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Days after presenting to South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, Morocco’s ambassador to South Africa, Youssef Amrani, faced the South African press earlier this week to “present Morocco’s new development model as well as its commitment to pan-African ideals.

At the event, attended by a dozen of South African media outlets and think tanks, Ambassador Amrani spoke at length about Morocco’s new development model as well as the North African country’s Africa-focused diplomacy and “visible efforts” towards continental peace and stability.

“Morocco’s new model was gradually built thanks to the leadership of King Mohammed VI,” began Ambassador Amrani. The new model, he elaborated, emphasizes the need for “strong institutions,” a “clear vision,” as well as a holistic approach focused on the integration of human factors in all development avenues.

But also crucial in the new road Morocco has embarked on in recent months is the centrality of the African continent stressed the Moroccan official. On that front, he touched on the many roles Rabat has played at the continental level in the immediate aftermath of its readmission to the African Union.

He particularly noted the importance of Morocco-South Africa relations for the entire continent.

Strong cooperation and friendship between two of the continent’s leading nations can trickle down to other venues in the AU-sponsored initiatives for increased intra-African integration.

South Africa and Morocco have a lot to learn from each other, especially in sectors where our two countries have achieved internationally acknowledged expertise levels Youssef Amrani

The appointment of Amrani late last year rekindled hopes of a rapprochement between South Africa and Morocco.

With the two countries’ pointed disagreement over the Western Sahara question, the sense was that Morocco needed a representative of Amrani’s caliber—one of Morocco’s most senior diplomats—to engineer a prospective rapprochement between the two nations.

Having played an important role in materializing the diplomatic gains Morocco has been making of late in Latin America, where he served for decades as Ambassador, Amrani is expected to deliver similar results in the usually tense Pretoria-Rabat relations.

In presenting Morocco’s “African vision” to South Africa media organizations, Amrani said he would focus on “people-to-people” approach to not only strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries, but also lay the groundwork for facilitating resumption of harmonious relations between the two countries in a wide-range of activities, not necessarily related to public diplomacy and politics.