Tetouan - King Mohammed VI on Saturday underlined that Africa has been given top priority in Morocco’s foreign policy, adding that this multi-dimensional relationship puts Morocco in the center of Africa and means Africa holds a special place in Moroccans’ hearts.
Tetouan – King Mohammed VI on Saturday underlined that Africa has been given top priority in Morocco’s foreign policy, adding that this multi-dimensional relationship puts Morocco in the center of Africa and means Africa holds a special place in Moroccans’ hearts.
“I believe what is good for Morocco is good for Africa – and vice versa. Theirs is one and the same destiny. I also believe there can be no progress without stability: either the two go together, or they do not exist”, the Sovereign stressed in a speech to the Nation on the occasion of the 63rd anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People.
In this respect, the King noted that Morocco always gives to the peoples of its continent; it does not expect to take from them. Its commitment to African issues and concerns was never made with the intention of exploiting the continent’s assets and natural resources – unlike neocolonialist practices.
“While it is natural that Morocco should benefit from cooperation with African sister nations, my country always makes sure that our cooperation is mutually profitable”, the Monarch stressed.
The King noted that the problems plaguing African peoples today, such as backwardness, poverty, migration, wars and conflicts, in addition to despair and succumbing to extremist and terrorist groups, is the result of the disastrous policy adopted for decades by colonial powers.
The King recalled that colonial powers looted Africa’s resources, stifled the potential of its sons and daughters, mortgaged their future, impeded the continent’s development and sowed the seeds of discord and strife among African countries.
“Despite the extensive damage caused by colonialism, I believe Africa has the means to ensure its development and to take its destiny into its own hands, thanks to the resolve of African peoples and to the continent’s human and natural resources”, he noted.
“Our decision that Morocco should take its natural place, once again, within the African institutional family clearly illustrates our commitment to continue supporting the causes of African peoples”, he pointed out.
For Morocco, Africa means more than just being part of a geographical area, or having historical bonds with the continent. Africa also means sincere affection, appreciation, close human and spiritual relations as well as tangible solidarity. Furthermore, Africa is the natural extension of Morocco and the embodiment of the country’s strategic depth, the Monarch emphasized.
“Morocco does not view Africa as a market for the sale and promotion of Moroccan products, or as a continent for making quick profit. We see Africa as a forum for joint action, for promoting development in the region, and for serving African citizens”, the King said, adding Morocco contributes, along with other African countries, to the implementation of human development projects and the provision of social services which have a direct bearing on the lives of people in the region.
The King said that Morocco does not merely export medicines to Africa; “it also makes sure to set up pharmaceutical companies and healthcare centers.” He went on to add that the kingdom develops infrastructure, builds vocational and technical training centers and implements projects that offer steady jobs and income – such as fishermen’s villages – and that support smallholders and encourage the preservation of ecosystems.
A case in point is the project for the protection and development of Cocody Bay, in Abidjan, within the framework of a unique model of cooperation between the relevant public institutions in Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire, with the effective involvement of private sector operators from both countries, he noted.
The King pointed out that this integrated, solidarity-based vision which underpins Morocco’s relations with African sister nations “requires all the stakeholders that we have invited to take part in this endeavor to shoulder their responsibility and to fulfill their obligations in order to maintain Morocco’s credibility”.
“For us, Africa is not about goals and objectives; dealing with Africa involves a commitment towards the African citizen, wherever he or she may be”, the Monarch underlined, adding that: “We attach as much importance to improving the livelihood of Africans in their countries as we do to African migrants in Morocco. As a result, they do not suffer the same hardships endured in many parts of the world”.
The King noted that Morocco’s national responses to many complex regional and international issues – such as development, migration and the fight against terrorism – are in line with a firm commitment to serve African peoples.
“That should not come as a surprise since Morocco has always been at the forefront of advocates calling for the liberation of our continent. In this regard, I am following in the footsteps of my pioneering ancestors who believed in Africa, and who worked earnestly for the unity, openness and progress of its peoples”, he concluded.