Morocco's performance worsens in the 2019 Fragile States Index

According to the Fragile States Index, the conditions that led to popular protests in North Africa have not gone. Ranked by the report, Morocco’s performance has been worsening.

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The city of Rabat. / Ph. DR

Morocco is one of the North African countries that are home to the same conditions that sparked popular protests in 2011, according to the Fragile States Index, an annual report that assess the vulnerability to conflict or collapse of states.

Released on the 10th of April, the index compiled by American think tank Fund for Peace (FFP), ranks Morocco 78th of 178 countries. Scoring 73.0 points (the maximum score is 120), the Kingdom is positioned ahead of Algeria 72nd, Iran 52nd, Lebanon 44th, Egypt 34th, Mauritania 31st, Libya 28th, and Iraq 13th.

Ranked second in North Africa, Morocco is among the top ten Arab countries assessed by the 2019 edition of the Fragile States Index. The Kingdom is positioned behind the United Arab Emirates, ranked first among MENA states in the report, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The global ranking is topped by Finland ranked 178th, Norway 177th, Switzerland 176th, Denmark 175th and Australia 174th. On the Other hand, Yemen ranked 1st, Somalia 2nd, South Sudan 3rd, Syria 4th and Congo 5th are at the bottom of the ranking.

Challenges and popular protests

Although Morocco managed to be among the top-ranked North African countries in the report, its performance has been stalled out, the authors of the report revealed. According to them, the Kingdom «has experienced a steady worsening» on the Fragile States Index.

Based on 12 sub-indexes to measure the fragility of a each state, the report pointed out that Morocco’s score «worsened by nearly two points in the Group Grievance indicator». Indeed, in 2019, the Kingdom scores 8,5 in the indicator.

The authors of the report believe that this trend is related to the protests that took place in Morocco in the last couple of years. «Protestors and opposition figures say that while the Moroccan government had given great lip service to improving livelihoods through ambitious economic growth and investment plans in the years following the regional uprisings, the general population has seen little or no benefits», the same source recalled.

Despite this, the index still thinks that the Kingdom was one of the North African countries that «managed to stave off the spiraling violence that gripped much of the Arab world in the days following the 2011 revolutionary uprisings». Moreover, the index signaled out that the Kingdom has been «tolerant» when faced with popular protests.

However, the same source stressed that «the very conditions that sparked the mass popular uprisings that later became the Arab Spring, have not gone away», referring to Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

In addition to these challenges, the report referred to other problems that affect North African countries, including the Kingdom. Brain drain is one of these factors that stall Morocco’s development, according to the Fragile States Index.

«Economic migration continues unabated, with North Africans from Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco giving their futures, their most economically productive years to countries other than their own», the same source concluded.

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