million. The National Radio & TV Corporation operated under a combined budget of MD 331.1 million in 2002 and MD 622 million in 2006, when the corporation became an independent state establishment. The National A-V Development Fund (financed through water and electricity bills) grew to MD 270 million in 2006.


The budget of the Moroccan Film Centre in 2002 was MD 32,436,000, but it would reach 60 million dirhams in 2009, thanks to the provision of the State tosupport funds affiliated with the centre which was established in 1987, then amended and supplemented fully in 2005.


The intention of Moroccan Government in 2012 was to raise the share of support to Moroccan film production from 60 million to 100 million dirhams during 2013-2015, which was commensurate with the ambitions of activists in the field. That was recently confirmed in their recommendations during the national debate on cinema, concluding on an agreement to produce 20 films, equivalent to 120 million dirhams in 2015.


Funding for national film production during 1998-2002 rose from MD 12 million to MD 20 million. Increased funding precipitated a production jump from five to 10 long films and six to 18 short films a year. The Moroccan Film Centre’s annual budget was MD 32.4 million (€2.89 million) from 2002-2008.


Legal and organisational innovations since 2000 include the 2000 Film Industry Regulation Law and the two ministerial decisions regulating the National Production Support Fund (financed by taxes added to cinema entry tickets).


Table 6.1 outlines cultural funding based on the MoC’s public budget and the National Fund for Cultural Activities. It also shows the increased number of tourists since 2000 in comparison to the Fund’s revenues. Paragraph 6.3.2 details the fund from 2003 to 2009. Table 6.3 also outlines cultural funding from A-V sources for the same period.


To renew the regulatory and aesthetic questions related to the field of cinema, a national conference was held on cinema organised from16- 18 October, 2012, by the Ministry of Communication in partnership with the Moroccan Cinema Centre under the patronage of the King of Morocco. The debate, held under the title “Moroccan Cinema: Challenges and Horizons”, examined cinema from a historical perspective and considered its future through workshops. The conference had more than 300 participants, featured nine workshops and saw the participation of film academics and specialists. It concluded with recommendations for how to re-launch cinema in the Kingdom. The workshops included:

  • National production, modern technology, and horizons of technological development.
  • Infrastructure, distribution, investment, and exploitation.
  • Technicians and parallel professions.
  • Training and qualifications.
  • Cinema, audio-visual communication, and issues of promotion and marketing.
  • Festivals and the influence of cinema culture.
  • Copyrights, intellectual property, and fighting piracy.
  • Codifying and regulating the sector.
  • Actors and occupational issues in film production.


 Table 6.1: Development of MoC Budget and National Fund for Cultural Activity Revenue (all figures in Moroccan Dirham)

 

Year

Ministry of Culture Budget

National Fund for Cultural Activity Income

Total

Percentage of Public Budget Allotted to MoC

Operating Budget

Investment Budget

2010

317,990,000

220,000,000

20,000,000

557,990,000

0.23

2009

310,669,000

229,000,000

20,000,000

559,669,000

0.23

2008

231,059,000

131,651,000

20,000,000

382,710,000

0.19

2007

213,827,000

109,911,000

20,000,000

343,738,000

0.19

2006

192,811,000

104,911,000

20,000,000

317,722,000

0.19

2005

203,860,000

56,911,000

20,000,000

280,771,000

0.18

2004

180,376,000

56,911,000

33,000,000

270,287,000

0.19

2003

175,869,000

63,234,000

33,000,000

272,113,000

0.20

 

Note: The investment budget at Table 6.1 has been calculated on the basis of the details provided in paragraph 6.4 (Total investment budget = public investment budget – previous year’s budget commitments).


To paint a complete picture of state financing for cultural development, Table 6.2 presents the chronological development of the MoC’s budget from 1969 to 2000.

Table 6.2: Budget Development of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs 1969-2000

 

Year

General Budget

Percent age of State Budget

1999-2000

220,636,000

0.09

1998-1999

196,731,000

0.11

1997-1998

179,386,000

0.14

1996-1997

166,243,000

0.14

1995

147,409,000

0.13

1994

178,110,000

0.16

1993

143,738,000

0.15

1992

123,309,000

0.14

1991

87,249880

0.11

1990

77,680,470

0.10

1989

65,062,780

0.09

1988

64,932,500

0.10

1983

53,132,000

0.13

1982

43,752,000

0.12

1981

33,352,665

0.12

1980

29,993,000

0.13

1979

24,668,000

0.12

1969

4,980,526

0.20



Table 6.3: Development of A-V Media Sector's Budget                    

 

Year

TV & Radio Budget

Moroccan Cinema Centre
(see paragraph 6.3.3, d,)

Total

Total National A-V Development Fund

2009

405,000,000

60,000,000

465,000,000

270,000,000

2008

582,000,000

43,700,000

625,700,000

270,000,000

2007

521,000,000

43,700,000

564,700,000

270,000,000

2006

622,000,000

30,820,000

652,820,000

270,000,000

2005

383,448,000

35,000,000

418,448,000

270,000,000

2004

285,227,000

33,705,000

318,932,000

270,000,000

2003

310,066,000

24,000,000

334,066,000

262,000,000


Chapter published: 05-05-2016


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