Casablanca - From Rwanda to Madagascar, King Mohammed VI has been extending Morocco’s influence across the African continent, and he’s not done just yet, as he will soon be heading to Nigeria and Zambia.
Casablanca – From Rwanda to Madagascar, King Mohammed VI has been extending Morocco’s influence across the African continent, and he’s not done just yet, as he will soon be heading to Nigeria and Zambia.
French-language weekly news magazine Jeune Afrique published a long article on Wednesday analyzing the meaning behind the monarch’s travel across Africa and lauding the king’s commitment to the continent.
The magazine recalls an important line from the King’s speech at the African Union summit this July in Kigali: “I know Africa and its cultures a lot more than others can claim to,” the King stated. “Through my many visits, I also know the reality of the terrain, and this is affirmed by how I measure my words,” he added.
It’s true. The king has spent a great deal of time visiting the African continent. Even in his younger years as a prince, he was sent to other African countries numerous times.
“His introduction to sub-Saharan Africa dates back to the time when he was the crown prince,” a Moroccan diplomate tells Jeune Afrique, adding that “as early as the 1980s, his father sent him there as an emissary during the difficult time when the African Union recognized the Sahari pseudo state, which led to Morocco’s exit from the AU on November 12, 1984.”
But now, 17 years into his rule, the king’s commitment to the continent is clearer than ever. With visits to Rwanda, Tanzania, Senegal, Ethiopia, Madagascar and soon Niger and Zambia, the monarch has proved to be a champion for South-South cooperation and is dedicated to Morocco’s re-entry to the African Union.
In an interview with Malagasy press on Saturday, November 26, Mohammed VI said that “Morocco and Africa are one. To separate them would be an uprooting, an error.”
“The women, men and children I meet give me the strength to continue. They make me proud to be African,” the monarch added.
Across his various visits in West and Central Africa, the king has not only been able to reiterate the nation’s commitment to re-entering the Union after 32 years, a request that was put forth this July in recognition of the importance of remaining a part of the organization, but was also able to establish a slew of bilateral economic agreements.
So far, 19 agreements were signed in Rwanda, 22 in Tanzania, 13 in Senegal, 7 in Ethiopia, and 22 in Madagascar, covering multiple sectors of the economy and proving that Morocco’s commitment to South-South cooperation and growing Africa’s economy as a whole is not just talk.
It would thus not be farfetched to say, as Jeune Afrique did on Wednesday, that King Mohammed VI is likely the African leader most involved in maintaining and strengthening relations with different parts of the continent. And this commitment for a better Africa, a united Africa, will likely continue in Nigeria and Zambia.