Over one thousand figures from the fields of politics, economics, culture, the media and civil society have flocked to the Moroccan Southern city of Dakhla, which is hosting for the third consecutive year the Crans Montana Forum.
This year’s session, held under the topic “A New Africa for the 21st Century”, opened by the reading out of a message addressed to participants by King Mohammed VI.
In this message that stands as a roadmap for the continent’s development, King Mohammed VI insisted on the importance of South-South cooperation, as the best way to promote Africa’s development, if this cooperation is based on solidarity and sharing.
“South-South cooperation, which is based on the culture of sharing and solidarity, is the mechanism that will enable our countries to exchange their expertise directly and immediately. It will help improve our field experience, make the most of our complementarities and expand our national markets. It will also open up new opportunities for efficient and beneficial investment and achieve effective sustainable human development, while respecting each country’s national sovereignty, as well as the principles of mutual esteem and equality,” said the Monarch in his message.
Morocco believes in Africa’s capacity to rise to the challenges facing it and to ensure sustainable human development for its peoples, thanks to its vast natural and human resources, King Mohammed VI said, adding, “The African renaissance we yearn for hinges on how much belief we have in ourselves, how far we rely on our own capacities and potential, and how well we exploit them, within the framework of mutually-beneficial South-South cooperation and solidarity-based strategic partnerships.”
“I am sure we can rise to these challenges. Today, Africa is governed by a new generation of pragmatic leaders, uninhibited by outdated ideologies. They are working, with a high sense of patriotism and responsibility, to achieve their countries’ stability, political openness, economic development and social progress”, he stressed.
“We are pleased to work hand in hand with these leaders, who are keen to ensure the unity and progress of Africa, the continent of the future, and to serve the interests of its peoples. We look forward to working together with them to enhance its growing role and the important status it henceforth enjoys at the international level”, added the royal message.
The King, who insisted that the African continent tops Morocco’s foreign policy, recalled that over the years, “Morocco has established a multidimensional development model encompassing all sectors of the economy: agriculture, industry and energy production, services -which include banking, insurance, transport and logistics – as well as an array of complementary social, cultural, security and religious domains.”
In this context, the Kingdom of Morocco pays particular attention to human development, through both training and sustainable human development programs which have a positive impact on the living conditions of African citizens, he went on saying.
“Morocco is also keen to consolidate security and stability all over the continent, hence its contribution to UN peace-keeping operations and mediation initiatives aimed at finding peaceful solutions to conflicts, as well as its involvement in security cooperation to fight terrorist groups,” he pointed out, adding that Morocco also shares with African countries its experience in the religious field, which is based on promoting moderate Islam and fighting radicalism and reclusion.
“Our sincere African orientation is motivated by a deep belief in Africa’s capacity to address the challenges it faces. It also illustrates our eagerness to contribute, along with our brothers, to developing our continent,” insisted the Moroccan King.
Touching on the development model initiated in the Moroccan Southern provinces, the King pointed out that the structuring projects launched in the region seek “to turn it into an integrated economic hub that will help promote communication and trade with African states.”
The Moroccan Sahara region, and Dakhla in particular, play a special role in this orientation, as a historic platform connecting Morocco to Africa, said the king in his message.