Diaspora: Morocco for Common African Policy – FM 

Morocco advocates the harmonization of a common African policy for the diaspora, said Monday Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans abroad, Nasser Bourita. “If Morocco advocates for the harmonization of a common African policy for the diaspora, it is also because it has become aware of the potential wealth that can represent its own diaspora, currently approaching 15% of the total population, “said Bourita at the 2nd virtual meeting of the High Committee of the Agenda of the “Decade of African Roots and Diasporas”, an initiative carried by Togo. Since His accession to the Throne, HM King Mohammed VI surrounds the Moroccan community residing abroad with His High Solicitude, said the minister, quoting the Sovereign: “We welcome the effective role of our community residing abroad, which We consider a major asset for the new Morocco. Better still, We see it at the forefront of actors, who while remaining firmly attached to their authentic Moroccan identity, have dedicated themselves with total sincerity to the development of our country and the defense of its territorial integrity and its international influence”. According to Bourita, the Kingdom’s policy stems from this Royal vision. It tends, on the one hand, to strengthen the existing link between Moroccans of the world and their motherland and, on the other hand, to involve them actively in the development of their country. The diaspora is not – and cannot be – reduced to one-time remittances. It is, first and foremost, an actor in development, the Minister insisted. He said, in this sense, that the report of the Ad hoc Committee on Development Model (CSMD) is part of this approach. Presented last May, before HM King Mohammed VI, the report makes Moroccans living abroad one of the five essential levers to achieve the New Development Model (NMD). This Ad hoc Committee was, moreover, itself composed of several Moroccans of the world, representative of its diaspora abroad, noted Bourita. Thus, he explained, Morocco has always advocated an integrated and inclusive approach of an economic and social pact beneficial to all. “It is this approach that has enabled it to position itself as a crossroads and destination country for African diasporas, who choose the Kingdom, in that it upholds respect for equal opportunities and the promotion of an attractive climate for Doing business” he explained. Morocco recognizes itself in the “diasporic identity” – that of identities added in different territories of life, added the minister, stressing that more, Morocco wishes, by joining Togo, accompany the African diasporas in a logic of co-development and shared growth. “For we are convinced that the Togolese initiative is a concrete, realistic and achievable project,” he said. Indeed, said Bourita, Morocco’s support to Togo is “total” in promoting this initiative both relevant and visionary, to make the decade 2021-2031 that of African roots and the African diaspora, noting that this support is all the more solid as it is based on the convergence of the initiative of Togo with the enlightened vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, in His capacity as Africa’s Leader for Migration. This means, according to the Minister, that Morocco’s commitment is also sustainable. “We expressed it at the launch meeting last June. We reaffirm it with as much conviction today, as we are gathered, again, to take stock of the operationalization of the High Committee of the Agenda of the Decade 2021-2031 of African roots and the African Diaspora and to conduct an action-oriented reflection on the means of implementation of the “Lome Framework”. “Just a few days ago, on the occasion of the African regional review forum on the implementation of the Marrakech Pact, which my country organized with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), we recalled the role of African diasporas in the migration-development nexus,” said Bourita. In addition to the harmonization of a common African policy for the diaspora, for Morocco, several other actions can be considered through the “Lome Framework”, added Bourita, highlighting the development of a practical guide that would orient the African diaspora on the business climate in the Continent; the establishment of a system of mapping the skills of the diaspora, in addition to the establishment of platforms “e-business” in the era of the digital economy. He also cited the generalization of one-stop shops on the continent to assist and advise members of the diaspora wishing to settle in the continent and the alignment of transaction costs related to remittances by the African diaspora with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals. According to Bourita, Africa lags far behind in terms of support for its diaspora, noting that “if the desire to involve the African diaspora in its development remains intact, Africa is still not taking advantage of this valuable asset”. The minister asked why, for example, Africa remains the most expensive continent in terms of remittance costs? They average 8.5% of the total amount sent, which is almost 3 times the 3% target set by the SDGs, and why only 10% of remittances are invested in projects or savings products in Africa? The Minister also questioned why many highly qualified Africans leave the continent every year without any guarantee of return? According to Bourita, Africa offers, indeed, a privileged window on the issues of migration, as a natural and structural phenomenon: African migration is primarily about Africa. It has even increased by 13% between 2015 and 2019. But, he said, if migration is primarily regional, the importance of the diaspora is such that it is rightly called the “sixth region of Africa”. For, noted Bourita, if no one “emigrates happily, the African diaspora has known, where it is, integrate despite the obstacles”. It has been able to impose itself in the political, economic, cultural and sporting landscape, embodying its roots and carrying its African identity. “There is no shortage of success stories. » This African diaspora, he said, is indeed a pool of expertise and know-how, composed of young people, women and men willing and dynamic, who have always maintained a close link with their home continent. The diaspora is playing an increasingly important role in fostering socio-economic development, including through remittances. It actively contributes to the achievement of the SDGs, skills development initiatives and technology transfer. Moreover, contrary to predictions that remittances to Africa would decline as a result of the pandemic, remittances reached $78.4 billion in 2020, constituting 11.7% of global remittances. They have even emerged as a more resilient and reliable source than foreign direct investment flows, Bourita said.