On Sunday and on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the Green March, King Mohammed VI will deliver a major speech at the Senegalese capital Dakar.
In fact and at the invitation of the Senegalese President Macky Sall, the Moroccan monarch will start an official visit to Senegal during which he will co-preside with the President of Senegal over the signing of a very important number of conventions and agreements that aim to give a more powerful impetus to the already excellent bilateral relations between the two African countries.
On this occasion the Moroccan Royal Protocol issued a communique stating that, “Regarding the deep brotherly, spiritual and human relations between Morocco and Senegal, the special place that HM the King and all Moroccans give to Africa, and the high solicitude that the Sovereign grants to the continent, HM the King has decided to address the Royal Speech to His faithful people, on the occasion of the 41st anniversary of the glorious Green March, from the city of Dakar.”
The visit to Senegal is not a surprise to anyone, as king Mohammed VI has always included the Dakar phase in his trips to Africa.
Thus, in 2001, just two years after coming to power at the demise of his father, the King paid a state visit to Senegal. In June 2004, the Moroccan king paid a second visit to Senegal part of an African tour that also led him to Benin, Cameroun, Gabon, and Niger.
Less than a year later, in the spring of 2005, during a tour that and also included Burkina Faso, Gabon, and Mauritania, King Mohammed VI was again received in Senegal as an official guest.
Last year and during his state visit to Senegal, King Mohammed VI and Senegalese President Macky Sall signed 13 bilateral agreements in the areas of economic development, fishing, agriculture and livestock, tourism, and vocational training; broke ground on a small-scale fishing unloading site in Dakar; and inaugurated the electrification of two rural villages — Massar Teugue and Yamane Seck — as part of two electrification concessions awarded to Morocco’s national water and electricity authority (ONEE) by the Senegalese State following two international tenders.
Each of these visits provided opportunity to consolidate further the historical longstanding relations binding Morocco and Senegal, to sign more cooperation agreements, and to give a new momentum to investments, both at the level of state-owned companies and at the level of the private sector.
Economic relations between the two countries are described as very good and according to 2011 figures, Senegal was Morocco’s leading trade partner in West Africa with a volume estimated at $122 million.
This bilateral cooperation is not limited to the trade and economic sectors only but also covers education and training. Hundreds of Senegalese students are attending Moroccan Universities and other higher institutes with grants from the Moroccan Government. Many Senegalese civil servants and even military also benefit from training and refreshing courses in Morocco.
This royal trip to Senegal will provide a new opportunity to the two heads of state to reiterate their mutual commitment to the everlasting, outstanding relations binding the two countries.