Morocco has constitutionally adopted a bill to formalize the Berber language, but awaits Parliament to endorse it.
A council of ministers adopted a draft bill which could see the language also being integrated in the education system and other various sectors. Activists have called for a clear indication on how the language will exactly be used in everyday life.
Although there are conflicting numbers, experts estimate that as many as eight million people- a quarter of the country’s population – speak one of the dialects of the language. Moreover, despite the country’s Berber roots, the ruling elite have been accused of suppressing the Berber culture, subsequently the language itself for decades following Morocco’s independence in 1956, making it difficult for government to give it much attention.
The language, which comes in three main dialects in Morocco was recognized in 2011 as an official language alongside Arabic in the new Constitution. But there hasn’t been movement to officially only until recently.