The Kingdom of Morocco, which gained its independence from France in 1956, is the most westerly of the N. African countries known as the Maghreb. Its economy can be considered as a fairly liberal one, with a privatization programme being in place since 1993. There has been macroeconomic stability but only small economic growth over the past twenty years. Thus there remains the major problem of unemployment – up to 20% in some urban areas. The strongest point in the economy is phosphate mining and processing. Morocco controls over two-thirds of the world’s phosphate reserves and this industry produces over 50% of the country’s income. The Government is investing heavily in increasing tourism which is the second largest income earning industry.