Morocco has important maritime resources that need to be explored and exploited.
Morocco’s Abdelmalek Saadi University (UAE) and the Moroccan Royal Navy this week organized their first-ever joint oceanographic research.
The event took place in Tangier, northern Morocco, and was meant to Reinforce scientific cooperation between the two institutions. Under the partnership, efforts will particularly focus on maritime research.
During the Tangier event, both the Royal Navy and the Tetouan-based university presented works they have previously carried out in the field of oceanographic research. They exchanged their varied experiences to put together a common research program that will be implemented in the short, medium, and long terms.
Ahmed Hammouch, the director of scientific research and innovation at the Moroccan Ministry of Education, said that Morocco has “extremely important resources” that need to be explored.
He appeared to argue that the cooperation between the Royal Navy and the Tetouan-based university was an important first step in Morocco’s desire to increase efforts in the exploration and study of its underwater resources.
He said that while scientific research in Morocco occupies a very important place, there is still work to do to explore the country’s numerous resources and exploit them more efficiently.
The president of the UAE, Bouchta El Moumni, said that the meeting with the Royal Navy aimed to study the significance of Morocco’s maritime resources for the country’s “socio-economic and strategic” development efforts.
He added that Morocco has a coastline that spreads over more than 3,500 km. This, he argued, is essential to the country’s prosperity and plays a vital role in the growth of its blue economy, the creation of wealth and employment, and its resilience to the effects of climate change.
The university president also noted that the maritime domain in Morocco is insufficiently studied. He explained the need for more “cartographic, geochemical, biological, sedimentological, and geophysical” research efforts and plans necessary for the exploration and sustainable exploitation of the country’s resources.
Understanding Morocco’s vast and rich “maritime capital” requires multidisciplinary oceanographic research projects such as the new one involving specialists and researchers from the Royal Navy and the UAE, El Moumni argued.
The news comes as Morocco’s government appears to be planning to foster the development of its productive sectors, including the maritime field.
In his Green March commemorative speech on November 7 of last year, King Mohammed VI announced a new development model for Morocco’s southern provinces. The region’s vast maritime resources will be front and center in Morocco’s push to make it a continental and global hub for investment and trade, the King declared.
In December 2020, Morocco and the European Union (EU) signed an administrative arrangement on cooperation in maritime research and innovation. The two partners pledged to bring the scientific activities between Moroccan research facilities and EU research institutions to the next level in the coming months.