Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, called, Wednesday in Rabat, to structure the African Atlantic space, stressing that the declaration to be adopted at the end of the 1st ministerial meeting of the African Atlantic States “establishes the (Afro-Atlantic) process of Rabat”, African capital of culture this year, and Atlantic capital too.
The declaration “enshrines our vision, institutionalizes our approach and structures our space. It is, in fact, oriented towards the impetus of coordination on a set of strategic themes and structuring sectors and establishes three thematic groups, responsible for political dialogue and security, the blue economy and maritime connectivity and energy, and finally sustainable development and the environment,” said Bourita at the opening of this ministerial meeting, which is held with the participation of 21 countries of the Atlantic coastline, including a dozen represented at ministerial level.
“It reactivates the Permanent Secretariat of the Conference, based in Rabat,” added Bourita, noting that this initiative does not want to compete with other regional organizations, or African Atlantic configurations.
“We want it to be perceived as it is, that is to say, an inclusive dynamic for a process of political governance of our common Atlantic space, in its broadest sense,” said Bourita noting that this ambition is not only to reactivate the mechanisms of the past, but to overcome them. The ambition of the Rabat Process is to enable Africa to take ownership of the Atlantic, to formulate common positions and, ultimately, to achieve the junction with the countries of the other side of the South Atlantic-Latin America.
“Our vision is to recognize that the issue is no longer to be riparian countries that turn their backs on the Atlantic,” said Bourita, adding that the Atlantic is not only a limit and a source of challenges, it is also a culture, a consciousness and a maritime identity.
In this sense, the minister called to disseminate the spirit of the Atlantic, among our sectoral departments, economic agents and companies, and to set up this space in strategic and economic pole, area of connection, cooperation and union.
“If the Atlantic brings us together from the outside, let it also be what unites us from the inside,” he said, adding that “every June 8, we will have two events to celebrate: that of the day of the oceans; and that of the re-launch of the African Atlantic Process in Rabat”.