Rabat, June 17, 2011, Morocco World News/MAP
Morocco is “well positioned and has a great potential” to become a hub in terms of technology and innovation in North Africa, said on Friday in Rabat US Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Environment, and Science Kerri-Ann Jones.
The US official highlighted Morocco’s efforts to link the research community to the productive sectors through concrete projects and commended its participation in international initiatives, saying that this positions the Kingdom to take a leading role in the region in terms of technology and innovation.
Jones, who was speaking to the press at the end of a conference of the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST), stressed the convergence of views with several Moroccan officials regarding the role that science and innovation can play in stimulating productivity.
On the same occasion, the US official highlighted the excellent partnership relations between Morocco and the US, notably in fields relating to the protection of the environment.
Environmental cooperation is part of the FTA signed between the two countries, she recalled.
Concerning renewable energy, Jones hailed Morocco for its commitment to develop wind and solar energy, noting the Kingdom’s active participation in international organizations, such as the International Agency of Renewable Energies.
Held on June 16-17 in collaboration between the Department of Higher Education, training and Scientific Research and the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), the conference is the third to be held by the GIST initiative in a series of regional conferences aimed at identifying and proposing solutions to economic development challenges in Muslim-majority nations.
The event brought together experts and researchers from 25 countries.
One of the primary science and technology initiatives proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama during his 2009 Cairo speech, the GIST conference serves as a forum for regional innovation to present and discuss mechanisms to create and sustain programs that balance both economic development and global market needs.
The GIST initiative involves several concurrent components to develop specific science, technology and innovation (STI) capabilities in the region.