Morocco’s commitment to Africa is underpinned by a sense of loyalty to a shared history and a firm belief in a common destiny, and its African policy is based on a thorough understanding of African realities, said King Mohammed VI in a speech he delivered on Sunday, adding that for Morocco, Africa is the future. And the future starts today.
The Monarch who was addressing the Nation on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and People, marking the popular uprising against the French colonizers following the exile of the late King Mohammed V and the Royal family, said “Morocco’s commitment to – and interest in – Africa are by no means a coincidence; nor are they the result of transient considerations. They reflect a sense of loyalty to a shared history and illustrate our firm belief that ours is a common destiny”.
Underlining that this commitment and interest are the result of profound, realistic reflection, and that Morocco’s African policy is based on a thorough understanding of African realities, the King insisted that this policy is “aimed at serving shared interests through solidarity-based, win-win partnerships”.
In this vein, he pointed out Morocco’s tangible Africa policy is best illustrated by the flagship development projects launched during the numerous visits he paid to several African countries.
Among these projects reflecting the co-development approach of the Kingdom, the Monarch mentioned the Nigeria-Morocco Atlantic gas pipeline project, which will help West Africa bolster its energy security, develop its industrial fabric, improve its economic competitiveness and speed up its social development, while channelling Nigerian gas as far as Europe.
The Monarch also mentioned among these landmark projects the construction of fertilizer plants in Ethiopia and Nigeria as well as human development projects designed to improve the living conditions of African citizens, such as the creation of healthcare facilities, vocational training institutions and fishermen’s villages.
He recalled in this regard that he has opted for a policy based on solidarity and for balanced partnerships grounded in mutual respect and the fulfilment of African peoples’ shared interests.
“Morocco has never engaged in influence peddling. Instead, it has opted to put its expertise and know-how at the disposal of its African brothers and sisters. Money comes and goes, unlike knowledge and skills; it is these that help meet people’s needs,” he said.
“As a result of this successful policy, we have managed to strengthen our economic partnerships, ensure Morocco’s return to the African Union and secure the agreement in principle to our request to join the Economic Commission of West African States,” the King went on to say.
Elaborating on Morocco’s return to the pan-African organization, despite the obstacles thrown in its way by certain parties, he said this reintegration “marks a diplomatic watershed moment in our country’s foreign policy” and “attests to our African brothers’ and sisters’ perception of Morocco as a credible player – one whom they hold in high esteem”.
The Monarch went on to say that “Although our return to the African organization is a highly significant event, it is not an end in itself. Africa was and always will be a top priority for us. What matters, above all, is the continent’s progress and the services provided to African citizens”.
Insisting that for Morocco, “Africa is the future. And the future starts today,” King Mohammed VI vowed that his country would continue the efforts it has been exerting in Africa for more than fifteen years and that its return to its African organization will not affect its solid bilateral relations with African nations, nor mutually agreed development programs.
“Reintegration into the AU is but the start of a new era of joint action with all African countries in order to build a genuine, solidarity-based partnership, ensure – together – our continent’s development and meet the needs of African citizens”.
“We are currently in the process of building an Africa that believes in itself, is committed to solidarity and rallies behind concrete projects while being open to its surroundings,” the Monarch said, explaining that “It is this comprehensive vision that led the Kingdom to apply officially to join the Economic Commission of West African States.
ECOWAS is a natural extension of the AU. By joining both institutions, Morocco will contribute to economic prosperity and human development on the continent.
“This is a historic political decision and a milestone in the endeavors made towards African integration, which can only be achieved through regional blocs…Within ECOWAS, the Kingdom of Morocco will seek to lay down the foundations for genuine African integration that serves the continent and fulfils its peoples’ aspirations for development and for a dignified life, in an environment characterized by unity, security and stability.
Morocco – The North Africa Post