Morocco a great exporter of immigrants par excellence

At least 10% of the Moroccans live abroad as immigrants, mainly ion Europe. They’re estimated to be 4 million. Morocco depends heavily on immigrants’ money transfer to their country. It’s currently above 2 billion dollar a year. Without it, its payment balance would suffer heavily. There are immigrants who choose to return to Morocco and to invest their savings as there are those who stay in the host countries and set up a project in Morocco run by their relatives or associates.

The good aspect of this is that they contribute to the creation of jobs, however their number is small. There are cities in Morocco which heavily depend on income from Moroccan migrants. There are families that can’t survive without money transfer from their kin abroad. That’s the good story.

The bad story is that there are many illegal immigrants who risk their lives trying to cross the Gibraltar Strait to get to Spain. Many are drowned or arrested either by Moroccan border guards or the Spanish guards on the other side. This trend has helped create immigration networks which reap vast sums of money from the aspirants. Morocco has also become a destination for Africans who use its proximity to Europe to cross to Spain, Ceuta, Mellilia or the Canary Islands. So Morocco has to guard it borders constantly, helping the reduction in illegal immigration but not its total eradication.

Morocco also through immigration lose many of its qualified graduates who choose to stay in Europe after finishing their studies or those who choose to leave it for a better future. There are now more than 200,000 qualified Moroccans who live abroad, not to count the unskilled workers. Canada is one of the countries that absorb well qualified Moroccan immigrants.

As such immigration remains a way out for the people and the state. It is a stabilizing factor for both sides although the cost of having the cream of its labour and academic force living abroad makes Morocco make small leaps when it should make giant ones.

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