HACA : a major tool towards liberalizing the audiovisual sector in Morocco

Latifa Akharbach
Latifa Akharbach, president of HACA
The High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) was founded on August 31st, 2002 by virtue of the Dahir N° 1-02-212. The creation of the High Authority was considered the first major step towards liberating the Moroccan audiovisual sector from the state monopoly in order to accompany the democratic and modern path the country is following.

In 2005 the bill N°77-03 was adopted to reinforce the freedom of the audiovisual sector. This bill determins the legal framework and the necessary mechanisms for the Moroccan audiovisual landscape. It also enables the sector to accompany the rapid developments and transformation of media around the world, and face the challenges imposed by globalization and technological mutation on media and communication.

In 2011, The High Authority for Audiovisual Communication became a constitutional and independent authority sheltered by His Majesty King Mohammed VI and mandated to control and regulate audiovisual communication in Morocco.

by 2016, The High Authority for Audiovisual Communication witnessed a reinforcement of its remit including the promotion of media literacy, advocating pluralism and diversity, maintaining a control over media concentration and expanding the right of complaints to all citizens. This reinforcement guarantees independency and neutrality of the institution enabling it to accomplish effectively and credibly the missions it has been assigned.

The Structure of HACA

The High Authority is an institution that stands on two backbones:

The Supreme Council of Audiovisual Communication  (CSCA)        

The Supreme Council of Audiovisual Communication is the deliberative and decision making authority

The Directorate General Of Audiovisual Communication (DGCA)

The Directorate General is a technical and operational body that manages all the eight departments of the institution.

The Missions of the HACA

The missions of the High Authority aim at ensuring the free practice of audiovisual communication through:
  • Respecting free and fair competition,
  • Respecting information honesty,
  • Assuring the right to a pluralist expression of currents of thought and opinion,
  • Guaranteeing cultural and linguistic diversity,
  • Promoting media literacy,
  • Assuring gender equality, equity an fighting all types of discrimination,
  • Protecting the young audience and human dignity,
  • Respecting the presumption of innocence principle and the right to privacy,

The Remit of the HACA

The remits of the High Authority fall within five principle competences:
  1. Advisory competence:
Advising His Majesty the King and the government on any matter related to audiovisual communication, and proposing legislative and regulatory amendments on this field to the parliament. 
  1. Normative competence:
Enacting rules and recommendations on management of pluralism, measurements and media treatment of sensitive issues, in addition to establishing and approving specifications for the private and public audiovisual services.
  1. Liberalization and the expansion of the audiovisual offer competences:
Granting licenses and authorizations to all audiovisual services, assigning frequencies and control, and ensuring the respect of ownership and deployment rules by the media services.
  1. Content regulation competence:
Ensuring the respect of pluralism outside and during the elections period, and enforcing the fundamental principles governing the general audiovisual content such as human dignity, equality, equity, information honesty…
  1. Sanctioning competence:
Imposing a necessary sanction that could be either non-pecuniary including warnings, withdrawal of licenses, temporary suspicions, or pecuniary up to 5% of the operator’s annual advertisement turnover

Good Governance

The High Authority for Audiovisual Communication is an institution represented by 51% of women versus 49% of men. For its credibility and transparency, the budget of the institution and the assets of all its members, including the top management, are always subject to the control of the audit court. Nevertheless, to remain in compliance with the legal provisions in force, the HACA also ensures the availability of all documentation on regulation, the CSCA’s decisions, the HACA’s activities and reports, on the website. Furthermore, the High Authority works continuously on the utmost respect of the environment through the application of the zero paper plan that helps dematerializing all exchanges and the energy optimization plan.