Craft in Morocco

Few countries can boast of a similar dynamism than Morocco in the field of crafts. The share of the labour force working in the sector of Moroccan crafts exceeds 20%, crafts contributes 9% to the GDP of Morocco and its turnover reached 17.7 billion Dirhams (1.5 billion of dollars) in 2012. *

Morocco

At first glance, Morocco seems to be a country where nature is not so generous. Past the region of Rabat in the north, the Moroccan descent southward reveals contrasting landscapes, dotted with cultivated fields, old stones, desert hills and arid area crossed by some sheeps.

Zellij MoroccoHowever, simply take a break from a village to discover the markets of fruits, vegetables, meats, fishes and objects of Moroccan crafts. If it's difficult to find forests, there are however many crafts handmade with Thuya wood, lemon tree wood and cedar tree wood.

Clay is widely used for making tiles zellij, pavers, pottery and ceramics. The wool is used to make carpets and clothing. Leather, wrought iron, stone and marble are also widely used in the Moroccan craft.

Moroccan craft figures

From Oujda to Marrakesh and from Tangier to Zagora, Moroccan craft is everywhere into shops, houses, palaces, riads and hotels, giving work to more than 2.3 millions men and women in Morocco, i.e. 20% of the population. In Marrakesh, this proportion rises to 50%.

StatsThe place of crafts in Morocco is measured by the turnover generated, amounting to 17.7 billion Dirhams for crafting of high cultural content in 2012. The share of exports is low, representing less than 30%.

For 2013, we have only partial datas of handicrafts trade. The city of Fez have a 42% increase in exports of handicrafts in the first quarter of 2013, representing 8.7 million Dirhams (about 800,000 Dollars).

In Marrakech, the first 9 months of 2012 have seen the value of exports rising to 126 million Dirhams (10.5 million Dollars). Wrought iron alone represents 20% of exports, 15% for pottery and 13% for wood. Then come zellij, leather and wool.

"Vision 2015" of Moroccan craft

If the craft sector in Morocco is dynamic, it still suffers from a lack of coordination and doesn't exploits niches. Benefits come particularly of local consumption (wooden utensils for cooking, ceramics, djellabas, furnitures, and so on ...), Whose annual turnover is four times greater than exports.

Recognizing the demand for craft products with a high cultural content, locally and abroad, is not satisfied, the Moroccan government relied on a study (McKinsey study) to define a "Plan Emergence on the horizon 2015".

This plan aims to better support the actors craft in Morocco, to improve the organization of administrative branches related to the craft and to further promote the handicraft in Morocco and abroad (craft fairs, shows, weeks Moroccan crafts, ...).

Based on the information we have collected, the promotion of Moroccan crafts on the Internet keep insufficient. So we will try to help improve this situation, we believe that the enormous potential of Moroccan craft, both for its quality and diversity.

Author: Pascal Guillermard

Sources:

  • Moroccan Ministry of Craft. wwwfr.artisanat.gov.ma
  • Portal of the Kingdom of Morocco. www.maroc.ma/en/
  • Interview of Abdelaziz Rghioui, Regional Director of crafts in Marrakesh. in newspaper "Le Matin", August 2012. www.lematin.ma