Morocco has unveiled plans to increase its defense budget with a substantial 124 billion dirhams as part of the proposed 2024 financial bill.
This allocation is expected to be deployed for the acquisition and maintenance of equipment for the Royal Armed Forces and to foster advancements in the national defense industry, marking a record-breaking increase of over MAD 4 billion compared to last year’s budget.
The defense budget for the Royal Armed Forces in the 2024 financial legislation surpasses a staggering $17 billion compared to the 2022 figures.
“The logical and natural interpretation of this increase in the defense budget is that Morocco is in a phase of developing all its constitutional institutions, such as the government, parliament, the military, security forces, healthcare system, and logistics,” said political science analyst El Houcine Guennoun in an interview with MoroccoLatestNews.
Guennoun said that Morocco is currently undergoing a crucial phase, with the upcoming World Cup and Africa Cup, as well as it is facing challenges in the Sahel, the Sahara, and combating transcontinental crime, extremism, and immigration.
He said pointed out that it is within Morocco’s rights and duties to enhance its military capabilities, especially given significant technological advancements in areas like radar systems, which monitor transcontinental and border activities.
Guennoun further explained that Morocco’s military development isn’t solely about war but also includes aspects like military medicine, which is equally vital. This entails equipping the military with modern medical facilities in line with technological advancements.
Morocco is involved in initiatives such as combating international drug trade, human trafficking, and violent immigration, which pose global security risks, Guennoun added.
“The Moroccan military is not just a defense apparatus but also plays significant social and humanitarian roles,” Guennoun said. He pointed to the military’s efforts in disaster relief, such as during the Al Haouz quake, where they played a crucial role in saving lives and providing medical aid.
He asserted that Morocco’s focus extends beyond Algeria or the Sahara conflict, as the country is actively engaged in major reforms related to housing support, healthcare coverage, education, and port infrastructure.
Guennoun made it clear that Morocco’s internal and external policies are not intrinsically tied to or influenced by Algeria. According to him, Morocco is pursuing a robust economic agenda that remains independent of Algerian considerations.
“Morocco’s strategic decisions are centered on its own national interests and the well-being of its citizens. While it has extended invitations to Algeria to open borders and revive diplomatic relations, Morocco does not see its internal economic development as contingent upon the actions or stance of its neighbor,” said the analyst.