Wide Angle

Morocco's book production : Arabic dominates, Amazigh underrepresented

Morocco produces an average of 1,741 books annually, with Arabic being the dominant language. A recent report by the King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud Foundation for Islamic Studies and the Humanities reveals that the Amazigh language accounts for only about 1% of publications each year.

Estimated read time: 2'

The King Abdul-Aziz Al Saud Foundation for Islamic Studies and the Humanities recently released a report on the state of publishing and books in Morocco, focusing on literature, humanities, and social sciences for the period 2022-2023. The report coincides with the opening of the 29th edition of the Salon international de l'édition et du livre (SIEL 2024) in Rabat on May 9.

The report reveals that 3,482 titles were published in 2022 and 2023, with an annual average production of 1,741 titles, including both paper and digital publications. Over the same period, 496 Moroccan magazines were referenced.

Paper publications dominate the Moroccan publishing landscape, accounting for 92% of works in humanities, social sciences, and literature. Digital publications, estimated at 8%, are dominated by foreign languages (67.02% French and English), often originating from public institutions, official bodies, and research institutes.

The report highlights the continued 'Arabization' of Moroccan publishing, a trend observed in previous reports. Arabic accounted for nearly 79.1% of published works. The report attributes this trend to the shift towards Arabic instruction in Moroccan universities since the 1970s, fostering a new generation of Arabic-speaking researchers and authors, which has in turn impacted writing and publishing.

Limited presence of Amazigh and other foreign languages

Other foreign languages, such as English (2.28%) and Spanish (0.5%), hold a minor share of the Moroccan publishing market.

The report also raises concerns about the underrepresentation of the Amazigh language. Despite the establishment of the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (IRCAM) over two decades ago and the constitutional recognition of the Amazigh language in 2011, its presence in publishing remains limited.

During the period covered by the report, only 53 books were published in Amazigh, all in paper format, with an annual average of no more than 27 works. This figure represents a mere 1% of total Moroccan publications.

Be the first one to comment on our articles...