Enabling Sahel’s Access to Atlantic Ocean, Royal Initiative Stemming from Kingdom’s Efforts for a Prosperous Africa

This new Royal initiative, with its regional and international scope, shows that the Kingdom continues to attach great importance to the humanitarian dimension and the sustainable development of the Sahel countries, while always striving to promote bold, innovative cooperation in line with the expectations of the African continent.

The Sovereign’s enlightened initiative, announced on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of the glorious Green March, is also part of the continuity of Morocco’s active and supportive commitment to its sister African countries, which extends in many directions.

In addition, the Royal Visits to certain Sahel countries have been crowned with success, given the impressive number of cooperation agreements and protocols signed on this occasion, as well as various actions undertaken by the Sovereign on behalf of the underprivileged populations of the countries visited.

As a concrete expression of the values of solidarity perpetuated by His Majesty the King, between the Kingdom of Morocco and sister African countries, the Sovereign was kind to set up the Mohammed VI Foundation for Sustainable Development, which carries out humanitarian missions on the African continent.

Several initiatives have been launched in Mali. These include Royal projects to build the Mohammed VI Prenatal Clinic in Bamako, which will be inaugurated and handed over to the Malian authorities on July 7, 2022, as well as a Vocational Training Center in the fields of construction, tourism and catering.

Another example of the Kingdom’s active solidarity with African countries is His Majesty the King’s decision in 2000 to cancel the debt of the least-developed African countries, by exempting their products from customs duties when they enter the Moroccan market.

In the same vein, trade relations between Morocco and the countries of the Sahel are characterized by substantial direct investment by Morocco in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad, notably through national companies and banks present in the economic landscape of several countries.

HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, has also taken a number of initiatives to support the countries of the Sahel in the field of religious cooperation. These countries were the first to benefit from training courses designed to meet their religious needs. The agreements signed within this framework have enabled 500 imams from Mali, 200 from Niger and 199 from Chad to be trained at the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams, Morshidin and Morshidat (male and female religious counselors).

In September 2016, His Majesty the King gave His Most High Instructions for the delivery of several tons of humanitarian aid (foodstuffs, medicines, blankets, tents, etc…), following the floods that devastated the Burkinabe capital. Morocco has also made numerous donations of medical equipment and medicines to Sahel countries, to support the authorities of these sister countries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the fight against climate change, the Kingdom, under the visionary leadership of His Majesty the King, has attached great importance to environmental issues in Africa in general, and in the Sahel in particular.

The African Action Summit, held on the sidelines of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-22), organized in Marrakech in 2016, is a perfect illustration of Morocco’s commitment to preserving the environment and combating climate change. Among the priorities set by the Summit was the establishment of a Climate Commission for the Sahel region.

Executive training, at university as well as technical and professional levels, was the most high-profile aspect of the Summit’s activities, but also the one that produced the most tangible results with the Sahel countries, and Morocco’s most enduring cooperation with its African partners.

For example, the total number of students from the Sahel pursuing their studies on scholarship at Moroccan public higher education establishments in the 2022-2023 period is 741 from Mali, 478 from Niger, 493 from Burkina Faso and 374 from Chad.

HM King Mohammed VI's International Initiative to enable Atlantic Ocean access for the Sahel States, is an extension of Morocco's pooling efforts, under the Sovereign's enlightened leadership, to turn Africa into a continent of prosperity, within the framework of South-South cooperation based on a win-win partnership.
23 December 2023