One of the largest African economies, Morocco hosts 10 million tourists a year. The country, formerly a part of vast Islamic dynasties for over 800 years, was later dominated by France and Spain in the colonial era, but has been a fully independent constitutional monarchy since 1956. Most poverty in Morocco is in rural areas. According to the Rural Poverty Portal, of the 4 million people living under the poverty line in Morocco, 3 million of them live in rural areas. This may stem from the number of people depending on agriculture as their principal source of income in a geographically challenging region, as well as a lack of access to resources like water and financial credit. Low levels of training and education among the rural poor also hamper progress. In 2012, in response to the larger Arab Spring movement for political reform and enhanced democratic space, King Mohammed VI announced political reforms, including a new constitution that eliminated some of the entitlements and privileges he himself previously enjoyed. Morocco is a U.S. ally in an otherwise difficult region and provides all the more reason for cultivating and strengthening positive trends in education, health, the empowerment of women, cultural and environmental awareness and economic opportunity.