Emigration! Leaking Morocco’s Future

Emigration! Leaking Morocco’s Future


Emigration has always been a part of human nature; a way to search for a better life, more education, improved economic opportunities, or personal matters.  Nowadays, young Moroccans dream of a life on the other side of the water.  There are many reasons for emigrating, but the desire for a different life is the one thing they all have in common.  General lack of opportunities or avenues for participation in society, the inability to find work, low paying jobs, job insecurity, and poor working conditions weigh heavy on the minds of young Moroccans who view emigration as the way to a better future.

We can see on many social media sites the videos and posts of many Moroccans talking about how to go to Germany through Turkey, or how they wish to marry a blue-eyed Swedish woman. The numerous videos that humorously teach how to speak with a Syrian accent are meant to show us how to be accepted as a Syrian refugee in some European country.  All of this is due to the deficiency of development in Morocco; and according to Abdeslam Seddiki, Moroccan minister of labour and social affairs during his interview with the The Guardian, youth unemployment is nearly double the general unemployment rate for the country.  Four out of five people between the ages of 15 and 34 are unemployed.  The population has increased beyond the economy’s capacity to create jobs (Young, Holly, “In Morocco Youth Unemployment is Driving Up Inequality.” TheGuardian.com 20 August 2014. Web 9 November 2015).  The youth of Morocco have enormous potential, but this potential has turned to frustration, and their patience is limited.

The video underneath features Moroccan youth crossing the sea as with Syrian Refugees from Turkey to Greece.


The video underneath features two Moroccans trying to learn the Syrian National Anthem, hoping they will sneak in to Europe as Syrian refugees.


Furthermore, education output in Morocco is inadequate which also hinders young people finding jobs. Those with higher levels of education tend to have higher levels of unemployment compared to people with middle level education or no high school diploma.  Returns on education as an investment are quite low.  The public education system’s curriculum does not meet the needs of the labor market (World Bank Report: “Promoting Youth Opportunities and Participation” June 2012).  The World Bank’s Morocco Household and Youth Survey revealed that 49% of Moroccan youth are neither in school nor working.  Thus, those young people who leave the education system are woefully unprepared to find jobs that will allow them to create a life for themselves and start a family.  This, of course, adds to their frustration.

According to the World Bank Report, one in three young Moroccans reported having a desire or actual plan or strategy to emigrate from Morocco.  Young men are far more likely to desire emigration than young women, but it is the level of education more than gender that is more of a determinant.  Also, those who hold the most unfavorable view of their opportunities to improve their social situation are very like to consider emigration as well.

The Moroccan government needs to make significant efforts to provide the youth in Morocco with opportunities to participate in the country’s economy and society. They are our future. Without them, where will Morocco be?  Keep our young people in Morocco to help our country develop and be successful; don’t let them keep “leaking out” to other countries!