The 257-page report presents extensive recommendations for Morocco’s new development model.
Rabat – The Royal Institute for Strategic Studies’ (IRES) report on Morocco’s new development model has called for revaluing humans and their relationship with nature and putting the two at the heart of the development process.
The report, titled “Towards a new development model,” is a contribution by IRES to the discussion on the new development model, in accordance with King Mohammed VI’s directives in his October 13, 2017 speech, calling for the renewal of Morocco’s development model.
IRES finished drafting the French version of the report in June 2019 and the English version in August 2019. The institute also submitted the report to Morocco’s Special Commission on the Development Model (CSMD) in February 2020.
“Aware of the complexity of the issue of the development model and the multiplicity of scales of analysis, IRES adopted a singular approach in the matter, as the institute’s thinking is not merely national in scope but also reflects ongoing [regional] and international transformations,” said the report’s introductory paragraph.
The document favored a “leapfrog approach” to the question of Morocco’s development—a notion suggesting that developing countries can quickly move forward through the adoption of modern systems without going through intermediary steps.
IRES opted for the approach “given the urgency of addressing challenges which make it necessary to leapfrog tradition steps and find alternative paths ahead, in order to allow Morocco to join the club of developed countries in the long run,” the introductory text explained.
Humans and nature at the core of development
The report begins with a presentation of the macro-historical, global, and national context of Morocco. It then enumerates four major disruptions that are shaping today’s world: Shifting from material value to intangible values, revaluing mankind, ending the predatory economy, and the rapid emergence of disruptive technologies.
To adjust to these ever-changing variables, IRES recommended that Morocco’s new development model be built around four main pillars: Placing humans at the heart of development, taking care of nature, contributing to “planetarization,” and firmly committing to “exponentiality.”
“The four independent pillars must be supported by a new governance system, the two main principles of which are justice and ethics, on the one hand, and flexibility and adaptation on the other hand,” the report said.
According to IRES, the new governance system should break ties with past practices and be based on honesty, new approaches to action, and new leadership.
For Morocco to create the necessary conditions for the human economy, the report recommends “a radical change in attitude by training young people, teachers, and adults, review spatial planning by making the city more human for its inhabitants, and drastically reduce inequalities.”
The report urges Morocco to reconsider humans’ relationship with nature by “mainstreaming climate change adaptations and ecological footprint reduction into public policies, successfully transitioning to a low-carbon economy, regenerating highly degraded natural resources, and enhancing ecosystem services.”
The document also recommends focusing on sustainable agriculture and extending the ecosystem approach to agriculture to achieve a “reconciliation between humans and nature.”
As for Morocco’s contribution to planetarization — growing global solidarity in the face of dangers threatening the whole planet — IRES suggested “consolidating territorial development, improving access to, and dissemination of, global knowledge, creating a Moroccan-style blue economy and accelerating the regional integration of Morocco’s economy, by actively participating in the establishment of the continental free trade area.”
To support its recommendations, IRES has compiled a series of “best practices” from around the world and highlighted the concepts the report defends through real-life illustrations.
Finally, the report stressed the necessity that Morocco resists the “exponentiality” of changes.
“To do so, it is necessary to transition to future added values, by leveraging advanced digitalization and the potential of sustainability, to focus on people and innovation, and to firmly commit to endogenous development,” the report’s conclusion said.