Nowadays, Information Technology applications take on a primordial importance within the society. Thus, they should be considered as a strategic sector contributing to the economic and social development. Moreover, they have largely contributed to the globalization of economy and internationalization of exchanges.
Since March 1998, the Moroccan government gave birth to a new entity called " Secretary of State delegate to the Prime Minister in charge of Post, Information and Communication Technology". Taking in account the Moroccan economic situation and the lateness accumulated in the different activity sectors, the task of this new entity is easier said than done. Thus, a deep S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities) appears to be of great importance to visualize the Moroccan IT scene in order to achieve the economic and social development sought.
Information Technology is defined in the dictionary as: "the study or use of electronic equipment, especially computers, for storing, analyzing and distributing information of all kinds, including words, numbers, and pictures" thus, information technology is the manipulation of electronic tools for information gathering, storage, processing and distribution. But what does it mean for underdeveloped countries? For underdeveloped countries it meant nothing until the late 80's.
The Moroccan Information Technology underwent tremendous changes from its introduction till nowadays. The current situation is one of the best among Arab and African countries and morocco is playing a leader role within the underdeveloped countries. The government is also making efforts to promote the IT sector and NGOs are heavily investing within it. Moroccans are also very enthusiastic and more and more demanding on new IT tools.
The group will start this paper by a review of previous works and government reports with regard to IT Market in Morocco. We will focus on some major points that are: Historical facts, introduction of IT Applications to Morocco, the current situation, government efforts to promote IT, and the Moroccan culture with regard to IT. Then we will proceed to integrate the literature review findings to put into light the strengths, Weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the Moroccan Information Technology. Finally, we will offer an action plan, and then propose an implementation strategy of our findings and recommendations to help develop the IT uses by Moroccan government.
This section of the paper scrutinizes a variety of previous works done by scholars on the subject of information technology in underdeveloped countries. We will give special attention to the works done with regard to the Moroccan Market and Businesses. This review includes historical facts that will clarify the picture of Information Technology in morocco from its introduction till nowadays, and the Moroccan culture and how it deals with IT.
A/ HISTORICAL FACTS:
Since the Independence, Morocco knew big democratic changes. The first years of independence were characterized by oppression of all kinds of free expression. Morocco was undergoing important political challenges and late king Hassan the second wanted to have control over all the information networks. Thus, the only television available was the Moroccan one under the control of the state, the content of newspapers was closely controlled by the government and the distribution of foreign books was harshly controlled.
You may be wondering why I'm talking about politics while my topic is about information technology. Just be patient! The answer is coming soon. Can you imagine a country wanting to have control over all the information that is entering the country encouraging TV Dishes use?
Promoting Internet access? Or even mobile phones? You may not clearly see the relation between such tolls, but Mbarki's writing will clarify the scene. In his book, "La Politique selon le Roi Hassan II" (pp 56-59), H. Mbarki is focusing on the fact that the late king's politic was based on misinformation. Thus, he wanted to have control over all information networks to keep control over the country. Morocco was undergoing a big transactional period, in which political parties that participated in the French kick-out-of the country had try to find ways to rule the country. The encouragement of information communication means meant, at that time, putting a strong weapon between the hands of the rebellion.
Thus, the introduction of all Information Technology tools and their import to the country had to undergo strict government policies and special authorizations. By the late, 1980's the government changed its policy under the pressure of the international community and began building the road to democracy. This lead to more opening towards the world and less fear of the other since there had been no more things to hide. Multinational companies started to invest in the Moroccan market. This opening built a root to a big information technological revolution in the country.