HM King Mohammed VI sent a message to the participants in the 5th edition of the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla, which opened Saturday under the theme "Building a powerful and modern Africa dedicated to its youth".
Here follows the full text of the royal message, which was read by President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region, Khattat Ynja:
“Praise be to God,
May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to send this message to the participants in the 5th Crans Montana Forum being held in Dakhla, under the theme "Building a powerful and modern Africa dedicated to its youth". Such a theme cannot but arouse the keen interest of the stakeholders concerned, public as well as private, on our Continent and beyond.
This new session, which I hope will be a success, clearly shows the Crans Montana Forum has now become firmly established in Dakhla. Indeed, over the past 5 years, it has served as an important rendezvous, not only for reflection, but also for finding concrete, innovative responses to issues relating to sustainable socio-economic development.
Indeed, this Forum brings together participants from various backgrounds and from around the world. It is a platform for renowned speakers sharing a keen interest in issues which, although related to Africa, are just as relevant to other continents, since the Forum is about the emergence of ideas, synergy and opportunities for cooperation.
I should like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who have worked hard to make sure this important meeting is a success. Special thanks go to the President of the Crans Montana Forum, Mr. Jean-Paul Carteron who, thanks to his dynamism and leadership, knows how to bring people together and be convincing.
In just a few years, Dakhla has definitely become a hub for meetings and dialogue. The distinctive conviviality and hospitality of this beautiful city symbolizes an Africa which is capable of being in tune with international standards.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our Continent may hold countless promises, but one thing is for sure: Africa is the Continent of all expectations. Above all, our Continent is front and center in the world order. By rising to Africa’s challenges, the world would be tackling international geostrategic issues, in addition to changes that are currently unfolding. Africa’s moment has come. This century must be Africa’s.
The main reason behind this conviction is the Continent’s strong demographic vitality: Africa’s population is the youngest in the world.
The fast pace of the demographic transition means we have to launch major development projects that can transform facts on the ground in Africa, especially in such areas as education, health, agriculture, infrastructure and the fight against poverty.
These are challenges to which Africa must rise to ensure its emergence.
19: that is the median age in Africa today. This generation of young people will build the Africa of tomorrow; African youths will contribute to peace, stability and socio-economic development on the Continent.
However, our youths need to be encouraged, trained, empowered and, above all, valorized. They must be trained to turn today's economic potential into tomorrow’s reality. Failure in this area would be a disaster of epic proportions, not only for Africa but for other regions as well.
The perilous journey some of our youths embark on, seeking a future in other parts of the world, should not be seen as a fatality, or as a sign of a failing Africa.
Our common interest lies in working towards the adoption of pertinent, tailored responses so that our young people may realize that their future is in Africa and for Africa.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Kingdom of Morocco knows Africa has a lot to offer. It is aware our Continent has all it takes to evolve, to engage with the world - boldly and resolutely - and to change radically. Our Continent is moving forward, and its emergence is a measurable reality.
Africa has opted for openness, refusing predatory practices and outright exploitation of its wealth. It has thus safeguarded the values of sharing and solidarity, which are hallmarks of time-honored African cultures.
Morocco's commitment to Africa and to active South-South cooperation is not dictated by circumstances, or by narrow interests. Since my accession to the throne, I have been advocating an active, fraternal and mutually beneficial form of solidarity. Indeed, I consider that serving Africa - our Continent - is not only our duty and responsibility, it is also our chance.
As early as 2000, I decided to cancel all the debts owed to Morocco by the least developed African countries. Measures to facilitate the importation of goods from those countries were also put in place.
They have led to an increase in the volume of African exports to the Moroccan market. Through this measure, the Kingdom wanted to give tangible substance to its duty to make sure cooperation is a win-win relationship.
Guided by this sense of responsibility, Morocco has opted for openness, solidarity and constructive engagement with all its African peers; it has chosen to promote and support peace, stability and security in Africa.
I am convinced these are fundamental conditions for the preparation and success of economic and social policies that will guarantee a better, more dignified life for African populations.
In keeping with this firm belief, the Kingdom wants to work with African sister nations and with their friends and partners to make the Continent a land of the future. This has been the spirit guiding our action, especially since Morocco returned to its African institutional family.
It is up to us to put Africa on a path towards progress and emancipation, and to empower it so that it may hold its rightful place on the global stage.
Finally, it is up to us to do all we can to mobilize the stakeholders and key players who will forge this common destiny – one that enables Africa to truly emergence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our era is characterized by unprecedented upheavals. The demographic transition, the ecological conversion, the digital revolution and mobility are key drivers of these changes.
We must adapt to these new realities and make sure our policies evolve for the good of our people and for the sake of the future of our young people.
This Forum is one of the platforms for reflection and exchange that make it possible to understand, in the current international situation, the lines of force, the requirements of vigilance and the subjects to be debated.
I hope the recommendations you will adopt at the end of your conference will help you identify new forms of cooperation as well as innovative synergies that will provide guidance to political leaders and economic decision-makers for the benefit of Africa.
I congratulate you, once again, on this initiative as well as on your constant commitment. Welcome to the Kingdom of Morocco. I wish you a pleasant stay in Dakhla and every success in your debates.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh."