Morocco, a strategic partner of the European Union (EU), is also an ‘important player’ on the African continent, said the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen.
“From the continental point of view, Morocco is an important player in Africa,” said Urpilainen in an interview with MAP, on the sidelines of her participation in the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) being held in Marrakech.
Referring to the excellence and depth of Morocco-EU relations, the European official said that Brussels had shown solidarity with Morocco following the tragic earthquake in Al Haouz, while expressing Europe’s willingness to support the country in the post-earthquake reconstruction.
Urpilainen also noted that Morocco is a very important trade partner for the EU, which also supports the Kingdom’s green transition and efforts to adapt to climate change.
For the European Commissioner, the areas of bilateral cooperation are diverse, covering notably the fight against inequalities, the improvement of social inclusion and the promotion of youth.
“I therefore see a lot of opportunities in the future to deepen our cooperation,” she said.
Moreover, Urpilainen described the WB/IMF Annual Meetings in Morocco, “a great host”, as “historic”, noting that “It is an important signal to the rest of the world that the role of Africa is increasing.”
“I think that the voice of Africa is being heard, loud and clear. These meetings in Marrakech, are one example of that,” she said, recalling that the African Union is now part of the G20.
According to the European senior official, the international community also wants to pay more attention to Africa and gives it a stronger place in the global governance.
The EU adopted a New Africa strategy three and a half years ago to deepen cooperation with the continent, she added. “That’s why we also have a global gateway investment strategy for Africa, which is up to 150 billion euros,” said Urpilainen.
“The idea is that we can support Africa’s green and digital transitions. We are investing in energy, as well as a digital infrastructure, as well as in transport corridors, but not only hard infrastructure. We are also investing in soft connectivity, like education, health, and research,” she explained.