Royal Atlantic Initiative Provides Concrete Solutions to Various Challenges Facing Africa (Panelists)

Participants in a panel organized by the Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), on April 16 in Rabat, stressed the role of the international initiative launched by His Majesty King Mohammed VI to promote access of the Sahel countries to the Atlantic Ocean in providing concrete solutions to the various challenges facing Africa.

During this debate, the speakers unanimously affirmed that this Royal Initiative falls within the framework of Morocco’s active commitment, under the leadership of His Majesty the King, in favor of united South-South cooperation.

The panelists also stated that this initiative meets the expectations of Atlantic African countries and opens up promising prospects for economic integration, stability, peace, and development.

In an introductory speech, the moderator of the panel, Mohamed Tangi, noted that “the desirability of the Royal initiative for Atlantic Africa does not need to be proven”.

“In a planetary context where strong confrontations are tearing the continents apart, and where the ship of all humanity, or at least what remains of it, is sailing in a stormy zone of unprecedented turbulence, the Royal Initiative for South-South, united and mutually beneficial cooperation promises to be full of hope and promises for shared prosperity for all of Atlantic Africa,” he noted.

He noted that the Atlantic African area, which extends over 15,000 km of coastline, is naturally in a geographically privileged situation, with abundant fishing, agri-food, mining, and energy resources, considering however that “the ambitions development of these countries are often thwarted in particular by their sectoral approach, insufficient resources, weakness of international cooperation agreements, political instability and security threats and ecological risks”.

In the same vein, the Ambassador, Director General of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), Mohamed Methqal, noted that the assets of Atlantic Africa and the quality of its human resources are undeniable, noting that Atlantic Africa represents approximately 46% of the inhabitants of the African continent and 55% of the continental GDP.

In this sense, he noted that “the Royal Atlantic initiative announced three major objectives, namely stability, prosperity and the influence of this area”, with a particular focus on the human element.

In this regard, Methqal underlined that the progress made by Morocco, under the enlightened leadership of HM the King, particularly in terms of human development, constitutes a source of inspiration and can be shared within the framework of this spirit of solidarity action and co-construction advocated by the Sovereign.

He insisted on the importance of capitalizing “on everything that Morocco has built so far within the framework of Atlantic Africa”, noting that Morocco’s strategy in this area is backed by “a road map carrying a vision that is both ambitious and proactive, thanks to structuring projects that will accelerate co-development, regional integration, and also the strengthening of the economic acceleration of these countries.

In the same vein, Mohammed Loulichki, Senior Fellow at PCNS, noted that the Royal initiative “consists not only of bringing together, in terms of economic integration and development, African countries bordering the Atlantic but also to involve the landlocked countries of the Sahel in this dynamic.”

According to Loulichki, “the objective of the Initiative is to respond to this geographical inevitability which strikes landlocked countries” which are also faced with major challenges linked to instability, conflicts, and underdevelopment. 

This initiative “thus aims to establish a bridge between this grouping of African countries in the Atlantic and this Saharan extension of the Sahel level”, he added, noting that such an approach “destroys this artificial vision which divides the ‘Africa in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa’”.

“The opportunity is thus offered to the countries concerned to promote their stabilization, bring them out of conflict zones, and offer them new development and economic prospects,” explained Loulichki.

For his part, Rachid El Houdaigui, Senior Fellow at PCNS, focused on the different parameters defining the Atlantic space, as well as the endogenous and exogenous issues likely to “tilt this space into the game of rivalries.”

In this sense, El Houdaigui reviewed “the variables that Atlantic dynamics suggest”, citing, among other things, the return of naval power in global strategic competition, the quest for logistical and strategic support points, the security genres, and the effect of space institutionalization.

The work of this conference is divided into four panels focused on geopolitical issues in terms of regional integration and the rivalry of powers in the Africa-Atlantic space, legal topics such as maritime rights, security issues particularly relating to the preservation of African maritime capital, in addition to geoeconomic issues in light of structuring projects in favor of the prosperity of African economies.

error: Content is protected !!