Rabat — The Kingdom of Morocco welcomes the establishment of the African Center of Excellence for Inclusive Markets (AIMEC), said, Wednesday in Rabat, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African cooperation and Moroccans Abroad Nasser Bourita.
Bourita, who was speaking by videoconference on the sidelines of the 38th ordinary session of the AU Executive Council, said that “Morocco would also like to congratulate the sister Republic of Tunisia” for hosting this first pan-African regional platform for the support and development of businesses and inclusive markets, resulting from the process of consultation and collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the decision of the 33rd African Union summit.
The Minister underlined that the inclusive economy is now emerging as a “paradigm necessary for post-covid economic recovery”, noting, in this regard, that the pandemic, by impacting all countries to varying degrees, has deepened the socio-economic inequalities of African countries.
“The uncertainty created by this pandemic confronts us with the need to adopt, across all value chains, strategies that would allow the establishment of inclusive ecosystems that bring value added and benefit everyone,” he noted.
Today, regional and continental economic integration of a stable and developed Africa cannot be achieved through a model other than that of inclusive growth that generates socio-economic inclusion, he said.
Referring to public-private partnerships (PPP), the Minister stressed that by promoting them, AIMEC would “very certainly” facilitate the exchange of best practices on the African continent to support inclusive businesses and markets.
“It has been shown that the latter are carriers of new accessible opportunities, thus promoting growth and regional economic integration”, he added.
Bourita underlined the strengthening of South-South cooperation, adding that it is both an “imperative” and a “necessity”.
It is this same vision of South-South cooperation that was defined by His Majesty King Mohammed VI in His speech at the extraordinary summit of heads of state and government of the AU on the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECAF) in 2018, he recalled.
In this speech, the Sovereign underlined that Morocco believes in co-development based on inter-African cooperation and economic complementarity, on active solidarity and the pooling of means and efforts […]”.
Bourita said that “our ambition for economic integration for our continent includes and exceeds the intensification of trade and investment”, insisting that this integration “only makes sense if it provides solutions to the social and economic challenges facing our sister countries in terms of energy, food security, financing, trade and investment”.
The Kingdom, under the insightful vision of HM the King, has embarked on the path of economic inclusion, he said, adding that Morocco has succeeded, in about fifteen years, to reduce poverty and end extreme poverty.
As for economic inclusion, beneficial to all layers of the population, it is, according to Bourita, at the heart of Moroccan public policies, and laid in sectoral strategies (agriculture, industry, crafts etc.).
These same strategies have been redefined in view of the evolution of the international context, with the priority of supporting very small businesses, SMEs, as well as cooperatives, through support, promotion and financial support programs (micro-finance) of entrepreneurship, and the development of competitive ecosystems, he noted.
These actions are part of the transformation of the economy and go through the support of the private sector via a strengthened PPP, he noted, indicating that resorting to this type of partnership is all the more important as “we get ready to implement the AfCFTA.”
This zone will help spur growth, reduce poverty and broaden the economic inclusion of our continent and this, in particular, through better integration into international trade flows, said Bourita.
To this end, he recalled that Morocco is fully committed to this path, just as it is committed to the achievement of the United Nations 2030 sustainable development goals as well as the 2063 Agenda for sustainable African growth.
The minister also reiterated the Kingdom’s total and entire willingness to share its experience, expertise and know-how in PPP aimed at inclusive markets and inclusive businesses, with its African brothers in order to contribute together to the implementation of sustainable development projects.