Morocco/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.2 Basic data about selected public institutions in the cultural sector

Major Cultural Institutions

The national reconciliation government (a rotation government), which came to power in 1998, adopted a cultural strategy based on dialogue with all those involved in Moroccan cultural development. This new strategy has subjected cultural development in Morocco to significant changes.

Key Objectives of the Strategy:

  • Develop a dynamic cultural awareness that serves sustainable development.
  • Keep pace with globalisation and adapt to its changes and developments.
  • Empower Morocco to create modern cultural structures that meet heritage, arts and publishing needs.
  • Make cultural promotion a key aspect of local development.
  • Encourage cultural work by supporting distinguished association activities.
  • Update cultural management and legislative systems.


Many organisational and infrastructural reforms have been achieved through the new system. 

MoC Reforms:

Despite Morocco adopting a decentralisation policy after gaining independence, in the first decades of its implementation it lacked a clearly defined strategy and progress was slow.

Since 2000 decentralisation has occurred much more rapidly. Many public facilities have been restructured, including those directly affiliated to the MoC and those with legal and financial independence.

Law 67.99 pertaining to the creation of Moroccan National Library was issued on 11 November, 2003 (official gazette, issue no. 5171, dated 22 Dec., 2003). The law replaced the once known Public Library of Morocco, which was previously under the direct sponsorship of the MoC and before that the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

It aims to enable Morocco to provide a national museum of high standards, where visitors (whether Moroccan or foreign) can learn about the history of Morocco. It is expected to include a range of exhibitions beginning from the formation of the Moroccan land three million years ago to the 19th century. Due to technical problems and professional conflict, the project is still waiting to be implemented. Alongside the museum project, a new national theatre will also be built on the Bou Regreg riverbank in Rabat. The new theatre is expected to be larger than the current Mohammed V National Theatre. In addition to these two projects, a new women’s jewellery and fashion museum will be opened. Building is still underway.

A-V Reforms

Since 2002, this sector also witnessed significant organisational and structural reforms around three main pillars: the organised liberalisation of the sector and the creation of a competitive audio-visual market (the sector has been under state monopoly since 1958), the review of financing mechanisms and support for A-V providers, and the elaboration of mechanisms to stimulate development and establish a true Moroccan film and television industry.  

In 2005, Law 77.03 established the legal framework to liberalise the A-V sector. The law came amidst profound changes to reinforce rights and freedoms (including participating in any desired cultural activity) for a modern and democratic society.

Reforming the A-V industry is key in consolidating the values of freedom, diversity, modernisation and openness, and human rights.

The Law:

  • Boosts freedom of A-V communication, ensures freedom of individual and collective expression, observes professional ethics and protects human rights.
  • Takes part in economic, social, cultural and informational development at national, regional and local levels to guarantee diverse services, trends and ideas and ensure that all parties involved are active participators.
  • Preserves the cultural heritage of the nation by encouraging artistic, scientific and technological creativity.
  • Respects copyright laws.

In conjunction with this law, in 2002 a decision pertaining to the creation of the High Agency for A-V Communication and a decree ending state monopoly in the field of radio and TV broadcasting were issued, opening the door for new A-V initiatives.

The High Agency is assigned to distribute licenses for creating private radio or television stations, subject to the fulfilment of special conditions issued by the Agency for that purpose.

The public A-V sector will take the form of national A-V companies licensed by the High Agency according to special books of conditions.

These companies should seek to fulfil cultural, informational and entertainment needs through quality and diverse programming that targets the broadest section of the population. Programming should be based on Morocco's Islamic, Arabic and Amazigh culture and on the values of democracy, freedom, openness, tolerance and modernisation.

Hence, Moroccan Radio and TV and the Independent Declaration Department were transformed in 2005 into a joint-stock company named SNRT. This company is subject to the law governing joint-stock companies and their articles of association.

The roots of this company date back to 1928, when it was an institution called Morocco Radio. On 22 October, 1966, it was turned into a public establishment named the Morocco Broadcasting Station. In 1978 it came under the supervision of the Ministry of Information.

The former private television station 2-M was also subject to 2005 Law 77.03 and turned into a public company named SOREAD-2M, with more than half its capital owned by the state. It sat alongside the National Company for Radio and TV as one of the two public audio-visual holdings in Morocco.

Law 77.03 precipitated the creation of 14 national and regional radio stations, in addition to one satellite TV channel (Media 1-Sat).

The film sector has also witnessed notable developments in national production over the past few years. 15 feature films and 50 short films were produced in 2009 (compared to Morocco's post-independence filmography—95 feature films and 285 short films, 2 feature films and 6 short films annually on average).

This much-improved situation is due to financial support provided by the Moroccan Film Production Centre thanks to state aid provided to the Centre's fund created in 1987 and completed in 2005, the Centre’s budget reached nearly MD 60 million in 2009.

During the national debate on Moroccan cinema, held in Rabat in October 2012, the Moroccan government expressed its intent to increase support for Moroccan cinematic production from MD 60 to 100 million between 2013 and 2015. This is in line with the ambitions of major figures in the field, who confirmed in their recommendations during the recent national cinematic conference that they would produce 20 films, costing MD 120 million annually, beginning in 2015. 

Foreign investments in international film production within Morocco rose from MD 294 million in 2005 to MD 473 million in 2006 and MD 563 million 2007. In 2013 it would amount to 922 Million and 133 thousand and 375 dirhams (the equivalent of 105 Million and 26 thousand and 580 dollars).

This investment has recorded a rise of 420 per cent compared with 2012, shooting 32 foreign film productions. These productions are distributed across different foreign nationalities, of which eight were U.S. productions, 8 French,  7 English, and 3 German. As well as the production of one of each from Canada, Belgium, Italy, and Spain, and one joint U.S. and Italian production.

The contract between the National Company for Radio and TV and the Moroccan government, signed on 8 February, 2006, provided the Company with a financial package totalling MD 1.76 billion over a period of three years.

On Social and Cultural Cohesion

To strengthen national unity and identity, Decision 1.01.2999 created the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture which was issued on 17 October, 2001 (official gazette, issue no. 4948, 1 Nov., 2002).  The Institute’s headquarters were inaugurated in Rabat in December 2006.

This institute is assigned to preserve and revive Amazigh culture, implement state policies to include Amazigh in the educational system and ensure that Amazigh culture is reflected in social, cultural and informational happenings.

This institute has agreements with many key players in arts and culture; most notably the MoC (since May 2004), UNESCO (since Dec. 2005) and the Anthropology Foundation in France (since Apr. 2004), in addition to various domestic and foreign universities.

Chapter published: 05-05-2016