Das MPI hat am 02.07. ein Feature herausgegeben über Afrikaner aus der Subsahara, und hauptsächlich aus der Elfenbeinküste und Senegal, in zweiter Linie Guinea und Kamerun, sowie aus Mali und dem Kongo und in geringerem Maß aus Nigeria und Niger, Togo und Benin.
Der Autor der Studie, Driss El Ghazouani, hat in Rabat und anderen Städten Interwiews durchgeführt. Er beschreibt einen gewissen Druck, die Immigrant*innen zu integrieren, von denen zunehmend größere Gruppen sich in Marokko ansiedeln wollen. Aber er schreibt auch: „although there is political will to ensure better integration of immigrants and management of migration across Moroccan territory, many sub-Saharan Africans in the country continue to live in precarious conditions.“ Das unterscheidet sie indes nicht von einem nicht geringen Anteil der marokkanischen Bevölkerung.
Dass der Autor von einer königstreuen Sichtweise her argumentiert, mag seiner Stellung an der Universität Rabat geschuldet sein. Die Zahl von 700 000 Immigrant*innen, die in dem Artikel genannt wird, ist sicherlich um ein Vielfaches zu hoch gegriffen und verweist im Stillen auf eine Verhandlungsmasse gegenüber der EU. Dass Marokko im Wesentlichen nach wie vor ein Land der Transmigration ist, wird in dem Artikel nicht mal in einem Nebensatz erwähnt.
Nicht erwähnt wird auch das Engagement der GIZ in Marokko, die zwischen 2015 und 2018 im Aufrtrag des BMZ „den Aufbau einer marokkanischen Willkommenskultur“ in Marokko betrieben hat – wenn auch mit eher bescheidenem Erfolg.
Despite the shortcomings, nearly 70 percent of respondents in an International University of Rabat survey of 1,400 migrants who had applied for regularization stated that they intended to stay and live in Morocco rather than continuing on to Europe, even though few were satisfied by the standards of living. The job market offers very few opportunities for sub-Saharan Africans, and many migrants who stay are forced to work in labor sectors such as construction, call centers, or domestic work „reserved“ for migrants where monthly salaries rarely exceed 2,500 dirhams (about U.S. $260). Driven by a lack of options and entrepreneurship, many resort to starting businesses in the informal economy, or often face exploitation at the hands of employers who exploit their vulnerability.
Most sub-Saharan immigrants still rely on the informal economy to make a living, and oftentimes in drug trafficking and sex work, according to a 2008 study by a Moroccan migration research institute, AMERM. Their lack of access to the formal economy pushes them to the margins of society; the most fortunate live in crowded rooms in poor neighborhoods, others sleep on the streets, in cemeteries, and forests.
Migrant workers often report employer noncompliance with very low wages, excessive hours of work, lack of freedom of movement, absence of days of rest and holidays, and often dangerous and difficult work conditions. Their vulnerability is reinforced by the fact that obtaining a residence card often does not change their situation.
Building Social Capital and Networks: Dream or Reality?
The New Migration Policy offers a solid policy—on paper: “Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa take full advantage of the economic and social opportunities offered by the NPM by building the social capital that would allow them to secure their own progress as an integrated member of one of the many diverse communities of Morocco through having a strong participation in the development of the prosperity of the country.”
Unfortunately, the precarity experienced by sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco hinders their ability to establish a collective voice, without which it is challenging to negotiate measures that could facilitate integration and settlement. Furthermore, the institutional landscape is too focused on supporting repatriation—for which there are monetary incentives—and strengthening the government’s capacity to combat human trafficking, which distracts from integration and settlement support efforts for migrants. And the government has a limited understanding of the unique problems faced by migrants, and has few mechanisms to provide effective support for integration.
But the government is not alone in its blindness: Both migrants and Moroccans lack the vision to recognize the benefits that could be reaped from full integration and settlement. For the migrants, some are reluctant to settle in Morocco in a definitive way; others lack the capacity, amid marginalization, exploitation, and hostility from the native-born public, to do so. As for Moroccans themselves, given the acute need of many sub-Saharan migrants for access to social services such as education, health care, housing, and vocational training, it may seem counterintuitive to actively welcome migrants to a country that, despite its gains, faces still-significant economic and social challenges.
As Morocco projects its presence on the African continent, the integration of sub-Saharan immigrants into Moroccan society is a priority. If links could be forged between sub-Saharan immigrants and Moroccans—a sense of community based on national, or even social ties—diversity would gradually spread. These immigrants occupy a new place in the urban landscape; they are mobile and travel all over Morocco, curious about the society around them. Many of them learn Moroccan Darija (Moroccan Arabic) and cultivate a real sense of belonging. While this effort to create connections between communities is easier for sub-Saharan Africans residing legally and financially, it could also facilitate the integration of vulnerable immigrants.