Two million Moroccans are using mobile phones and the government says it is working to increase their number. ”The figure is still low, but we are working to enlarge the mobile phone and the internet networks in the country,'' said Nasr Hajji, the secretary of state for new information technologies.
The Moroccan government wants to attain a mobile phone coverage of 30 percent, which is the average rate for emerging countries. Hajji said the information technologies sector would be fully developed by the year 2005. He emphasized that the government is determined to introduce information technology to the country's youth.
The mobile network is operated by the state-owned Maroc Telecom and a Spanish-Portuguese group, Meditel. Morocco sold its second mobile phone operation to Meditel for $1.1 billion. The country, which since 1995 has embarked on an ambitious privatization program, also plans to cede to private operators a considerable part if Maroc Telecom.
Over the past two years, the authorities have been busy revamping the company to make it attractive to foreign investors. The results were encouraging, as the company grew by 32 percent in the first half of 2000 from the same period last year. The company also said it would soon be listed on the stock exchange.
According to an on-line survey, nearly 87.2 percent of Moroccan internet users are university graduates or are still attending university and those having a secondary education level represent only 9.4 percent.
Moroccan internet surfers are generally young people aged between 21 and 25, mostly men (70 percent out of the polled sample, while women represent (30 percent) and single (66 percent), hows the survey conducted by "IEC Marketing" and published by Moroccan weekly, La Nouvelle Tribune.
For most of e-Moroccans, Internet has become a habit as three out of four have been using internet for more than one year and one out of two for more than two years. Nearly 30 percent devote more than 12 hours a week to internet and 50 percent more than 8 hours a week. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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