Rabat – Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president of Nigeria, believes Morocco is emerging as one of Africa’s foremost leading voices on agricultural policies, sustainable development, and food security.
As Morocco “looks south” and claims its leadership role in Africa, agriculture has proved to be one of the key areas in the kingdom’s expertise sharing platform with fellow African countries.
The Nigerian made the comments earlier this week while participating in a two-day event in Rabat, between July 16 and 17.
Obasanjo was also part of a sizable delegation of former and current African leaders from a wide range of countries, including South Africa, Kenya, and Lesotho, according to Moroccan outlet Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
Speaking during the event, Obasanjo focused on how Morocco’s expertise sharing and foreign direct investment in the agriculture sector have been changing the game across the continent.
In African countries where Morocco’s OCP, a global leader in the production of phosphates and fertilizers, is operating or has signed an array of cooperation agreements with authorities, there has been a perceptible impacts according to the Nigerian politician.
In addition to training local farmers in advanced, modern agricultural techniques to drive up yearly output, OCP Africa has initiated a number of other programs that have massively upgraded the scales in terms of sustainable agriculture policy and food security.
Some lingering challenges remain in many areas across the continent, Obasanjo acknowledged at some point, as he tried to make clear that this was not a naively optimistic take on the future of food security in Africa. He nonetheless stressed that what has so far been achieved heralds positive prospects for the continent.
As African continents realize that meeting continental challenges requires collective action—the African Union’s “The Africa We Want” and the much-discussed AFCFTA are the latest examples that spring to mind—it is essential that countries with more experience and more expertise step-up to lead the continental impetus, Obasanjo suggested.
In that regard, he added, Morocco can be a continental asset on the agriculture front. The challenge for other African countries would be to channel OCP’s expertise and replicate some of Morocco’s success story.
The comments come as OCP, which has made no secret of its desire to intensify its presence in African markets and take center stage in helping the continent rise to the challenges of a prospective and much-needed green revolution, has continued to reaffirm its “pan-African” take on African issues.
In April of this year, the company announced it was conceptualizing a scheme of “more ambitious projects” to help African agriculture meet the growing odds of an endlessly shifting, digitizing global economy.
As challenges take new forms, the continent needs to upgrade its tools. The goal, OCP has maintained, is to help realize the twin goals of sustainable development and food security.