Despite being an official language of Morocco, Tamazight (Berber language)is poorly represented in Moroccan editorial production.
Rabat – A new report shows a slight increase in Morocco’s editorial activity in 2018 and 2019, with the country producing and publishing over 4,200 documents during the period, largely in Arabic.
The King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Islamic Studies and Human Sciences, a non-profit organization that promotes research in social sciences and Arab-Islamic studies, released the figures on Wednesday, February 5, ahead of the International Book and Publishing Fair in Casablanca.
The figures show an increase of only 1.75% compared to 2017/2018. However, this uptick contributes to the steady increase in Morocco’s editorial activity recorded over the past five years.
Works in the humanities and social sciences have substantially increased from 3.4% of all published works in 2015/2016 to 20.3% of all published works in 2018/2019.
The 4,200 published documents in 2018/2019 include books, journals, and digital publications.
Paper formatting dominated 79.69% of Moroccan editorial production, with 3,677 books and 542 journals published in print.
Although only 857 works were digital publications, digital publishing increased by 12.7% compared to the 2017/2018 period.
However, digital publishing is largely confined to official works from public establishments such as Moroccan ministries and banks.
Men wrote the majority of Moroccan publications, with 83% of works penned by male authors.
The King Abdul Aziz report criticized the high printing and publishing costs in Morocco, noting that 25% of Moroccan authors had to cover their own publishing expenses, which limited the reach of their work.
Tamazight remains in the shadows of Arabic
With 3,312 print and digital titles, Arabic is the dominant language in Moroccan editorial production. Arabic has occupied this leading role since the mid-1980s.
Meanwhile, French-language production increased from 485 titles in 2017/2018 to 675 titles in 2018/2019.
Morocco also produced 72 works in English, 13 in Spanish, one in Portuguese, and one in German.
Only 45 Moroccan publications are in Tamazight (Berber language). The titles include 17 poetry, 12 short stories, and 10 novels.
The Souss Tachelhit language dominates Tamazight production, followed by Rifian Tarifit.
Read also: Tifinagh: The Amazigh Alphabet