Morocco has chosen a clear line of cooperation with African countries, consolidating its African membership, said Mbarka Bouaida, President of the Association of Presidents of Regions of Morocco.
“We advocate this cooperation which allows us to strengthen our culture of belonging to Africa,” Bouaida said in an interview with MAP on the sidelines of her participation in the 9th Africities Summit, which ends Saturday in Kisumu.
In all his speeches, His Majesty King Mohammed VI never ceases to insist on South-South cooperation and the interest we take in our African brothers, she noted, adding that the Kingdom has always been present as a leader at the continental level on many aspects.
These include aspects related to development and reforms undertaken by the Kingdom, which are now recognized as examples for African countries, said the President of the Guelmim Oued-Noun region.
Referring to the strong presence of Morocco at the Africities 9 Summit, she recalled that the Kingdom had hosted the 8th edition of the Summit in 2018, which makes it a co-organising country of the current edition.
Morocco helped a lot to make this event a success, which explains the importance of the Moroccan delegation and also the interest in the Morocco Pavilion, she noted.
Through this presence, Morocco also aims to establish links between Moroccan regions, municipalities and communities and those of the rest of Africa, she added, noting that during the summit, African local authorities showed great interest in getting closer to their Moroccan counterparts.
Referring to the main achievements and experiences that Morocco can share with sister countries, Bouaïda said that the Kingdom is keen to share its experiences, such as that of advanced regionalization.
In the environmental field, Morocco is emerging as a model country at the continental level, she added, mentioning the ambitious shift to renewable energy, the desire to reach a renewable energy share of 64% of the national electricity mix by 2030, as well as the commitment to carbon emissions.
“Morocco has never been a passive country, it has always been an entrepreneurial country,” said Ms Bouaida, welcoming the experience of Benguerir, a green city which was the subject of a presentation during the Summit.
On the economic front, Morocco has made a great deal of effort in terms of financing entrepreneurship, which is no longer a problem, thanks in particular to the financial arrangements that facilitate fundraising.
The tools that promote exchanges of experience and expertise must be put together collectively, she stressed, citing the example of the African Support Fund for International Decentralised Cooperation of Local Authorities (FACDI).
“We can also innovate other mechanisms in partnership with our African brothers, such as a network of African regions that could promote advanced regionalisation and provide a platform for exchange and reflection on joint projects,” she said.
It is also possible to create a network of African green cities, where some cities would serve as models, like Benguerir, she suggested, adding that the creation of project banks common to all African countries is able to strengthen economic cooperation between African communities.
The interest of major events, such as the Africities Summit, is to create these links, to encourage exchange and to capitalise on the achievements, explained Ms Bouaïda, insisting on the need to define a common interest and to structure it around an operational tool accessible to all.