Today King Mohammed VI starts his three days visit to Tanzania. The visit comes three months after Morocco announced its intention to return to the African Union. This is the first tour by the Moroccan monarch full of strategic importance since his succession to the throne in 1999.
In fact, since his rise to the throne, King Mohammed has put the African continent among his top foreign policy agenda. He has visited many African countries launching socio-economic projects that seek to promote social development of Africans and at the same time offering opportunities for Africans to learn from Moroccan know-how to promote their economies.
Morocco, as has been stated by many international economic institutions, could become an economic and trade platform for African countries to reach out to Europe and the United States. Europe and America’s strong economic, political, and security ties to Morocco and strong economic, political, and security interests in greater Africa need to come together. It can be an economic boom at a time when a windfall is badly needed, and a boost to global security at a time when concerns about terror on the African continent are growing.
In a speech delivered to the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2014, King Mohammed VI called for a new approach to helping developing countries achieve secure, sustainable economic and political stability.
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.”
Morocco is determined to establish real win-win partnerships with African countries, a new axis for peace and economic prosperity. Economic interests and geo-political considerations account for much of Moroccan royal’s diplomatic offensive. Morocco has always voiced openly its keen interest to establish a powerful partnership with African countries. With this new vision Morocco has become a leading continental power that will guarantee economic dynamism, security and stability in the African continent
Undoubtedly, the African economy is gearing up a notch, and now as the continent has to work together to make the most of it, Morocco is positioning itself as a motor of African integration.
The African continent is changing. Strong population, natural, agricultural resources, and an emerging middle class have resulted in growth which attracts international investors. It’s almost a new frontier. Africa has swept away the systems of the past and begun a profound transformation, moving through it stage by stage. Many African countries started with basic infrastructure like education, health, housing, and agriculture. And each country is now part of a region and can produce goods labelled “Made in Africa” for the international market.”
Committed defender of African integration, Morocco is an regional economic and financial hub, a hotspot for international investment in Africa. But South-South dialogue isn’t enough in itself. African development can only prosper with a triangular co-operation model, North-South-South.
Morocco and Tanzania are looking forward to a deep partnership characterized by mutual respect, mutual interest, shared values, and aspirations for a more peaceful and prosperous future. Morocco respects Tanzania’s record of democratic progress, which has made it a model for the region and beyond, and supports Tanzania’s continuing efforts to strengthen the institutions of democracy. Morocco is committed to working with Tanzania on nutrition and food security, energy and sustainable development.
The Royal visit aims at fostering cooperation between the private sector from both Morocco and Tanzania in areas of common interest, such as joint ventures opportunities, exchange of information, as well as finding ways to benefit more from the opportunities presented by regional market.
The official visit of King Mohammed VI to Tanzania marks the prelude to a new era in the friendly relations between Rabat and Dar es Salaam, as Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, said
King Mohammed VI’s recurrent visits in Africa shows once again that Africa is aiming to fulfill its economic potential and achieve growth, and Western countries need to shift their focus from aid programmes to developing stronger trade links. Africa is no more in need of patrons but rather partners who are interested to forge strong win-win partnerships.
Today a new chapter of warm relations has opened between Tanzania and Morocco.