King Mohammed VI Calls on Africans to Rise up to Development Challenges

King Mohammed VI has called on Africans, men and women, and especially young people, to rise to the challenges the African Continent is facing and to embrace the dynamic of shared growth.

In a message addressed to participants in the Crans Montana Forum, which opened Friday in Dakhla under the theme “Africa and South-South cooperation”, the Moroccan Sovereign said that Africa is at a crossroads and that the profound changes underway in the continent are multidimensional.

These changes point to a rapidly changing Africa – a continent increasingly removed from the stereotypes and negative clichés it has been labeled with, stressed the royal message read out by president of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region Ynja Khattat.

“Africa is 30 million square kilometers of opportunity. It has the youngest population on earth. By 2050, there will be 2.5 billion inhabitants in the Continent, half of whom will be under 25 years of age”, noted the Monarch.

These young people will constitute “an enormous asset, provided the demographic dividend is managed judiciously. This impressive demographic trend will produce a major change of direction which will, in turn, transform the situation in Africa and the world at large”, underlined King Mohammed VI.

Young Africans are a precious element in the achievement of development; through them, we have an incredible opportunity for emergence – one on which our Continent ought to capitalize, went to say the King.

To achieve progress, however, Africa needs to muster all its energy and build on innovative, win-win partnerships. And besides building on its resources, “Africa should make use of all the means at its disposal to meet the legitimate expectations of African populations. One of the favored tools for Africa’s emergence is South-South cooperation”, affirmed the Monarch, noting that Morocco is one of the African countries nurturing the ambition and desire to ensure that Africa becomes master of its own destiny.

“It is no coincidence, therefore, that Morocco has made South-South cooperation an instrument for the advent of a new Africa that believes in its potential and looks to the future”, explained the King.

Morocco, he said, has put that cooperation at the heart of its African policy. “Under my stewardship, Morocco has shaped a truly innovative South-South cooperation model based on the exchange of knowledge, skills, expertise and resources. This model involves all of the Continent’s sub-regions and relevant sectors”, said the Moroccan Sovereign.

The South-South cooperation initiated by Morocco is meant to be integrated and multidimensional. Whether in the areas of the transfer of technology, the sharing of know-how, the establishment of public-private partnerships in various domains, or training and higher education, he added.

Over the last 15 years, Morocco signed 1,000 cooperation agreements with 28 African countries. They concern such diverse sectors as education, health, infrastructure development, training and agriculture. Because it puts man at the heart of its concerns and incorporates the economic, social, cultural, spiritual, security and military dimensions, the Moroccan model is unique, recalled the King.

Morocco, which defines cooperation strategies in the light of sister nations’ needs, has over 25,000 African students attending Moroccan universities and higher education institutions. The Kingdom is keen to implement major strategic projects in Africa, including the Africa Atlantic Gas Pipeline and the fertilizer production plants in Ethiopia and Nigeria to improve agricultural productivity and ensure food security throughout the sub-region, said the Monarch.

In order to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship based on sharing and to consolidate existing sub-regional partnerships, “Morocco has returned to its institutional family, the African Union”, said King Mohammed VI, urging all African sister nations to get more closely involved in this constructive cooperation by helping to enhance the efficiency of regional and sub-regional institutions as instruments for the achievement of integration across the Continent.

The Crans Montana Forum annual event, become a must for all those who are supporting Africa and its world integration, brings together, at this 2018 edition, Heads of State and Government, Ministers, regional & international organizations, MPs and above all top Business operators from Africa, other countries of the South and from all over the World.

This session will discuss a set of issues of concern to Africa, including urban global Management; ocean economy & fishing industry, with a special focus on the Blue Belt Initiative; the Silk Road in Africa & Asia-Africa Partnerships with Morocco standing as a new gateway to the Silk Road in the continent.

The issues of migration flows management; development policies; youth employment; and energy security and renewables are also high on the agenda.

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