African experts commented on the challenges of the maritime economy as advocated by King Mohammed VI to stimulate trade with West African countries from Morocco's southern Atlantic coast.
Commenting on the speech given by the King on 6 November 2023 to mark the Green March, Senegalese economist Moubarack Lo told Le360 that "Africa's Atlantic seaboard needs a maritime motorway" and that Morocco "has expressed a commitment to carrying out this important project via a maritime fleet".
Moubarack Lo was speaking on the sidelines of the 15th edition of MEDays, held from 15 to 18 November in Tangiers under the aegis of the Amadeus Institute. Today," he added, "we have problems with freight, a sector that only road transport provides," and that's not enough.
According to this economic expert, "we need a seagoing fleet, and Morocco's position gives it the means to achieve this ambition, which will have to serve Africa, because sea transport can become a powerful investment tool".
Pour sa part, Abdelhafid Oualalou, vice-président de l’Institut marocain des relations internationales, met l’accent sur le développement des infrastructures en Afrique afin de faciliter l’essor économique et le commerce intra-africain. Celui-ci ne dépassant pas 15% pour le moment.
"This is due to the weakness of infrastructure, airports, ports and telecommunications", he points out, noting that Morocco has become an emerging country, with Tangier Med and, soon, the Atlantic port of Dakhla.
Abdou Souleye Diop, Chairman of the Africa Commission at the CGEM, began by referring to the difficult context the world is going through, saying that despite the crisis, Morocco "has a driving and major role to play in enabling complementary value chains with the other countries on the African continent to create growth".
The CGEM is seeking "to establish and implement industrial value chains after carrying out a study", he continued. In 2024, he announced, the CGEM is preparing to hold a Forum to which Africa's small and medium-sized enterprises will be invited, with a view to presenting them with the results of this study.
On November 6, King Mohammed VI expressed his wish to see Morocco's Atlantic seaboard "become a place of human communion, a hub of economic integration and a centre of continental and international influence". He added that he would "provide our southern provinces with the services and infrastructure essential to their economic development".
In addition, the King pointed out, "to ensure a fluid connection between the various components of the Atlantic coast, we are committed to providing the necessary means of transport and logistics stations. This also includes giving thought to building up a strong and competitive national merchant marine fleet".
Mohamed Chakir Alaoui et Abderrahim Ettahiry