Speaking during the opening session of the new legislative year, the monarch revealed that a department of African affairs will be affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Africa has become present in King Mohammed VI’s speeches on the occasions of celebrating national days.
In his speech on the occasion of the 64th Revolution of King and People, the monarch said that “Morocco’s commitment to – and interest in – Africa are by no means a coincidence; nor are they the result of transient considerations. They reflect a sense of loyalty to a shared history and illustrate our firm belief that ours is a common destiny”.
In recent years the monarch toured the continent to boost Moroccan cooperation with other nations in Africa.
Scores of cooperation agreements in the fields of banking, fertilizer, telecommunication, agriculture and others have been signed between Morocco and a number of its traditional allies such as Senegal, Gabon and Ivory Coast.
Other agreements were concluded with countries which have not traditionally been among Morocco’s friends such as Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia.
With Nigeria, Morocco reached an agreement to build an important gas-pipeline. Both countries say that the mega-project will have a positive impact on the lives of local populations in the African countries the pipeline will cross to reach Morocco.
The project is expected to “speed up electrification projects in all west Africa, serving as a basis for the creation of a competitive electricity regional market”.
Morocco’s African policy made the kingdom a key player in the continental scene. In January Morocco made a triumphant comeback to the African Union (AU) after 33 years of absence following the admission of the Polisario Front into the organization.
Morocco is also seeking membership of the Economic Community of Western Africa (ECOWAS). In June the regional bloc gave its approval in principle to Morocco’s membership request.