The Guardian (Nigeria)
Morocco’s 20 years of progress
THE people of Morocco will on the 30th of July celebrate the 20th anniversary of the enthronement of King Mohammed VI. The celebration of this event symbolizes the attachment of the Moroccan people to its sovereign. Within 20 years, Morocco has profoundly transformed itself in sectors to occupy today a quite the recognition in Africa.
Many reforms have been successfully undertaken in political, economic and social fields and the country has made significant economic progress.
Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) thus rose from 41.6 billion dollars in 1999 to 121.4 billion in 2019, which has placed Morocco as the fifth largest economic power on the continent.
Per capita income has more than doubled in 20 years. It went from $ 1490 to $ 3,360. In the field of infrastructures, Morocco has realized many achievements such as the largest port in Africa and the Mediterranean Sea , the first Very Fast Train line in Africa and in the Arab world, the largest solar power plant in the world , an extensive network of highways, tramways and two of the biggest care manufactures in Africa are some of the achievements realized in the past 20 years.
On the international level Morocco is considered to be a reliable a partner contributing to the peace keeping and security in the world within the framework of the United Nations .
At the continental level, Morocco joined the African Union in January 2017, joining its continental institutional family, which allows it to
also include its action within a multilateral framework
This was the result of the constant commitment of Morocco to contribute a to the development of the rest of Africa within the framework of South-south cooperation. As it believes that to be strong, the country has to belong to a strong continent. In this regard, Morocco favorites in its cooperation policy, the training of managers and skilled workers. Technical assistance and experience sharing in all areas is the second most important pillar of the cooperation policy.
In this field more than 1500 cooperation agreements have been signed with more than thirty other African countries.
Public and private corporations have also been firmly committed in recent years to this policy towards the rest of Africa.
Morocco has become one of the most important African investor in the West Africa region and the 2nd largest African investor in the continent.
This presence involves telecommunications services with the “Maroc Telecom” mobile operator present in about ten African countries, as well as in financial services with three Moroccan banks being present in more than thirty countries in Africa, as well as in the industrial sectors, and in the construction and public works sectors.
Morocco, the world’s largest exporter of phosphates, contributes to the development of African agriculture and the food security of the continent by providing cheap fertilizers adapted to their needs of farmers and to the nature of soil and crops.
This policy has enabled the Nigerian government to achieve a significant decrease in the price of fertilizer to farmers, and the rehabilitation of a large number of production units (blenders), creation of thousands of jobs and ultimately the improvement of agricultural yields.
Morocco and Nigeria have pledged to build an industrial compound for fertilizer production in Nigeria.
Moreover, the construction of the pipeline that will link Nigeria to Morocco is a major flagship project of cooperation between the two countries whose spinoffs aims to benefit the entire region. This multifaceted and multi-sectoral cooperation also includes the religious dimension.
In order to fight Islamist radicalism, which is the ideology on which terrorism feeds, Morocco, which prides itself as a ‘land of tolerance’, hosts hundreds of preachers and students of theology at the Mohammed VI Institute for the training of Imams from several countries including Nigeria.
Morocco has also created the Mohammed VI foundation of African Ulemas in order to develop the peaceful and tolerant Islam trough Africa.
Nigeria and Morocco are two countries linked by multi-century human and cultural ties. When someone visits Sokoto, Kano or Borno, one might believe he is in Morocco since there are huge similarities in terms of way of life, music, traditions, and in all aspects of culture. Morocco and Nigeria have vocation to be strategic partners.