King Mohammed VI on Tuesday renewed the call to promote the development in the rural areas, support the inhabitants of these areas and respond to their pressing needs, as the segments of Moroccan society most affected by difficult living conditions reside, for the most part, in rural areas and in the suburbs.
“I have called, time and again, for measures to promote development in rural areas, through income-generating activities, employment opportunities, faster access to basic social services, in addition to school enrolment measures and initiatives to combat poverty and vulnerability,” said the king in an address to the nation on the occasion of the 66th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People.
The population living in rural areas and in the suburbs need further assistance, greater attention should be paid to their conditions, and continued action is required to respond to their pressing needs, said the King.
In the address that he delivered from the Norteastern city of Al Hoceima, the Monarch recalled part of that endeavor, the ambitious six-year program worth $5.2 billion designed to reduce disparities in rural areas in the period 2016-2022, urging the populations concerned to be proactive in order to change their status in society and improve their living conditions.
One of the possibilities in this regard is to make sure they benefit from access to education, which is available throughout the country, and from vocational training opportunities and social welfare programs, the Monarch explained.
The King stressed further the need to tap all resources in rural areas, particularly communal agricultural land (sulaliyat land), which should be used for the implementation of investment projects in the agricultural sector.
As to the stakeholders that need to be involved in the undertaking, he underlined that government efforts are not sufficient to ensure the success of such a major operation. The Government’s efforts “must be supported by private sector initiatives and projects to inject strong momentum into agricultural investment projects, jobs and services, particularly in rural areas,” he said stressing the need for close coordination between the sectors concerned.
In the same vein, “we should make the most of the opportunities and possibilities offered in fields other than that of agriculture, such as rural tourism, commerce and local industry,” he said, noting that the aim is to boost and encourage private initiative and self-employment.
The Monarch insisted again on the importance of vocational training, especially in villages and suburban areas, to provide youths with skills, and thereby enable them to enter the labor market and contribute to the country’s development.
For the King, promoting vocational training is now an urgent necessity, not just to create employment opportunities, but also to enable Morocco to meet the challenge of economic competitiveness and keep abreast of global developments in various fields.
“I will continue to emphasize the role of vocational training and manual labor in achieving the integration of young people,” the King said, mentioning in this regard the areas of handicrafts, agribusiness and agriculture-related occupations, the areas providing the skilled human resources needed in the sectors of tourism and services as well as those in connection with the thriving industries in Morocco (car industry, aeronautics, new technologies…)