With King Mohammed VI’s personal commitment to Africa and pan-Africanism leading the way, Morocco is emerging as an indispensable player in African affairs.
Rabat – With intra-African cooperation and Morocco’s Africanness as part of his Green March speech delivered yesterday night, King Mohammed VI signaled Morocco’s growing leadership in Africa, according to a Senegalese expert.
Africa has become a staple in royal speeches, with the Moroccan monarch repeatedly and emphatically hammering home two points in most of his public statements: That Moroccan’s roots are African; and that, in a context of numerous geopolitical and domestic challenges facing the continent, the North African kingdom is poised to shoulder its “historical African responsibility.”
Analyzing the “continental significance” of the King’s most recent speech, Boubacar Gueye, the president of Horizons Sans Frontieres (Horizons Without Borders), a migration-focused international NGO, said that Morocco is now a “confirmed African leader.”
According to the Senegalese expert, a central notion in the latest royal statements is the increasingly obvious notion that Rabat, having formally returned to Africa almost three years ago, is more committed than ever to its role as a continental leader on various topics of regional, intra-African relevance.
Morocco’s engagement with the continent has been more manifested in the country’s diplomatic orientations. Over the past decade, the North African kingdom’s has had an “active diplomacy interested in the defining issues of the continent,” Gueye explained.
Spearheaded by the King’s own commitment to Africa and pan-African causes, he stressed, Morocco has emerged as an indispensable regional and continental leader. “Morocco’s diplomacy is characterized by a pan-African dimension that seals Morocco’s future with Africa’s,” he noted.
Gueye’s effusive appraisal of Morocco’s Africanness and the kingdom’s “well-documented continental leadership” comes amid growing, sometimes well-established, suggestions that Rabat is set to be an indispensable shaper of the many new directions the continent is taking on various fronts.
Western Sahara, the territory whose peaceful overtaking from Spain by masses of flags-waving and Quran-armed Moroccans the King commemorated in his yesterday’s speech, is largely perceived as the heart of Morocco’s historical connections with sub-Saharan countries, particularly West Africa.
In his speech, the King capitalized on the historical significance of Western Sahara in Morocco’s professed African aspirations.
“The Moroccan Sahara is our country’s gateway to sub-Saharan Africa,” the King said. “I firmly intend to make Morocco a key player in shaping the Africa of the future.”