The organization in Morocco of the 14th edition of the United States-Africa Business Summit (July 19-22), the work of which began on Wednesday in Marrakech, constitutes a consecration of the natural role of the Kingdom as a gateway to Africa and a link with its international partners such as Europe, the United States and South America, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Nasser Bourita.
In a speech at the opening of this Summit, organized under the High Patronage of King Mohammed VI, in partnership with the “Corporate Council on Africa” (CCA), around the theme “building the future together”Nasser Bourita explained that the holding of this Conclave in Morocco carries multiple meanings and reflects the solid attachment of the Kingdom, under the enlightened leadership of King Mohammed VI, to its natural belonging to Africa and its concern to accompany the stability and the economic and sustainable development of the Continent.
And the Minister continued that the organization of this Summit in Morocco illustrates the maturity of the Moroccan-American strategic partnership which, thanks to its development at the bilateral level, contributes directly and effectively to security and stability in other geographical areas, particularly in Africa and the Middle East.
The strong presence of more than 1,000 participants at this Summit highlights the important and promising prospects of the partnership between Africa and the United States in the field of trade, investment and business, added Nasser Bourita.
It also underlines the importance of the private sector and development and investment institutions as the main lever of this partnership, he continued.
If the holding of this meeting coincides with a period of hope for the disappearance of the Covid-19 pandemic, it also coincides with a phase where the world economy is living at the rate of deep turbulence, which has affected production chains and investment, as well as trade, and caused inflation and worrying economic pressures, which requires more than ever, the attachment to cooperation as the only means to ensure the security, the fluidity of trade and maintaining investor confidence.
In this difficult context full of challenges and marked by the reconfiguration of the international economy, the role of the African continent, as a reservoir of growth for the world economy and a major ally for its international partners, is highlighted, notes Nasser Bourita, noting that thanks to the wealth of human capital and natural resources of the Continent, and given its future structured and interconnected market, within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECA), its groupings regional economies and its economic growth rate of 6%, Africa has the potential to enable it to deal with crises and strengthen its sovereignty in strategic sectors, such as health, food security, energy and infrastructure, to ensure the achievement of inclusive growth and fair and equitable development.
“It is time for Africa to reap the fruits of its innumerable potentialities and its dynamic youth, and to play its central and natural role on the international scene and in the major developments taking place at the global level”insisted the Minister.
Nasser Bourita also stressed the need to work together to build a forward-looking African economy, which draws its strength from its integration into the global trading system and international value chains.
“A healthy and solid economy that prioritizes industrialization, employment and value creation, in order to ensure our Continent its rightful place on the map of the world economy”he continued, adding that this requires two conditions: on the one hand, African countries are called upon to carry out the economic reforms necessary to create an appropriate business climate while the private sector must play its national role , and on the other hand, the mobilization of Africa’s international partners to support the development programs implemented by the countries of the Continent.
The success of Africa’s partnerships with international actors is not measured by the number of programs and meetings, but by the number of concrete projects that result from them and their real impact on the development processes of the countries of the Continent. , noted the minister.
Nasser Bourita also stressed the need to attach particular importance to the financing of small and very small businesses, suggesting, in this sense, the establishment of a mechanism for monitoring the implementation projects resulting from the partnership, and the establishment of facilities for access to financing, in accordance with an approach that guarantees efficiency and effectiveness in the processing of projects in order to obtain tangible results and achieve significant development, which will contribute to the strengthening of fruitful economic relations between the United States and African countries.
“Morocco, under the enlightened leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, is proud of its belonging to its continent – Africa – and believes in its future”affirmed the Minister, underlining the active involvement of the Kingdom in the construction of African Unity since 1961 and the constant mobilization of Morocco in favor of the emergence of an African Continent ” confident “ in its potential and open to the future, in accordance with the commitment made by the King to adopt “a coherent and integrated policy towards our African brothers, based on the common investment of wealth, human development and the strengthening of economic cooperation”.
This is how, the Minister explained, Morocco has placed tripartite cooperation at the center of joint action with the United States and Africa, based on the King’s conviction that the bonds of trust and cooperation between the Kingdom and the other two parties must be invested in a dynamic that promotes development, noting that the United States, which has supported the causes of the Continent since the independence of its countries, has been and still remains an important partner for Africa .
Nasser Bourita concluded by saying that he was convinced that Afro-American relations currently have all the prospects and potentialities capable of enabling them to make a qualitative contribution to the common development of the African Continent, expressing his hope that this meeting will constitute “a major turning point” in the process of the African-American partnership in the field of business, trade and investment, in order to strengthen the role of the private sector and economic actors and contribute to the success of the next US-Africa Summit, scheduled for December 2022 , and the enrichment of its agenda.
This 14th edition of this Summit, which is being held in Marrakech, is attended in particular by a large American government delegation, African ministers and decision-makers from the largest American multinationals and African business circles.
Offering the opportunity to establish future-oriented USA-Morocco-Africa tripartite business partnerships, this Summit also represents an opportunity to consolidate the strategic positioning of Morocco, the only African country to have concluded a free trade agreement with the United States, as a hub for Africa and a reference economic partner for the USA.
This conclave will be marked by the organization of high-level dialogues, plenary sessions, panels, round tables and side-events around the priorities of the Continent in terms of food security, health, agriculture, energy transition , new technologies, infrastructures and integration of industrial ecosystems.