Morocco, Japan Launch Capacity-Building Project for Africa

The tripartite cooperation between Morocco, Japan, and African countries launched on May 31 in Rabat, a project to develop human resources in the transport infrastructure sector for African countries.

This three-and-a-half-year cooperation project between the Moroccan Ministry of Equipment and Water and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to strengthen the capacity of agencies in target African countries to develop, manage and operate roads, highways, and ports.

During a ceremony attended by the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps and Cameroon’s Ambassador to Morocco, Mouhamadou Youssifou, the Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka, explained that this project is in line with the provisions of the Kingdom’s Constitution, which specifies in its preamble the importance of consolidating solidarity with African countries and peoples, particularly countries in the sub-Saharan, Sahel and Sahara regions, to strengthen and promote South-South cooperation.

Baraka also stressed that Morocco, with its deep-rooted cooperative relations with Japan, enjoys geographical and cultural proximity and regionally and internationally recognized and appreciated expertise in several fields.

The Moroccan minister explained that this tripartite cooperation, which allows a wide range of target groups from Africa to benefit, aims to promote solidarity between countries by enabling these countries to benefit from Moroccan and Japanese expertise and specialist skills, noting that twenty Moroccan trainers were already trained in Japan, and twenty more will undergo training next year.

For his part, Japan’s Ambassador to Morocco, Hideaki Kuramitsu, recalled that Japan had organized the Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) since 1993, underlining that the Conference is one of the frameworks designed to promote a partnership based on African countries’ ownership of their development.

The Japanese Ambassador added that since 1998 and following the Second Tokyo International Conference of African Development, Morocco and Japan established training programs for African countries to promote South-South cooperation in Africa, noting that Japan adopted a cooperative approach based on the current challenges facing the continent, in constant consultation with its Maghrebian and African partners.

Resident representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Morocco, Takashi Ito, noted that this project is the fruit of close collaboration and tireless preparation between the Ministry of Equipment and Water, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation, and Moroccan Expatriates and the Japanese Agency.

“Our goal is to share Japanese know-how as much as possible with our Moroccan trainers, and then share it with all African beneficiary countries throughout the duration of our project,” stated Ito. 

The Director-General of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), Mohamed Methqal, stated that this tripartite project reflects the importance that Morocco, under the Wise Leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, attaches to South-South cooperation, which remains the focus of its foreign policies.

As part of Morocco’s commitment to solidarity with African countries, AMCI has been implementing, since 1999, several triangular cooperation programs with different international partners in support of African countries.

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