Rabat – In a special 75th edition of l’Essentiel des Relations Internationales, the French magazine devoted more than 100 pages to Morocco. The publication focused particularly on King Mohammed VI and his 20 years of rule.
“In two decades of rule, His Majesty King Mohammed VI has irreversibly committed his country to progress, development and democracy,” the editorial begins.
The King’s reign “is part of the continuity of the reforms initiated by the late King Hassan II, and is based on a vision and visionary approach,” the magazine continues.
Since his ascension to the throne in 1999, King Mohammed VI fashioned his royal vision around investments in infrastructure, “which are essential for strengthening interconnections and providing the foundation for economic and social development.”
The magazine applauds Morocco’s ports, roads, high-speed trains, airports, and energy production. The port of Tangier Med, an “undeniable success,” is just one example of the region’s growing “attractiveness and dynamism.”
Additionally, Morocco’s reintegration in the African Union in early 2017, after 33 years of absence, highlighted African leaders’ renewed confidence in Morocco under King Mohammed VI.
Morocco’s “unfailing commitment to peace and development [has been] welcomed by the leaders of African countries, who also see in Morocco a major lever for stability and prosperity.”
The Kingdom “spares no effort to help its African neighbors through cooperation agreements or sharing of expertise: emergency assistance, investments, security, education and training, environment and sustainable development.”
Morocco’s continental investment
The economic news outlet African Business reported that 85% of Morocco’s foreign direct investment was channelled to sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, and has only increased since. Morocco has invested in sectors such as phosphates, banking, telecoms, and consumer goods.
King Mohammed VI’s diplomatic and economic initiatives in West Africa and the Sahel began in 2010, according to the Carnegie Middle East Center.
Morocco also established a bilateral security cooperation with Chad in 2013, which lead to cooperation in other areas such as water scarcity, sanitation, and management.
The Kingdom is also an active investor in the banking and telecom sectors for Burkina Faso and reached a military cooperation agreement with Mali in March 2018.
Morocco partnered with Niger in July 2018 to confront issues such as youth employment and climate change.
Although historical relations with Mauritania have fluctuated, Morocco is currently a key investor in the Mauritanian mining industry. Morocco and Mauritania have worked together to secure border zones and plan to advance cooperation in other sectors, such as renewable energy and health, in the future.
Morocco: a strategic player in African development
The 75 edition of l’Essentiel des Relations Internationales notes Morocco’s role in continental development.
The editorial’s introduction is followed by a brief prologue by l’Essentiel contributor Laurent Taieb, who lauds Morocco as a “strategic player in African development.”
“We wanted to show through these pages how Morocco has developed, to the point of becoming an example of African emergence, thanks to the profoundly pan-African vision and action of its King,” Taieb writes.
“Mohammed VI is acclaimed by his people, but also abroad, as evidenced by the testimony of his peers and foreign ministers of the continent.”