Moroccan handicraft is a socio-economic sector considered as one of the most productive and generating jobs, it is thus an asset of diversified know-how and ingenuity which conceals an enormous potential of growth and a universal reference representing the glorious past of the Moroccan kingdom. Endowed with a colossal and diversified cultural inheritance, each region of the Moroccan kingdom has its own specialties, drawn from raw materials which are there in abundance. Moroccan craftsmanship expresses its creativity through multiple forms and innumerable materials ranging from wood to copper, from rugs to fabric, from ceramic to clay ...
Craftsmanship continues to grow, meeting the requirements of modernity, meeting the expectations of tourists and responding to export demands abroad, and adapting in perpetuity to the chronic changes in the internal and external market .In the four corners of the kingdom of Morocco, its craftsmanship is present in all the shops, residences, palaces, Riads and hotels, making live more than 2.3 million men and women in Morocco, that is to say 20% of the population, as well as 700 SMEs operate in the sector.The place occupied by handicrafts in Morocco is measured by the turnover generated, which amounts to 17.7 billion dirhams, and contributes 9% of Morocco's GDP, the share of exports remains low, representing less than 30%.
The problems ...However, the Moroccan handicraft sector is marked by a very fragmented fabric, hence the predominance of partial and informal work is highly spread. It also suffers from a lack of organization and low institutional representation, leading to a number of social and economic problems affecting mainly rural and urban mono-artisans. We can regroup the problems that Moroccan handicrafts suffer in three major levels:
- Institutional level
- Level of commercialization and innovation
- Level of funding
- social level
1- At the institutional level:
Today the craft sector in Morocco is in crisis. He suffers from his lack of organization and low institutional representation.
Indeed, no clear legal definition has been put in place to regulate the profession, leading to a phenomenon of deterioration of the social conditions of craftsmen, which worsens year after year. On the other hand, even though cooperatives aiming to perpetuate traditions by providing training for craftsmen have developed, this sector has a limited training and promotion system. For lack of information, artisans underestimate the impact they have on natural resources by having a bad exploitation of raw materials.
Finally, faced with almost total disinvestment of the banking system, this sector also suffers from the competition of many entrants from sectors in crisis such as fishing, try without any qualification, to earn a living by falling back on the trades of the crafts such as pottery or woodworking.
2- At the level of marketing and innovation:
The craft sector has a human potential that cannot express all its talent or benefit properly from its products. The sector stagnates and fails to take off because of marketing difficulties illustrated by the inability of professionals to participate in trade fairs and exhibitions.
Lack of innovation is another major handicap for handicrafts. Moroccan craftsmanship remains rudimentary and does not give products innovative artistic touches that allow it to be competitive both nationally and internationally.
Moroccan craftsmanship remained confined to family structures with insufficient profit margins, whereas it would have been necessary to operate in workshops and to create companies.
Handicrafts are not sufficiently represented in major national and international fairs and shows, because of the very high participation fees. Also, it is necessary to launch an appeal to the authorities of tutelage to take care of the expenses of participation in particular with regard to the displacement and the stay, in order to allow the craftsmen to make known their products.
Morocco could develop its benchmarking and monitoring system in order to study competitors' strategies, to try to develop them if they seem interesting or to thwart them whenever possible.
3- At the level of financing:
Handicrafts benefit from a multiplicity of funding sources, but still remain an underfunded sector. It is still neglected by banking institutions and by donors. There are four main actors in the financing of this sector: the bank : “Banque Populaire”, the delegations and chambers of crafts, the micro-credit associations and the mutual guarantee societies. “Banque Populaire” offers credit services specific to the craft industry. Out of a total of two million artisans, about 10,000 benefit each year. Bank financing of crafts is therefore very small compared to the needs of the sector.
Moroccan craftsmanship faces two main problems. The first is related to the structure of the artisanal enterprise which is characterized by a general lack of own funds and thus by extreme vulnerability in the event of bad economic conditions. Artisans are unable to provide the guarantees required by banks, mainly because most individual craft enterprises remain in the informal sector.
From all this, we remember that the banks give little credit to artisans because they do not repay the credits granted. As the BP has recorded according to a study conducted in 1999 a rate of 50% of non-repayments, a fairly surprising figure that justifies the measured actions of banks.
As a result, craftsmen come together in cooperatives to survive.
To this end, a strategy named "Vision 2015" which aims to develop the sector was set up and signed on February 20, 2007 between the government and professionals before King Mohammed 6.
4- At the social level:
Moroccan craftsmanship occupies a great place in Morocco, for centuries, Moroccans inherit their ancestors traditions and customs and crafts, this craft that serves them as a job to live, trying century after century of to make it evolve and develop it. Despite many problems with this traditional activity, the majority of artisans do not lose hope, and do not change their professions. For them, the craft remains a heritage that is part of their history and their Moroccan culture. However, this sector suffers from numerous crises, at the institutional, financial and socio-economic levels. By looking at the social level of crises, we can see that the social situation and the social conditions of craftsmen are worsening more and more, despite several training programs, which are few and limited, the situation of these craftsmen is stagnating. and does not improve, which will lead to the destruction of this historic sector. Several factors are at the root of these social problems, which have an impact on the families who practice crafts, and also influence the future of the sector as well as its share in the creation of GDP. Some examples are:
- Competition from newcomers from other professions who are trying to make a living without any experience or training.
- Qualification as a heterogeneous and informal sector.
- Seasonal activity for some craft trades.
- Lack of medical coverage for craftsmen (CNSS).
- Precarious and arduous working conditions.
- Endangered trades.
- Lack of awareness campaign.
- Marginalization of the sector and craftsmen.
- Lack of assistance for old craftsmen.
This sector, which employs 2 million people, and ranks second after agriculture as a job creator, owes us value, and valuing it consists in dealing with these different problems and solving them. listening to the artisans and understanding their issues. Because without this craft, many families risk extreme poverty.