Since 2011 when the Moroccan Constitution was amended to declare that Tamazight, along with Arabic, should be considered an official language, the Kingdom made a public effort to demonstrate the importance of the Amazigh culture by agreeing to issue Amazigh bank notes.
Recently, the cancellation of amendment 40.17 to the Moroccan constitution, by the Finance and Economic Development Committee, has left many Moroccans feeling outraged. The General Council for Diplomacy, Abdelouahed Darouich, said the move is in “violation of the 2011 constitution and the sovereignty of all people who voted for it.”
The change in the draft law means that the Bank Al Maghrib no longer permits issuing Amazigh banknotes.
The Amazighs, often referred to as “The Berbers” are the original inhabitants of Morocco and an indigenous ethnic group living in various parts of the country from the northern Rif Mountain region to the great Southern region of Zagora and the Coast of Essaouira.
Morocco’s Amazigh population is in the range of 20 million as they are the largest ethnic Berbers in the world. Algeria has an approximate Berber population of 13 million, Libya almost 4 million, and Egypt close to 2 million.