Morocco-Côte d’Ivoire: Fruitful And Prosperous Model Of South-South Cooperation – OpEd

All of King Mohammed VI’s visits to Côte d’Ivoire aim to shape a project for a shared future, and the two countries work tirelessly to maintain and cement the indissoluble bonds which unite them, in order to give this fraternity the brightest, most tangible illustration.

It is worth reminding that at the Moroccan-Ivorian Economic Forum, held in Abidjan in February 2014, King Mohammed VI laid out a compelling vision for Africa’s development – He said that “This objective [prosperity for future generations] will even be more readily attainable when Africa overcomes its Afro-pessimism and unlocks its intellectual and material potential as well as that of all African peoples. Just imagine what our continent will look like, once it frees itself of its constraints and burdens

The Moroccan monarch stated that “Sustainable development is not something which can be achieved through decisions and ready-made prescriptions,” he said. “Nor is there a single model in this area. Each country follows a path of its own, having taken into consideration its historical development, cultural heritage, human and natural resources, specific political circumstances, as well as its economic choices and the obstacles and challenges facing it.”

In another Royal message to the participants in the Crans Montana Forum held in Dakhla from March 12-14, King Mohammed VI stressed that “Morocco’s African policy is based on a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach designed to promote peace and stability, encourage sustainable human development and safeguard the cultural and spiritual identity of our populations, while respecting the universal values of human rights.”

“Morocco has been working untiringly to help forge a modern, bold, entrepreneurial and open Africa; an African continent which is proud of its identity, which derives its vibrancy from its cultural heritage and which is capable of transcending outdated ideologies,” he said

The King acknowledged that “the borders inherited from colonization often continue to be a major source of tension and conflict,” and that “Africa is a continent with growing and unsettling security issues”; but he stressed that “Africa’s tremendous human and natural resources should, instead, be a powerful catalyst for regional integration,” and urged that “It is up to us — Africans — to innovate in order to turn them into open spaces where fruitful exchange and interaction can flourish between African states.”

Today, fourteen agreements of public-private and private-private economic partnership were signed at the presidential palace in Abidjan in the presence of King Mohammed VI and Ivorian President H.E Alassane Dramane Ouattara, on the occasion of the presentation of the Côte d’Ivoire-Morocco Economic Impetus Working Group.

Here are the agreements:

  • A memorandum of understanding for setting up a funding for the “HEXAGONE”, part of the priority projects of the 2016-2020 military programming law.
  • A memorandum of understanding for financing the purchasing houses for military agents under the Ivorian armed forces.
  • A memorandum of understanding for funding the project of building a pharmaceutical industrial unit in Côte d’Ivoire meant for manufacturing and marketing pharmaceutical products.
  • A partnership agreement to subscribe to government securities issued by the State of Côte d’Ivoire in 2017.
  • A partnership agreement on the setting up of a program for financing a road network in Côte d’Ivoire.
  • A partnership agreement on funding women-managed SMEs.
  • A framework agreement on the program of “Competences for Competitiveness and Employment”.
  • A framework agreement on the development of social and solidarity-based economy and craft industry.
  • An agreement on the creation of a “Technocenter” in Abidjan.
  • A joint venture agreement for setting up a data processing center.
  • A partnership agreement for creating a joint venture between Moroccan INVOLYS company and Côte d’Ivoire’s INOVA.
  • A memorandum of understanding on the modernization and maintenance of the road transportation vehicles fleet for people and goods.
  • A cooperation agreement in the field of logistics.
  • A memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the fields of public transportation and road security.

Morocco as economy has grown and matured; a considerable amount of the capital generated in Morocco seeks new destinations outside the country, especially in Africa. Moroccan investors are aware of the potential of Cote d’Ivoire; with its large land mass, rich natural resources and youthful demography, as an important investment destination.

Undoubtedly, the Côte d’Ivoire-Morocco Economic Impetus Working Group will contribute to the strengthening of bilateral economic relations, which will result in the increase in investment flows between the two countries as well as raising the trade volume. It will certainly encourage Moroccan businesspeople and entrepreneurs to invest in Côte d’Ivoire and contribute to the development of the country through infrastructural investments in a number of fields.

Apparently, there are high expectations from both sides as Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire are looking forward to boost investment opportunities and therefore set a successful model of south-south cooperation in Africa.

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani

Said Temsamani is a Moroccan political observer and consultant, who follows events in his country and across North Africa. He is a member of Washington Press Club.

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