Rabat – The Standing Committee on Advanced Regionalization and Rural and Territorial Development, working under the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (EESC), presented a draft report titled “Rural Development: Challenges and Prospects” in Rabat on Thursday.
The methodology adopted for the preparation of this report consists of an analysis of the current state of rural development.
The EESC recommended the formulation of a new national vision for the development of rural and mountain areas. The vision would call for the collaborative efforts of various agencies and involve the incorporation of human, economic, social, environmental and cultural concerns into a plan of action.
According to the report presented by the Council, this 2030-2050 vision should guide all the development processes of the territory, namely for the region, the province and the rural communities.
In the same context, the EESC proposed setting up an administrative body dedicated to the development of rural and mountain areas. This body would be tasked with the following responsibilities: coordinating and integrating sector related measures, while strengthening decentralized governance and ensuring the integration of information systems and evaluation actions and the dynamics of rural development on a regional scale.
The body would also define each region’s essential vocations and mark their identities and production potential.
In addition, the Council emphasized the importance of information and communication technologies as one of the main tools of rural development, proposing to strengthen and accelerate their use. This would be sensible now that mobile and internet networks are reaching even remote areas.
On the human front, the EESC called for the implementation of gender equality in rural development policy and the implementation of positive measures for the empowerment of rural women. This approach would help eliminate structural and cultural obstacles. It would also eradicate discriminatory practices women experience in the family and in society, increase women’s participation in decision-making, access to land and material assets. The issues of marriage of minor rural girls, child labour and the exploitation of women in the workforce would also benefit.
At the operational level, the report recommended ensuring that rural populations receive better access to social services and infrastructure, strengthening the rural economy and protecting and enhancing the value of natural resources.
It also proposed the promotion of cultural and sports activities in rural areas, to ensure close support to local providers and rural populations. A recommendation was also made for strengthening the financing of rural development actions and directing it toward the welfare of the rural population.
The objective of this draft report was to analyse every aspect of the problems of rural development in Morocco and to provide answers to the questions that would inevitably arise.
The methodology adopted for its elaboration was based on an analysis of the current state of rural development and the identification of factors that have hindered the improvement of the rural population’s living environment.