USAID Morocco Country Profile

Educational summer camps sponsored by the USAID FORSATY program provide youth opportunities to express themselves creatively whi
Educational summer camps sponsored by the USAID FORSATY program provide youth opportunities to express themselves creatively while developing essential life skills.

Morocco is the United States’ oldest friend in the Middle East and North Africa. This bond, which dates back over 200 years, is forged on a solid foundation of our shared values in security, freedom, and prosperity. Located in an increasingly unstable and volatile region, Morocco continues to set itself apart with its stable government and steadily growing economy.

Our Work

Since 1957, the United States and the Government of Morocco have been working together to improve the lives of Moroccan citizens. However, an under-employed workforce, a lack of trust between civil society and government, and an overall literacy rate of only 55 percent are all indications that there is still work to be done. Both the Government of Morocco and its citizens show a clear commitment to addressing these issues by implementing progressive reforms that aim to increase social and economic opportunity for all citizens.

To achieve this, USAID is partnering with the Government of Morocco, civil society organizations, and private sector actors to design programs that support the country’s ambitious development goals. USAID’s programs currently focus on youth employability, citizen participation in governance, and educational attainment at the primary school level.

Youth Employability

Representing over half of the total population and 80 percent of the country’s unemployed, Moroccan youth are a pool of untapped talent with huge potential to drive economic productivity. Over 20 percent of graduates are unable to find jobs equivalent to their education and training, while employers complain that job candidates do not have appropriate workreadiness skills. With 300,000 new entrants entering the job market annually, USAID and the Government of Morocco share youth employability as a top priority for national policy, economic growth, and a wise investment in Morocco’s future. USAID and our partners expect to see lasting job and economic opportunities for Moroccan youth particularly for graduates of public universities and vocational training centers. USAID will equip high quality and dynamic pilot Career Centers in a total of six university, OFPPT, and/or Ministry locations. USAID will employ work readiness skills that can be institutionalized into national curricula to assist graduates with transitioning to productive jobs, while improving retention rates. Furthermore, small and medium enterprises will have new financing opportunities emerging from Moroccan investment portfolio companies, where positive returns will allow continued investing and lending. In addition, USAID will engage with the private sector to provide specialized workforce development partnerships. In summary, USAID is fostering systemic changes to enable the Government and the expanding private sector to secure new and lasting entrants to the labor market that will help sustain Morocco’s dynamic economic growth and provide a brighter future for the country’s burgeoning youth population.

Democracy and Governance 

Morocco responded to the mass public demonstrations in 2011 by announcing a new constitution that includes a number of reforms for greater civic engagement in governance. Successfully implementing these policies requires bringing together citizens and decision makers to increase opportunities for civil society to take part in the political process and overall transparency. To achieve this, the United States Government, through USAID, is working closely with a wide spectrum of political actors – political parties, government entities, civil society organizations (CSO), and civil society as a whole – to help them build capacities to more actively participate in determining public policy. In addition, USAID places particular emphasis on assisting youth in becoming dynamic members of their communities through local capacity building programs.

Primary Level Education 

Early literacy is essential to overall academic success. Numerous studies have shown that children with poor reading skills are more likely to fall behind in school, therefore setting the stage for future dropout. A lack of education perpetuates poverty, limits job opportunities, and strains the overall social support system. Through a lockstep partnership with the Ministry of Education, USAID is supporting the Moroccan government’s efforts to incorporate effective methods of reading instruction and language teaching at the primary school level into the national teacher preparation program. Furthermore, USAID’s activities generate data and information, which contribute to sustainable, evidence-based development.