Regions of Morocco
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As part of a 1997 decentralization and regionalization law passed by the legislature 16 new regions of Morocco were created. The region is the current highest administrative division of Morocco. The regions are subdivided into a total of 63 second-order administrative divisions, which are prefectures and provinces. A Moroccan region is governed by a Wali, nominated by the King. The Wali is also governor of the province (or prefecture) where he resides.
Regions before 1997
Before 1997, Morocco was divided into 7 regions: Central, Eastern, North-Central, Northwestern, South-Central, Southern, Tansift.
1997 to 2010: Full unitary system
The 1997 reorganization changed this to 16 regions.
The regions of Oued Ed-Dahab-Lagouira (1), the vast majority of Laâyoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra (2), and part of Guelmim-Es Semara (3) are within the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The sovereignty of Western Sahara is disputed between Morocco and the Polisario Front which claims the territory as the independent Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Most of the region is administered by Morocco as its southern provinces. The Polisario Front, based in headquarters at Tindouf in south western Algeria, controls only areas east of the Moroccan Wall.
Starting 2010: the Advanced Regionalization
Starting 2010, a new governmental program aimed at giving each of the regions of Morocco autonomy, much like the Spanish style, and a greater autonomy to the regions fully coinciding with the Western Sahara. So a governmental organization was formed to tackle this subject; it got the name of Consultative Commission for the Regionalization. The latter published the names of the new regions and their numbers:
- 01. Region of Tangier-Tétouan
- 02. Region of the East and the Rif
- 03. Region of Fes-Meknes
- 04. Region of Rabat-Sale-Kenitra
- 05. Region of Beni Mellal-Khenifra
- 06. Region of Settat-Casablanca
- 07. Region of Marrakesh-Safi
- 08. Region of Drâa-Tafilalt
- 09. Region of Souss-Massa
- 10. Region of Guelmim-Oued Noun
- 11. Region of El Aiun-Saguia al Hamra
- 12. Region of Dakhla-Oued Addahab
- Morocco in Figures 2003: A document by the Moroccan Embassy in the USA
- "Régions". Portail national du Maroc. Government of Morocco. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Moroccan Government website concerning the regionalization