Africa Investment Forum: Morocco’s King Calls for Boosting Entrepreneurship to unleash Africa‘s Full Potential

Africa Investment Forum: Morocco’s King Calls for Boosting Entrepreneurship to unleash Africa‘s Full Potential

King Mohammed VI has called for bold and innovative initiatives to encourage private entrepreneurship avail the huge business opportunities offered in the African Continent.

In a message addressed to participants in the 4th Africa Investment Forum, which opened in Marrakech under the theme: “Unlocking Africa’s Value Chains”, the Monarch urged African countries to adopt an integrated development approach conducive to a gradual production system based on shared platforms creating regional value chains strengthening Africa’s resilience to external shocks and unlocking its full potential.

“I commend the work done by our pan-African institutions concerning the setting up of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”, said the King in his message read out by royal Advisor Omar Kabbaj.

The promotion of regional value chains as a means for the achievement of economic and social development shows that the creation of a regional production-sharing system has a catalytic effect on the growth and rapid transformation of developing economies, said the royal message.

The African continent is facing complex economic challenges exacerbated by geopolitical tensions generated beyond African borders, said the Monarch, noting that Africa is also suffering from climate change impact though African countries account for only 4% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

Moreover, recourse to debt as the primary source for public policy financing to mitigate the repercussions of external shocks, together with rising interest rates and a persistent inflationary spiral, are affecting African countries ability to strike a balance between economic and social development requirements and preserve internal and external budgetary balances, said the Monarch.

Given this unprecedented situation and the scale of development financing needs in Africa, the role of the private sector has been gaining greater importance in achieving African countries’ development objectives, added the Monarch, saying that state budgets alone cannot cover all the investment needed, especially in high-potential, job-intensive sectors.

The continent’s infrastructure deficit is one of the main factors preventing Africa from realizing its economic growth potential in full and achieving its development goals, affirmed the Moroccan Sovereign, citing in this regard the energy sector where Africa is lagging behind in terms of infrastructure development.

Although the continent’s energy potential – in both fossil fuels and renewable energy – is considerable, the electrification rate remains very low compared to other regions of the developing world, said the Monarch, stressing the need to address this issue as quality infrastructure not only contributes to economic growth, but it also enhances human development and boosts the productivity of SMEs.

In line with its commitment to regional integration in Africa, Morocco has been consistently working with its African partners to implement transformative projects that can considerably improve the quality of life of millions of Africans, said the King, citing the example of the Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline project which will enhance regional economic integration.

The project will enable all countries along the pipeline route to have access to reliable energy supplies and to be more resilient to exogenous energy price shocks, said the Monarch.

He lauded the interest expressed by bilateral and multilateral partners in this project, and in particular regional and international financial institutions, to provide effective support for the implementation of this strategic project.

Over the past two decades, Morocco has made infrastructure development a priority in all economic sectors enabling the Kingdom to become a model in infrastructure investment, said the Royal message.

Now, Morocco has 4.1 GW of installed renewable capacity. It is continuing its efforts to increase the share of renewable energy to over 52% of its national electricity mix by 2030, added the Monarch, citing the country’s 2,000 km long motorway network expected to reach 3,000 km by 2030, Morocco’s high-speed rail line (1st of its Kind in Africa) and Tanger Med port complex, the first industrial free zone in the Continent.

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