Rabat - Amazigh activists dispute the findings of a recent population and housing census that claimed that 27 percent of Moroccans speak Tamazight.
Rabat – Amazigh activists dispute the findings of a recent population and housing census that claimed that 27 percent of Moroccans speak Tamazight.
The latest population and housing census raised a new controversy between the High Commission for Planning (HCP) and Amazigh activists. The latter expressed their anger at the release of the latest figures from the HCP that revealed that “only” 27 percent of Moroccans speak Amazigh. This figure angered Amazigh activists, who consider it far from reality.
“We have expressed our concerns well before the release of results over the method adopted in this census,“ Ahmed Aassid said.
“Some census agents filled in the forms using their imagination, without being in the field,” he underlined
Critics took issue with census agents who have worked for the HCP. “There were several families who were not asked on Amazigh, census agents asked only about Arabic and French,” stated Meriem Demnati, from the Amazigh Observatory for Rights and Freedoms.
“Amazigh can only have increased at a time when the state made efforts in ten years,” Aassid argued.
For Meriem Demnati and Ahmed Assid, these figures have legitimized public policies to curb the use of Amazigh in the country. “Basically, countries conduct censuses to develop policies based on realities, and in Morocco is the opposite,” Aassid explained.
“We are putting together our forces to address a memorandum to all relevant institutions, including the Royal Palace, to allow the Amazigh language an official place in institutions, education, media, etc.”
The HCP has not responded to these criticisms from Amazigh’s civil society. However, the High Planning Commission had defended its methods and had been open to Amazigh associations’ remarks.