Toronto – The Foreign Ministry seized the opportunity to highlight the close ties between Morocco and the continent during the celebration of Africa Day on June 8, and lauded the Kingdom’s policies regarding co-development, sharing of expertise and win-win partnerships in Africa.
The celebration of Africa Day was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the theme “Morocco, An Actor for a Collective Emergence in Africa.”
“Morocco’s African policy has reached a new stage thanks to the strong and stead fast commitment of King Mohammed VI,” said Nacer Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
To date, Morocco’s policies in Africa have reached a highly developed level in terms of strategic scope, content, and the nature of projects as well as institutional dimension.
“Morocco’s African policy is no longer confined to a single sub-region. It has moved from a natural concentration in West Africa to a projection on all African sub-regions. The Kingdom opens up new spaces. Over the past nine months, King has visited eight countries, including four in East Africa, two in Southern Africa and two in West Africa, for the first time,” underlined the minister.
The policy of openness advocated by Morocco in Africa since 2002 was crowned by the return of the Kingdom, four months ago, to Africa’s institutional family, the African Union.
In addition to rejoining the AU, The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Conference in Monrovia has given its agreement in principle to Morocco’s request to join the regional grouping.
These achievements, the minister emphasized, made 2017 an exceptional year thanks to the royal vision of Africa. The changes in Africa and the emergence of a new generation of pragmatic leaders have helped to facilitate cooperation between Morocco and Africa.
The good relations Between Morocco and the continent have allowed for the integrity of the Moroccan Sahara to be recognized by 36 AU countries, that is two thirds ofthe AU States, while two decades ago those same thirty recognized the Polisario.
Referring to the Moroccan offer in Africa, Bourita described the latter as singular and multidimensional, insofar as Morocco has opted for a dense and multidimensional policy by forging multi-sectoral partnerships. The offer is based on a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach aimed at the promotion of peace, stability, sustainable human development and the preservation of the cultural and spiritual identity of Africa.
“The Moroccan offer of cooperation in Africa is unique, since Morocco is the only country to have a diversified offer of cooperation that encompasses several dimensions in diplomatic and strategic, military and security, economic, spiritual as well as human.”
The minister underlined that one third of Morocco’s foreign investment is destined for Africa. Investments have made the Kingdom the second largest African investor on the continent and the first in western Africa.
More than 1,000 Moroccan companies are established in Africa. These companies have invested more than USD 2.2 billion since their establishmentfrom 2008 to 2015, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
Head of government, El Othmani,recalled that “Morocco has always focused its foreign policy on strengthening South-South cooperation on the basis of its belief that the development of the country depends on the development of the continent.”