In a speech dedicated to the continent at the 10th World Policy Conference, which kicked off in Marrakech on Friday, the monarch gave further proof that Africa has become central in Morocco’s foreign policy.
In his speech, King Mohammed VI said that Africa’s voice should be heard globally, and that the continent must assume a bigger role that the one assigned to it today.
“Given the recent developments and the clear progress made by Africa, it is of the utmost importance that our continent be front and center of a redesigned world stage,” said the King.
The King highlighted a change in Africa’s attitude, pointing to a continent more confident in itself in comparison with the past.
“The era of a passive Africa suffering from a complex environment is over. A proactive Africa is replacing a submissive continent.”
Africa, for the monarch, has a chance to achieve progress given its enormous potential in terms of both material and human resources.
To do so, Africans need to be united, realistic, innovative and set up better policies for a brighter future, stressed the King.
“It is our responsibility to foster innovative strategies and ambitious policies which should not only be based on the accomplishments that have already been made, but which should also draw inspiration from successful initiatives at global level.”
Africa should not see its abundant youth as a “handicap,” urged King Mohammed VI, but rather as an “asset.”
“Today, Africa’s tremendous assets in terms of human capital offer an exceptional opportunity to achieve progress,” insisted the monarch.
While pressing for greater achievements, the King noted at the same time global recognition of the recent developments seen by the continent.
“The undeniable progress that Africa has made has not gone unnoticed. In fact, it has been followed with growing interest by the international community,” said King Mohammed VI.
For Africa to achieve prosperity and meet people’s aspirations, the King called for “inclusive human and economic development programs that are based on a regional or continental vision.”
A Roadmap to Progress
While the King insisted that Africa has tremendous opportunities to catch up with the developed world and achieve similar goals of progress and prosperity, he nonetheless did not shy away from the challenges facing the continent.
The royal speech presented a sort of roadmap to progress. The King advocated for an improvement of public policies in education, health, and vocational training. The main goal behind this is ensuring a better integration of the youth “into the socio-economic fabric” of African countries.
Shaping up public policies, suggested the King, can only have a positive impact on “sustained growth that would create jobs and boost productivity.”
The modern challenges facing Africa require that Africans change their way of thinking and look for modern solutions to existing problems.
In the King’s suggested roadmap, a stress was made on the need for a “constructive debate” to improve local development models and fully exploit the continent’s abundant natural resources.
African agriculture – a field in which Morocco has invested with agreements for the kingdom’s Office Chérifien de Phosphates (OCP) to set up industrial units – is a highly promising sector but one in need of modernization.
King Mohammed VI called for a transformation of African agriculture “from primary production to agro-industrial value chains.”
For Africa to fully make the most of the sector’s potentials, the King called for “revolution” in technology usage in continental agriculture, and a adjustment of “production methods” to make them better fit the local context and be “consistent with the requirements of climate change.”