Morocco is maintaining its position at the African level in terms of urbanization. Statistics show that the kingdom is experiencing a slowdown in its urbanization trend compared to other African countries.
The recent world statistics unveiled by the World Bank on the evolution of the urban population still place our country in 13th place on the black continent with an urbanization rate of 62.5% for the year 2018, an evolution of 0.6 percentage points compared to the previous ranking.
Nevertheless, Morocco manages to reduce very slightly the gap that separates it from the leading group in Africa, whose average urbanization rate is 72.2%. A group made up of African countries that are rather mixed in terms of their level of socio-economic development but which have in common a rapid urbanization, sometimes anarchic and having nothing virtuous from either a social or an environmental point of view. They include our three Maghreb neighbors to the east (Libya, Tunisia and Algeria) as well as French-speaking countries (Djibouti, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon), Portuguese-speaking countries (Angola and Cape Verde) and English-speaking countries (South Africa and Botswana). In the top 15 of the most urbanized African countries, Morocco is only ahead of Gambia and the Seychelles, with 61% and 57% respectively.
Over a ten or even twenty year trend, these statistics show that Morocco is experiencing a slowdown in its urbanization trend compared to other African countries (some of which today surpass us were at less than 10% in 1960 against 29% for Morocco), no doubt reflecting the slowdown in rural exodus, the main driving force behind urbanization until 2000. This is undoubtedly an unprecedented opportunity for the Moroccan authorities, who have shown themselves to be totally incapable of laying the foundations for inclusive and controlled urban planning and reducing territorial disparities, and to whom the current “truce” provides an opportunity to make up for lost time at the lowest cost.