Head of Government Highlights Commitment to U.S.-Africa Partnership

Head of Government Aziz Akhannouch highlighted, Wednesday in Washington, Morocco’s commitment, under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, to the partnership between the United States and Africa. Speaking at a Business Forum held as part of the US-Africa Leaders Summit (December 13-15), Mr. Akhannouch noted that this commitment is carried at the highest level of the State to deepen the ties of the Kingdom both with its continent, Africa, and with the American partners. He recalled that His Majesty the King has made, in recent years, more than 50 state visits to thirty African countries, where more than 1,000 agreements have been signed. “The same desire to develop an inclusive and sustainable partnership with the United States of America was materialized by the signing, in 2004, of a Free Trade Agreement: the first signed with an African country,” said the Head of Government. In addition to commitment, Akhannouch cited adaptability as the second condition for the success of any partnership. In this context, he considered it essential to consider the strengths and specificities of each society and economy to lead the partnership between the respective countries to reach its full potential. In this sense, the contribution of Morocco to deepen the economic and commercial ties between partners can be appreciated through several assets, including the unique geographical position at the crossroads between Europe, the Middle East, Africa and America, infrastructure to international standards and young human resources and qualified through quality training, he noted. He also cited the structuring projects in solar and wind energy, in addition to the new investment charter, with an attractive and incentive system, which will allow the emergence of a new generation of entrepreneurs and investors, Moroccan and international. The Head of Government was keen to recall that Morocco is entering a new phase of its socio-economic development, characterized by the building of a social state, under the leadership of His Majesty the King. For the success of any partnership, Akhannouch pleaded for the establishment of development support programs, effective, inclusive and in line with the natural aspirations of each country. In this regard, he praised the quality of U.S. programs geared toward supporting economic development in Africa, such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). In the context of these initiatives, Morocco represents a “natural bridge” and an appropriate platform for increased investment and trade relations between the United States and Africa, he stressed. Responding to a question about practical steps to best realize the potential for boosting U.S.-Africa trade and investment over the next decade, the Head of Government emphasized the importance of putting in place effective free trade agreements. He also called on U.S. partners to take advantage of the benefits and potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to further develop activities on the continent, stressing that the AfCFTA is a powerful engine for economic growth. Akhannouch said it is necessary to encourage and intensify the exchange of information between businessmen, through meetings, such as the Washington summit, to share the potential of existing partnerships on both sides.  Morocco is committed to this path by hosting, in June 2023, the first Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Africa, he concluded. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit brings together representatives from nearly 50 countries, civil society and the private sector on the African continent, in addition to officials from the U.S. administration and the African Union Commission. Participants in the three-day conclave are discussing issues ranging from the Covid-19 pandemic to climate change, the impact of the war in Ukraine, democracy, governance, security, trade, investment, and developing partnerships between African countries and the United States.