Morocco, Mekong River Commission Step up Cooperation with Establishment of Educational Visitor Centre

Morocco has bolstered its status as the first Arab and African partner of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), by agreeing to deepen cooperation in various water and energy related fields, including establishing an Educational Visitor Centre at the Mekong River Commission in Lao PDR. During a visit to Rabat (7-9 Dec.), a delegation of senior officials from the MRC member countries and Secretariat headed by Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun, renewed a 2017 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with their Moroccan counterparts to further enhance the continuous cooperation and exchange of expertise in a range of fields, including green energy, integrated water resources and drought management, water demand and uses, eco-tourism and conservation projects and management of natural disasters, the ministry of Foreign affairs, African cooperation and Moroccan abroad and the MRC say in a joint press release The working visit was an opportunity for the MRC delegation to have constructive meetings with the relevant Moroccan Departments and Agencies to draw a roadmap for the implementation of the new MoU which was sealed on Friday December 9th, 2022, by Dr. Anoulak Kittikoun and Mr. Fouad Yazourh, Ambassador, Director General of Bilateral Relations and Regional Affairs at the Moroccan ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans abroad. “This MoU signifies that the Mekong River remains at the centre of the world attention, as we work with partners to benefit our region – politically and economically,” said Dr Anoulak Kittikhoun, who led the delegation to Rabat. Moreover, the Government of Morocco, through the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), will fund the establishment of an Educational Visitor Centre in Vientiane, anticipated in 2023-2024. Along with showcasing Mekong cooperation history, opportunities and challenges presented by water resources development and climate change, the Centre will offer educational programmes, drawing on Moroccan experience and expertise in capacity building and technical cooperation, which the country is willing to expand sharing with South East Asian countries. This agreement also symbolizes the latest MRC effort to expand and deepen its partnerships around the world, particularly with one of the world’s fastest growing countries, and a pioneer in Renewable Energy in the African continent like Morocco. Such dialogue has been a priority for the intergovernmental agency – which brings together Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam – since the MRC’s inception in 1995. MRC officials and national representatives made their first visit to the Kingdom of Morocco in late 2017. Covid pandemic has delayed some of the planned collaboration activities between the two sides, the release points out.