Morocco’s southern provinces will turn into “an engine of development at the regional and continental levels,” King Mohammed VI announced today.
The economic development model in the region will focus on maritime resources, the King declared during his 2020 Green March anniversary speech.
“To complement the major projects implemented in our southern provinces, I think the time has come to exploit the region’s enormous maritime potential,” he said.
King Mohammed VI presented Morocco’s projects to turn its southern provinces into a hub for maritime trade.
He recalled the country’s delimitation of its maritime borders earlier this year. Commenting on the overlap between Morocco and Spain’s maritime borders in the Atlantic, the King said the two “friendly” countries will reach a solution through dialogue.
“Morocco will remain committed to dialogue with its neighbor, Spain, regarding any overlap between the territorial waters of the two friendly countries, consistent with the provisions of the Law of the Sea and in keeping with the spirit of their partnership, avoiding any unilateral decision or fait accompli,” he announced.
King Mohammed VI stressed that Morocco’s delimitation of its maritime borders will support the ongoing socio-economic development efforts in the southern provinces.
Speaking about the Dakhla Atlantic Port, which is currently under construction, the monarch expressed his optimism that the port will mirror the success of the Tanger Med Port in northern Morocco.
The major port on Morocco’s Atlantic coast will require an investment of MAD 10 billion ($1.1 billion) and is expected to become operational in fewer than six years.
“The Atlantic coast to the south of the Kingdom, bordering the Moroccan Sahara, will serve as an area for the achievement of economic complementarity as well as continental and international prominence,” the King said.
“In addition to Tanger Med, which is the leading port in Africa, Dakhla Atlantic will contribute to reaching this goal,” he added.
King Mohammed VI highlighted the potential of Morocco’s southern provinces, saying the region can act as “a bridge between Morocco and its African roots.”
The region’s development will go hand in hand with projects in the fields of renewable energy and seawater desalination, he announced.
Morocco’s Atlantic coasts are known for their strong winds and have the potential to host wind power and tidal energy generators. The region is also a suitable location for solar energy projects.
King Mohammed VI also encouraged the development of the fishing and tourism sectors in the region.
“We must continue to develop the fishing sector, given its role in boosting the region’s economy. This would … make it a strategic pillar for revitalizing the tourism sector, turning the region into a prominent destination for beach tourism,” he said.