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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Morocco Islamic Finance 2014: Unlocking The Kingdom’s Potential

Morocco Islamic Finance Country Report 2014 presents the necessary confluence of economic, financial and political fundamentals that are coming together in a kingdom ready to embrace Islamic finance.
In Arabic, Morocco is called ‘Al Maghreb’, the westernmost land in the northwestern region of the maghreb (region denoted in lower case). Yet this dominant Arab complexion of Morocco belies the country’s and indeed the entire maghreb region’s richly tapered history and heritage long before lines in the sand were drawn to separate the modern nation states of Algeria,
Morocco and Tunisia.

Historically, the maghreb as a region is home to the native diverse Berbers who pre-date the arrival of the Arabs in the 7th century. Between the 7th and the 16th centuries the region was ruled by different successive Berber and Arab dynasties. During this period the maghreb reached a high during the 10th to the 13th centuries under the Arab Fatimid caliphate and
then under the Islamic Berber dynasties Almoravids and Almohads. The Almoravids founded Marrakesh in 1062, and extended their empire beyond present-day North Africa to parts of modern-day Spain, Portugal, France, Gibraltar and Mauritania.

In the mid-12th century the Almohads overtook the Almoravids, and ruled until their decline in the mid-13th century. Lesser and smaller Berber rule reigned until the middle of the 16th century when Arab dynasties returned first with the Saadis and then with the Alaouites in the 17th century. The maghreb fell under the influence of European powers in the early 19th century, but the Alaouites have persisted, and their position preserved through the five decades of European rule from the early to the mid-20th century, even if they did not have
significant power.

Today, the maghreb as an entity is embodied in the Arab Maghreb Union, which is a trade agreement signed in 1989 that envisions an economic and future political unity for Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The state of the Union, however, is inactive, fraught as it is with political disputes.

(Aquila Style / 02 Febuary 2015)
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