Morocco has renewed its resolve to contribute to the emergence of a New Africa, able to turn the challenges it is facing into genuine prospects for development and stability, an Africa able to reinvent itself and to unleash a momentum of its own.
The pledge was made by King Mohammed VI in the speech delivered before the 29th summit of the African Union currently convening in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Morocco wants to contribute to the emergence of a New Africa: a strong, daring Africa that defends its interests; an Africa that is influential on the world stage,” said the Sovereign in the speech read out on his behalf by Prince Moulay Rachid, who is representing him in the AU Summit.
It is the first time that Morocco is taking part in the AU Summit since it reintegrated its seat within its institutional family last January after 33 years of absence.
The Sovereign who expressed his firm belief that Africa can turn the challenges it is facing into genuine prospects for development and stability, pointed out that in order to shape this new Africa, “it is important to shed all illusions and reject any fantasies.”
“The New Africa I am yearning for should, on the contrary, be based on a solid, pragmatic vision which is likely to help forge a conquering Africa that is committed to solidarity”.
To do this, he said, it is essential for African States to set realistic, pragmatic objectives based on the continent’s real priorities.
He added that “Morocco has faith in Africa’s ability to reinvent itself and to unleash a momentum of its own. Given the obvious limitations of classic North-South cooperation in the bid to rise to the challenge of an emerging Africa, our continent should make greater use of inter-African cooperation and of strategic, solidarity-based partnerships between sister nations.”
Actually, King Mohammed VI has made of the promotion of a solidarity-based cooperation and a win-win partnership between African states his number one priority.
Since coming to power in 1999, he attached a special attention to his country’s relations with African states, basing his African policy on forward-looking strategies for social, human and economic development and on sharing Morocco’s economic, political and security model with the continent.
Touching on the challenges facing the continent, the King underlined that the AU should be fully attuned to the stakes involved in the continent and be constantly heedful of today’s challenges.
“The emergence of Africa requires an overhaul of African institutions –one that would enable the continent to respond fully and decisively to the challenges faced,” he stated.
Insisting that a transformative vision of the African Union is needed today, more than ever, he pointed out that the reform of the African Union is a flagship project in which Morocco will be actively involved.
“The implementation of such a reform is no longer a luxury; rather, it is an imperative need, considering the enormous stakes involved and the immense challenges to which our continent must rise,” the King said, expressing confidence that Africa can turn the challenges it is facing into genuine prospects for development and stability.
In his speech, King Mohammed VI tackled a set of other subjects such as African population growth, African institutions, migration and youth questions, insisting that addressing such challenges requires collective efforts and concrete, resolute action in peace-building, security and human development.
In this regards, he argued that sustained and judicious investment should be geared towards education, health, vocational training and employment. “Investing in young people, who account for nearly two-thirds of Africa’s population, is crucial. It calls for appropriate training, smooth, well-regulated integration into the job market and the ability to take initiatives in order to create wealth, to showcase one’s talents and to contribute to the continent’s progress and development.”
Creating jobs and offering promising prospects for the youth is instrumental in hampering the recruitment of unemployed youth by rebel movements and extremist or terrorist groups, which are present throughout the continent, and in preventing the youth from risking their lives in illegal migration attempts, King Mohammed VI said.