Since the beginning of the century Morocco knew the introduction of the first tool that could be considered as an IT. According to A. kasmi, 2001(conomiste), the first Telephonic connection was established in Morocco in 1906. However, the government waited until 1956 for the creation of the Ministry of mails, telephone and telegraph.
Then, by the middle 70's the first computers were introduced to Morocco. Those computers were mainly used by the few multinational companies that were settled in Morocco and mainly in Casablanca. Furthermore, only foreigners were able to use them and the companies were recruiting expatriates for the training of local employees. However, computers at that time were used for basic operations such as typing, accounting and data storage.
No data processing was carried. By the beginning of the 80's Morocco entered the initiation stage and Information technology started finding its way to Moroccan Businesses, government offices and even homes. Starting this date, things went quickly and the IT sector knew big investments. The contagion era started and the integration comes quickly to move from the data processing era to the information management within businesses and government.
Internet connection was launched in Morocco at 1993, but Moroccans started using and knowing the World Wide Web at the beginning of 1996. Then things went another time rapidly and users showed a big interest on the new tool. Cyber cafs grew like mushrooms in all Moroccan cities and the population rapidly got used to this new information technology tool. In November 1996, the first Moroccan website (www.Leconomiste.press.ma) was developed by l'conomiste, a Moroccan daily newspaper. According to A. Kasmi, 2001( lconomiste), the launching of this website needed an investment of 120,000 Dhs the first year. It was mainly consulted from Europe, USA and Canada.
The government also followed the general trend and computers were bought for the majority of its offices and employees benefited from special training programs. Furthermore, special Softwares were designed to help offices handle the daily operations and networks were developed to link the different departments. The government started financing and encouraging IT investments.
C/ ASSESSMENT OF THE CURRENT SITUATION:
The actual situation of IT in Morocco is by far one of the best in the underdeveloped countries. The government is encouraging IT investments and the Business started to recognize its importance. The Moroccan society is also very open all kinds of new technology. Morocccan IT businesses are now internationally recognized and invited to international conferences to talk about the Moroccan IT Market.
As indicated by Salim Rochdi 2002 (Al Bayane), Morocco took part to the European Week for Information Technology in Paris. Seventeen Moroccan companies, leaders in their activity sector, presented their products and services. The participation was such a big success that 30 to 40 enterprises are already invited to participate at the 2003 edition. Thus, we can say that morocco is on the right way and IT is expected to know more and more development within the country.
However, at the exception of the "Administartion des douanes et Impots Direct", rare are the departments that put the advantages of the information technology at the service of their clients. Moreover, the SEPTI (secretariat of state in charge of Post, and information and communication technology) gave a lot of hope to the professionals. Nonetheless, the lack of means to act appeared rapidly on the scene. The operators are still waiting for concrete actions and are fed up with promises. With regard to internet, by 2000 Morocco counted only 300,000 internet users (mainly via cyber cafs) and less than 1.5 million subscribers to the fixed phones.
In Casablanca, a kind of Moroccan Silicon-Valley was built. The Technopark is a kind of nursery for high tech enterprises. Till today, 37 enterprises are taking advantage of its facilities. The major condition for having access to it is to be operating in the information Technology sector. The enterprises in it take advantage of a package comprising: the buildings, telephone connections, fast flow Internet Access, mail management, buildings maintenance, the cleaning of the common areas… According to the SEPTI annual report 2001, The goal is to create a synergy among enterprises operating in the same sector. The society that constructed the Casablanca Technopark is planning to build a technopole in Bouznika that will cover three activity sectors: production, exploitation, research and services.
D/ GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO PROMOTE IT:
According to Mr. Nasr Hajji , Secretary of the state delegate to the prime minister in charge of Post, and information and communication technology: the objective in the short term is to put together the bases and mechanisms necessary for the area's takeoff .
By 2010, he is forecasting that morocco will achieve all the objectives, European and international standards. Therefore, the minister points that the goal is to have 3 million surfers for 2005 and 10 million by 2010. He is also pointing out that the internet boom is to be achieved through fixed sum contracts. However, the ministry lacks performance indicatory in the field to concoct a valid strategy. This strategy should be divided to five major axes: training and research, economy and enterprise, administration and local communities, E-commerce and generalization of IT in society.