Rabat - The development of Africa, the empowerment of African youth and the fight against corruption: these are the pinpoint ideas that King Mohammed VI emphasized during his recent statement to the 31st African Union Heads of State Summit, which opened Sunday in Nouakchott.
Rabat – The development of Africa, the empowerment of African youth and the fight against corruption: these are the pinpoint ideas that King Mohammed VI emphasized during his recent statement to the 31st African Union Heads of State Summit, which opened Sunday in Nouakchott.
Represented at the summit by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, King Mohammed VI emphasized in his speech that efforts should be doubled to end corruption, the biggest obstacle to economic and social progress.
The monarch acknowledged that the issue of corruption is a universal phenomenon, which exists in the “countries of the south as well as in those of the north,” adding that it may have serious effects on the Sustainable Development Goals “agreed by the international community.”
Fight against corruption requires collaboration
The sovereign said that the fight against corruption can be applied through “coordination of experience and the pooling of expertise.”
The King also warned that this phenomenon should “under no circumstances become a new form of dominance and pressure,” adding that “the well-being of our peoples hinges on prevention and on fostering a sense of responsibility in all actors in our societies.”
The King also recalled Morocco’s efforts to curb corruption, emphasizing that the North African country has experienced the effects of corruption and is determined to apply all efforts to “overcome this scourge.”
He also recalled Morocco’s ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption in 2007, an action that has proven fruitful for Morocco. The King said that the county had developed its “institutional and legal arsenal, thus aligning its legislation with international standard,” to curb the issue.
He also recalled Morocco’s adoption of the National Strategy against Corruption in 2015 and the National Anti-Corruption Commission, which has been tasked with implementing the strategy.
The enactment of the strategy and commission aims to ensure transparency in the country and reinforce the confidence of citizens and the international community in Moroccan institutions.
“Having become a constitutional body, the National Authority for Probity and the Prevention and Combat of Corruption has recently seen its powers extended and its mission as a watchdog enhanced,” said the monarch.
Corruption, not just a moral or ethical issue
In his speech, the King said that corruption also has an economic cost, adding that this issue “puts a strain on the purchasing power of citizens, especially the poorest segments of society.”
He added that the phenomenon also “perverts” the principles of democracy and “undermines the rule of law.”
Addressing the attendees of the 31st Summit, the King said that corruption “affects the quality of life and promotes organized crime, insecurity and terrorism.”
“In the relentless fight against corruption, some African countries—and their number is quite significant—are outperforming others, including some among the most developed nations. These are models which incite us to take the same path,” said the King.
The sovereign concluded his statement by saluting the efforts of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who was designated “Africa Anti-Corruption Champion” at the 30th AU Summit.
“I know how determined he is and also how capable he is of convincing and uniting people in order to create the necessary momentum to root out corrupt practices at all levels,” said the King.