International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses developments in the Middle East, Balkans and also around the world. H.E. Azzeddine Farhane is the Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco to Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia and Permanent Representative to the International Organizations based in Vienna. In his comprehensive analysis entitled “Ongoing Reforms for Prosperity and a brighter future for Morocco” he is analyzing the successes of Kingdom of Morocco with the emphasis on reforms, proactive approach and concrete measures in the time of the crisis caused by Covid-19.
● H.E. Azzeddine Farhane
Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco to Austria, Slovenia nad Slovakia
Permanent Representative to the International Organizations based in Vienna
The celebration of the National Day of the Kingdom of Morocco marks the date of the accession of His Majesty King Mohammed VI on 30th July 1999 to the throne of the Alaouite Monarchy. It is a celebration anchored in the common history of the people and the Kings of Morocco, and which represents a solemn occasion to renew the links of unwavering loyalty of the Moroccan people to the Alaouite dynasty.
Morocco celebrates this year, the 21 years of the reign of his Majesty King Mohamed VI, highlighted by an ongoing process, under His leadership and guidance, of continuous reforms and restructuring of Morocco’s political, economic and social fields, for ensuring the prosperity and welfare of Moroccan citizens.
Since His enthronement, the Sovereign carried out an ambitious agenda of reforms which embodies the royal approach, always in touch with the people's aspirations and concerned with their well-being. Hence, His Majesty King Mohammed VI initiated important political and constitutional reforms, which consolidated the foundations of Morocco’s political system.
Among the hallmark achievements engaged under the leadership of His Majesty are the adoption of a new Constitution in 2011, which constitutionalized the commitment of the Kingdom to the principles, rights and obligations encoded in their respective charts and international conventions, and its firm attachment to human rights as they are universally recognized.
Morocco is also engaged in the implementation of the new advanced regionalization process, which has been enshrined by the 2011 Constitution, and consecrated the Kingdom’s reformist path by enhancing responsibilities for local and regional governments, and clear support for the multicultural and multi-religious character of theMoroccan society.
The Kingdom has undergone an incredible transformation after years of continuous efforts and investments to modernize and expand its infrastructure, upgrade roads, ports, and airports to support its intentions of becoming a commercial crossroads between Africa and the world. The Kingdom is now an attractive destination for foreign investors, that showed great capacity to sidestep global financial and economic turbulences.
Under the leadership of His Majesty, the Kingdom is developing, in each part of the country, large-scale projects used to balance the country's infrastructure, secure job offers, and redistribute innovative economic activity on the entire country. Thanks to this sustained economic momentum given by His Majesty the King to the national economy, Morocco has more than doubled its GDP over the last 21 years.
Today, Morocco’s economic dynamic has been fueled, on both economic and institutional fronts, by the acceleration of investment in infrastructure and the realization of major structuring projects. Morocco's Economic Growth reached 2.7% in 2019, thanks to His Majesty’s vision, and extended far beyond the current structure of trade balance, labor market, and education system, seeking to make of Morocco an emergent and strong economic power.
The kingdom of Morocco boasts now a favorable business climate on the African continent and in the MENA region. The World Bank’s latest “Doing Business 2020” report on the business climate ranks Morocco first in North Africa and third among countries in the Middle East.
Morocco has swiftly adopted, in the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic, an offensive strategy based on a preventive and proactive approach to deal with and slow down the spread of the Covid-19 in the country as well as to cope with the resulting social and economic impact, under the enlightened patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.
The Moroccan response to the forthcoming crisis has been decisive in curbing the impact of the new Coronavirus appeared in Morocco, the country closed its maritime borders, suspended all flights from and to Morocco until further notice. The state sanitary emergency was declared on March 20th effectively closing all educational facilities, places of worship and restauration venues as early as March 16th, while amenity stores, medical facilities, pharmacies and banks continued to provide the necessary services, and decreeing the compulsory mask wearing while setting a low fixed rate for the sale of masks in April. .
In this regard, and in order to address urgent medical needs and to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic, His Majesty King Mohammed VI ordered the setting up of an emergency solidarity fund to manage the crisis caused by Covid-19. The Royal initiative has led to a great surge of solidarity in the country. This fund has raised, more than 32.7 billion Moroccan Dirhams ($3.2 billion) thanks to the voluntary financial contributions from the main companies of the Kingdom, insurance companies, banks, senior state officials, parliamentarians and Moroccan citizens, who joined in this act of solidarity to help the most disadvantaged.
The main objective of this Fund is to fund the hospital and medical equipment necessary for people affected by the virus, as well as the deployment of financial measures for vulnerable populations. The Special Fund plays a central role in maintaining the economic and social stability of the country. In this context, Morocco has been able to deploy a large number of measures quickly, efficiently and above all strictly, to ensure that stability is maintained.
The government has taken the lead in preparing the necessary hospital units, also involving military medicine, to provide the necessary care and a sufficient number of intensive care units. In addition, test kits have been ordered by the government to launch a screening test campaign to contain the spread.
Moreover, Morocco has mobilized its industrial ecosystem by redirecting factories towards the production of protective masks, hydro-alcoholic gel and medical equipment including ventilators with oxygen masks to help meet the demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thanks to His Majesty's guidance and the offensive strategy adopted by Morocco, the situation of the spread of the coronavirus remains under control in Morocco.
His Majesty King Mohammed VI placed Morocco's diplomatic action within the framework of undeniable values and bounding ethics. The Kingdom upholds universal values of freedom, international law, protection of populations, peacekeeping and the search for better coexistence and cooperation between peoples, civilizations, religions and culture.
Following this vision, Morocco has contributed decisively to the efforts deployed by the international bodies to end institutionalized violence in many parts of Africa, and promotepeace and development throughout the continent, via a dense and multidimensional policy based on forging proactive partnerships.
Within this context and during the Covid-19 pandemic, His Majesty the King proposed the launch of an initiative of African Heads of State aimed at establishing an operational framework to accompany African countries in the various stages of the pandemic management. In this regard, His Majesty the King gave his very high instructions for sending medical aid to 15 African countries belonging to all the sub-regions of the continent. All the medical equipment provided to these countries were produced by Moroccan companies and fully comply with the World Health Organizations’ standards.
Under the wise leadership of His Majesty the King, Morocco looks forward to building a prosperous future, honoring the legacy of the Kingdom’s rich history, and making the Kingdom a crossroad of modernity and authenticity, within its commitment to substantially contribute to peace, security and development actions with a special focus on the African continent.
Ljubljana/Vienna, 31 July 2020
 IFIMES – International Institute for Middle East and Balkan Studies, based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, has Special Consultative status at ECOSOC/UN, New York, since 2018.