King Mohammed VI has laid out a roadmap for addressing the challenges of drought & water scarcity and for promoting investment to boost the country’s economy and create more jobs and growth.
In a speech he delivered Friday marking the opening of the Parliament fall session, the Monarch said it has become urgent to address the water resource management issue, especially as the country is experiencing a period of severe drought – the most serious in more than three decades.
“To face up to this situation, we have taken a series of preemptive measures, since last February, under the plan to combat the effects of drought. The aim is to make sure drinking water is available, to provide assistance to farmers and to safeguard the livestock”, said the King.
To achieve this goal, Morocco has set the 2020-2027 National Priority Program for Water and continued building dams, added the Sovereign, noting that more than 50 large and medium-sized dams have been built, and 20 more are under construction.
“Regardless of the rainfall we may receive in the years ahead, I am keen to make sure we speed up the completion of the projects planned under this program, in all regions of the Kingdom”, underlined the Sovereign.
Besides the completion of the construction of planned dams, the country will expand hydraulic inter-connections, build more seawater desalination plants and encourage a stronger water efficiency policy.
Morocco is not the only country facing the problem of drought and water scarcity. This issue has become a global phenomenon, one that is further compounded by climate change, said the Moroccan King, affirming that the current water resource situation is a challenge for government, institutions and citizens.
“I therefore call for all aspects of the water issue to be addressed seriously, putting, in particular, an end to all forms of squandering and of irrational, irresponsible use of this vital resource”, said the King, noting that the water issue should not be exploited for political outbidding purposes, nor should it be used to stoke social tensions.
“As Moroccans, we should all exert greater efforts to ensure rational, responsible use of water. This requires a real change in our behavior regarding water”, added the Monarch, saying that the public administrations and institutions should lead by example.
He also stressed the need to launch more ambitious programs and initiatives to leverage modern technology for water saving and wastewater reuse purposes.
To boost investor confidence in Morocco as a destination for profitable investment, King Mohammed VI called for the rules of fair competition to be enhanced and for arbitration and mediation mechanisms to be resorted to in order to settle disputes in this area.
As investment concerns all institutions as well as the private sector, “I wish to insist on the need for everyone to be mobilized and commit to a keen sense of responsibility in order to promote this sector, which is of critical importance for our country’s development”, said the King.
Moroccan businesses and their national, regional and sectoral organizations are called upon to serve as a lever for the promotion of investment and entrepreneurship, added the Monarch, urging the national banking and financial sector to support and finance the new generation of investors and businesspeople, especially youths and small and medium enterprises.
He also urged the MPs and the government to pay particular attention to the investments made and the initiatives undertaken by the members of the Moroccan community abroad.
To achieve the desired goals, “I have instructed the government to make sure, jointly with the private and banking sectors, that the commitments made by each party are fulfilled under a national investment contract scheme. The latter aims to raise 550 billion dirhams for investment, and create 500,000 jobs between 2022 and 2026, said the King.