The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates Nasser Bourita reaffirmed, Saturday in Dakhla, Morocco’s commitment to the pan-African ideals of solidarity, cooperation, peace and development, as well as its determination to consolidate, in accordance with the High Directions of His Majesty the King, the spirit of unity, solidarity and coordination on strategic themes of common interest for better integration and sustainable development of the African continent. In an address read on his behalf by Ambassador, Director of African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lamia Radi, at the opening of the second edition of the MD Sahara Forum organized under the theme “Morocco in Africa, a Royal choice for a global and integrated continent”, Bourita stressed that “Morocco’s African policy has reached today a new threshold, a new level in terms of its geographical scope, its content, the nature of its projects and its institutional dimension.” “The Kingdom has moved to a dense and multidimensional policy by establishing multisectoral partnerships, created according to a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach to promote peace and stability, foster sustainable human development and preserve the cultural and spiritual identity of African peoples,” he said. Bourita explained that the reintegration by Morocco of its institutional family within the African Union has enabled the Kingdom to get involved in the various sectoral development strategies in Africa and contribute effectively by enriching them with the experience that Morocco has accumulated in many sectors. “Since His accession to the throne of His Glorious Ancestors, His Majesty King Mohammed VI has made more than 50 official visits to different regions of the continent and in more than 25 countries, reflecting in many respects, His Strategic Vision of raising the Kingdom’s cooperative relations with African countries to an acting and united strategic partnership,” said the Minister, highlighting the magnitude of investments made and projects inaugurated in agriculture, housing, telecommunications, banking and basic infrastructure as well as strengthening trade. Bourita recalled that since 2000, Morocco has concluded in various cooperation areas more than 1000 agreements with African countries, thus providing its expertise and sharing its know-how with its African peers to achieve the ambitions of a new model of mutually beneficial South-South cooperation, involving public/private formulas and triangular cooperation with northern partners. He added that the implementation of this model is already materialized by a strong presence of Moroccan companies in Africa, making the Kingdom the second largest African investor in the continent and the first in the West African region. Thus, the Royal visits have led to establishing large-scale strategic projects, including the Moroccan-Nigeria gas pipeline project which will benefit all of West Africa and will help structure a regional electricity market, and will be a substantial energy source for industrial development, improving economic competitiveness and accelerating social development, he said. This is, he said, “a desire that goes hand in hand with the goals of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 for the achievement of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, representing a force on the international scene, and which is in our responsibility to set it up as a privileged instrument for our joint collective and concerted action.” The Minister added, in this context, that this vision of regional integration is also supported by the Kingdom’s membership in the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), whose operationalization will open a market of 1.2 billion consumers and increase intra-African trade. “As a committed partner for peace and security in Africa, Morocco, which hosted in May 2022 the Ministerial Meeting of the International Coalition to Defeat ISIS, contributes to the international community’s efforts to restore peace and stability,” he said, noting that the Kingdom also continues to make available to brotherly African countries, which wish to do so, all its experience and its means to help them establish and preserve security and peace in their countries. Bourita noted that food security is also one of the major security challenges and an important pillar to accelerate the development of human, economic and social capital in Africa. “In addition to the climate of instability and insecurity that prevails in several regions of the continent, epidemics, locust invasions, instability of international food markets, climate change, particularly drought, aggravate the phenomenon of food insecurity in the continent,” he noted. It is in this spirit that His Majesty the King launched, on the occasion of COP22, the “Triple A” initiative in order to advocate for food security in Africa and ensure awareness of the challenges of African agriculture in international negotiations, the Minister recalled, noting that the launch by His Majesty the King of large-scale fertilizer production projects in several African countries attests to the Kingdom’s vision of solidarity to contribute to food security in Africa. “Reinforcing the fruitful partnership in the agricultural field established by the Kingdom with many African countries, these initiatives are in line with the South-South Cooperation policy, advocated by His Majesty the King, which, through concrete actions, provide support for efforts made in the context of the ambitious goals set in the African Union Declaration of Malabo 2025, and the objectives of the World Health Assembly and the Sustainable Development Program for 2030,” said Bourita. He also stressed that in accordance with the Vision of His Majesty the King for a mobilization of solidarity actions to strengthen the resilience of the continent against epidemics, Morocco has started in late 2022, with the manufacturing plant for Covid-19 and other vaccines, located in Ben Slimane, the production of 20 million doses of vaccines and intends to produce from 2025 over 2 billion doses. He concluded that this initiative is an extension of Morocco’s solidarity actions towards its home continent and emanates from its deep conviction in its quest for unity with a shared destiny. Placed under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and organized by the media group Maroc Diplomatique, the 2023 edition of MD Sahara, which runs until March 5, is devoted to Africa, the actions undertaken by the Kingdom in favor of the continent and the Moroccan diplomacy’s achievements.
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