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Bribery and corruption in telecommunications – the Kingdom of Morocco

Ewan Sutherland (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein, South Africa)


ISSN: 1463-6697

Article publication date: 9 March 2015




This paper aims to analyse telecommunications in Morocco and the control exercised by the absolute monarch who also owns one of three mobile operators.


The single country case study provides a detailed picture of legislative, market and policy developments over a period of 15 years.


Severe conflicts of interests with the king as absolute monarch, head of the judiciary, chairman of the cabinet of ministers and owner of one of the largest operators exist. Market entry has only been possible with his sanction and only by acquiring in a stake in one of the existing operators. Investment is predominantly by domestic and Gulf Arabs. No attention has been given to competition and market bottlenecks. Expansion of the royal operator was observed.

Research limitations/implications

This is a single-country case study of an absolute monarchy.

Practical implications

Short of ending the monarchy, it is difficult to see a means to remove the conflicts of interest.

Social implications

The interests of the citizens take second place to royal profit-seeking.


This is the first critical assessment of telecommunications in Morocco. It adds to the small stock of case studies about bribery, corruption and patrimonialism in telecommunications.



The authors thank, for comments and discussions, Svetoslav Tintchev (formerly of the World Bank), the late Nabil Kisrawi (formerly of the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment), Charley Lewis (University of the Witwatersrand), Mohamed el Moghazi (University of Strathclyde) and Jason Whalley (University of Northumbria).


Sutherland, E. (2015), "Bribery and corruption in telecommunications – the Kingdom of Morocco", info, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 16-35.



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