“The priorities of Moroccan politics in Africa are implicit in the royal vision. The fact that HM the King makes 50 trips in 30 countries in less than 5 years, already gives the “the” privileged relations with all African countries. The number of agreements signed shows that we are not in the stratospheric but in concrete “. The way is mapped out for Mohsine Jazouli, new minister in charge of the African file.

One point however goes unnoticed. This is the role of Morocco in maintaining and consolidating peace. Rabat is fully engaged on the ground: 14th country in the world contributing in peacekeepers with 1,605 Moroccan soldiers in the peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic and Congo. This effort, which marks the commitment to peace, is welcomed by the international community.

A market of over 1.2 billion consumers

In the same vein, the efforts made by Morocco and the African Union under the leadership of the Sovereign on the subject of migration aim to better understand flows in a responsible and courageous approach. In the same vein, Morocco is also involved in the process of strengthening regional integration. This will accelerate the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area signed in Kigali last March. 49 countries have initialed this agreement, ratified to date by 8 states. It will take 22 to be effective.

“In Morocco we are committed to succeed this bet because, ultimately, in this free trade zone, there will be more customs barriers between African states. This will allow free movement of goods and products, thus strengthening the competitiveness of African businesses in a market of more than 1.2 billion consumers, “notes the minister.

He believes that with this Zone, the continent will be on the path of sustainable growth and job creation. Because, all these projects will accelerate the emergence of the continent. In his speech addressed to the AU Extraordinary Summit held in Kigali in March 2018, the Sovereign was unequivocal: “we are building the Africa of tomorrow, the one we are going to leave to our children”.

Africa’s needs at $130 billion a year

Morocco’s place in Africa was visible at the 3rd China-Africa summit. Especially since the last meeting in Johannesburg in 2015, Beijing has clearly signaled its interest in the continent that the figures illustrate stubbornly.

Thus, China is today the first investor. It has programs, the last of which, 60 billion dollars, 90%. It takes a new commitment of a similar amount. For the Minister, it is a “relationship of respect, pragmatic and unconditional.

China is speaking to Africans in a cold way, without giving lessons. She is here to create win-win relationships and build something sustainable. ” Indeed, over the past three years, China has led several projects, in infrastructure, roads, dams, bridges, railways, ports, airports.

Today, it operates the different modes of partnership including the PPP, the BOT where it realizes basic infrastructure with good profitability. In addition, Africa’s needs are estimated at over $130 billion a year.

“Fortunately, there are Europeans, Americans, Oriental means to do it. Do not look at things exclusively. Africa needs multiple relationships to grow. It is imperative to stop putting its partners in competition. On the contrary, we must put them in synergy, in co-contribution, “said the minister.

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Author

Ahmed Naser is a UK-based journalist with a deep understanding of the Middle East. Ahmed is a contributor to a wide range of regional publications in the Middle East. He works across print and digital media as a freelance editor and writer.

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