Morocco’s head of government will lead the commission monitoring the implementation of Tifinagh in public life.
Rabat – Morocco’s Government Council adopted a draft decree on Thursday relating to the implementation of Tifinagh, the official alphabet of the Amazigh (Berber) language.
Draft decree No. 2.60.600 establishes the composition and operating procedures of a permanent inter-ministerial commission tasked with monitoring the implementation of Tifinagh in education and public life.
Minister of Culture Othmane El Ferdaous presented the text, aiming to follow through with the provisions of Law No. 16.26, relating to the official use of the Amazigh alphabet in Morocco.
Law No. 16.26 sets the stage for Tifinagh’s integration into education and various aspects of public life in Morocco.
Thursday’s decision concerns Article 34 of the law, which calls for the creation of “a permanent ministerial commission” responsible for “monitoring, evaluating, and activating the official alphabet of the Amazigh language” in Morocco.
Government spokesperson and education minister Saaid Amzazi explained the details of the decision during a press briefing after the Government Council session, according to Morocco’s state media.
He said the new draft decree outlines the composition, functions, and goals of the Tifinagh monitoring commission.
The commission must evaluate decisions related to Tifinagh and produce an annual summary of the alphabet’s implementation.
Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani will act as president of the commission.
The draft decree also stipulates that the councils of government, national language and Moroccan culture, and education meet annually to review action plans and sectoral programs related to Tifinagh’s implementation.
The commission must convene at least two meetings per year under the guidance of El Othmani.
Amzazi said the monitoring commission will welcome the participation of any other government authority, public institution, or body, as well as any person “whose presence is deemed useful by the President of the Commission.”
The text also opens the commission to participation and advice from thematic working groups, specialized commissions, and experts in the field.
What is Tifinagh?
North Africa’s indigenous Amazigh people use Tifinagh to write in Tamazight (Berber language).
The writing system dates back more than two millennia, according to anthropological studies.
Since the late 20th century, Amazigh activists in Morocco have called for the implementation of Tifinagh in public life and campaigned for the official recognition of their dialects.
In 2001, King Mohammed VI established the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture. The center developed a modern Tifinagh writing system, called Neo-Tifinagh, consisting of 33 different characters. Neo-Tifinagh can be found on signs and buildings throughout Morocco.
Morocco’s 2011 constitution recognized Tamazight as an official language for the first time.
The implementation of the written alphabet Tifinagh in education and public life is another crucial step in Morocco’s recognition of Amazigh culture.
Read also: Tifinagh: The Amazigh Alphabet