Morocco includes Tamazight as requirement for receiving nationality

Morocco includes Tamazight as requirement for receiving nationality
2 min read
24 January, 2023
In 2011, Morocco recognised Tamazight, the language of the indigenous people of the country, as an official language in light of the royal palace's vow to ensure a better relationship between the state and the people.

It was until 2019 that the Moroccan parliament approved the use of Tamazight as an official language in the country. [Getty]

The Moroccan Parliament added the Amazigh language (Tmazight) as a requirement for obtaining a Moroccan nationality, announced by local media over the past weekend.

Last week, the House of Representatives Committee on Justice and Legislation approved a new rule stating that an "adequate knowledge of Arabic and Amazigh or one of them," is required for foreigners who wish to obtain Moroccan nationality.

The new requirement came within a proposed law submitted by the parliamentary group of the "Independence Party," which is part of the ruling government coalition.

"The proposal evokes the necessity of activating the official character of Amazigh and ensuring that the laws in force respect the provisions of the constitution, especially when it comes to basic rights and freedoms as recognised internationally," said the Independence Party (PI).

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In 2011, Morocco recognised Tamazight, the language of the indigenous people of the country, as an official language in light of the royal palace's vow to ensure a better relationship between the state and the people, in midst of a wave of uprisings throughout the North African and Middle Eastern region.

More than a decade later, the implementation of Tamazight in Moroccan institutions is still burdened by several bureaucratic obstacles. In 2019, the Moroccan parliament approved the use of Tamazight as an official language.

Last year, the Moroccan government launched live translation of parliament sessions, allowing millions of non-Arabic speaking Moroccans to understand the weekly house sessions.

However, Amazigh activists argue that the Moroccan state has not done enough in enforcing the Amazigh language's presence in Moroccan schools, universities and public administrations.