Morocco’s King urges Africa to trust Africa in the pursuit of shared progress
“Africa should learn to trust Africa,” said King Mohammed VI in an address before the India-Africa Forum Summit that opened this Thursday in New Delhi, calling upon the countries of the South “to trust themselves and to invest their assets and skills in the pursuit of shared progress for their peoples and thus catch up with emerging countries.”
“Securing a bright future for our peoples is a responsibility that we must shoulder,” he insisted before some forty African heads of State or government attending the Summit hosted by India.
The Moroccan ruler, known for his leading role in boosting inter-African cooperation, urged African States “to continue to work together and uphold the principle of solidarity in order to serve their interests.”
Otherwise, he warned, African countries will “miss a historic opportunity.” “As far as our peoples are concerned, this would be tantamount to a leap into the unknown.”
The sovereign pointed out that the third India-Africa Forum Summit should serve as a platform “to lay the foundations for an efficient, solidarity-based, multidimensional South-South cooperation model, through which we can make optimal use of the resources and potential available in our countries.”
The South-South cooperation sought is neither a mere slogan nor a political luxury, and should serve south countries’ strategic interests.
“This is a pressing need, given the scale of the challenges faced,” King Mohammed VI said underlining that “conventional patterns of cooperation no longer help us respond to the growing needs of our peoples.”
Morocco, thanks to its multi-dimensional cooperation with Africa and to its strong trade partnership with India, can actually serve as a platform for cooperation and solidarity between the African continent and the Asian giant.
In the space of just few years, the Africa-rooted kingdom became the top African investor in West Africa and the second biggest investor in the continent. Many Moroccan companies operating in the sectors of banking, telecommunications, insurance, aviation, ports, building and construction, have branches in several African countries, more particularly in West and Central Africa.
By positioning itself as a gateway to the Continent, Morocco offers considerable benefits to Indian operators in search of economic and trade partnerships in Africa.
In this vein, King Mohammed VI renewed his country’s resolve to carry out tangible projects, both at the bilateral level and within the framework of triangular cooperation, in productive areas which boost development, create jobs and have a direct impact on the citizens’ lives, as shown by Morocco’s growing diversified partnerships with a number of African states in the area of human development as well as in various social, economic and religious fields.
The Moroccan King insisted that “Africa deserves fair partnerships, rather than unbalanced relationships and conditional support,” and that “Africa does not need assistance as much as it needs mutually beneficial partnerships as well as human and social projects.”
King Mohammed VI who described African-Indian partnership as “promising” expressed his firm confidence that this partnership “can grow and prosper thanks to the complementary nature of our resources and skills, and thus help us achieve our objectives and serve our peoples.”
He said in this respect that Morocco and India can launch joint initiatives in areas which are a priority for the two peoples and in which the two countries have gained extensive expertise. Besides the existing Moroccan-Indian “fruitful partnership” in the field of phosphates and their derivatives, the two states can expand this partnership to other sectors, such as agriculture, the pharmaceutical industry, research in science and technology, training of managerial staff, and food security, the King said, pointing out that Morocco and India should build on their experience to put their know-how at the disposal of some African countries and to serve African peoples.