Address by H.E. Mr Nasser Bourita at the 3rd Summit “G20 Compact with Africa” – Berlin, 19th November 2019

Address by H.E. Mr Nasser Bourita at the 3rd Summit “G20 Compact with Africa” – Berlin, 19th November 2019

Federal Chancellor,

Excellencies Heads of State and Government,

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

1. Allow me, above all, to convey to you the greetings and wishes of success of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God assist him, who has honoured me with the privilege of representing him at this 3rd Summit of the Compact with Africa.

2. Before going any further, I would like to pay a well-deserved tribute to Chancellor Angela Merkel and, through her, to the Federal Republic of Germany, for the committed leadership and pragmatism assumed in the establishment and the follow-up of the Compact with Africa.

3. This initiative continues to unfold and has shown its relevance: the first edition was about installation; the second about consolidation; and the third, which brings us together today, will, I hope, be one of inflection and concretization.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

4. The great German philosopher NIETZSCHE had said that "many are waiting all their life for an opportunity to do" well "in their own way".

5. We do not have to wait for a life time to act in the right direction in Africa. The Compact is a relevant instrument in this regard:

6. First, because it presents a guarantee of lucidity: It is a partnership which does not make the mistake of taking Africa for what it is no longer - meaning a simple market of consumption; a partnership that conceives our continent for what it is now: a land of opportunity to seize, challenges to overcome and, ultimately, co-growth to generate.

7. Africa, which is undergoing a full transformation, is also changing its challenges:

- There are fewer wars, but more asymmetric conflicts and, above all, more terrorism. From a terrorist movement in the early 2000s (AQIM), there is now a dozen of them. In West Africa alone, 912 attacks were reported in 2018, and more than 4,500 deaths in the first half of 2019.

- There are fewer humanitarian crises, but more structural inequalities. 7 of the 10 most unequal countries in the world, are in Africa (according to the World Bank).

- The needs of Africans and Africans have evolved, and will grow in the next years and decades. Africa, which will have some 2.4 billion inhabitants in 2050, needs economic opportunities and stable jobs.

- The African market has also evolved. In Real “game changers”, ACFTA and Open Sky open the continent, paving the way for the emergence of an integrated Africa.

8. In addition to its lucidity, the strength of the Pact lies in its pragmatism: It is a partnership based on entrepreneurship. It is interested, but supportive; economic, but driven by a political vision; it is demanding, but realistic. A partnership for the reforms certainly, but which does not wait for their result to be deployed.

9. Added to this, its inclusiveness brings together the success factors of a public-private partnership.

10. This, in my opinion, is what generates the support around the Compact: its lucidity on the challenges and opportunities in Africa, its joint responsibility, and its vocation to transform cooperation into a mutually beneficial partnership, to produce a multiplier effect by the strength of the company, and to generate a virtuous circle of co-growth.

11. So Compact With Africa is a win-win partnership. Fundamentally based on co-ownership, it works to fill the gap, without widening the pit. He is "afro-compatible" because it is fundamentally, afro-optimistic ".

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

12. It is with a dual perspective that Morocco participates in this summit:

- The beneficiaries of the Compact (African countries); and

- That of the promoter of the Compact (Germany).

13. On the one hand, as a beneficiary of the Compact, Morocco signed a declaration of intent with Germany, a year ago, on the "Partnership to Encourage Reforms", in a momentum of natural continuity of a national process. Morocco did not wait for the creation of the Compact to engage in a path of structural and sustainable promotion of its macroeconomic equilibrium.

14. Major reforms have been launched to control the main risks to public finances (subsidy reform, pension reform, organic finance law, etc.). The World Bank's report, dedicating the Doing Business rank, ranks Morocco 53rd in the world, 7 ranks better than the previous rankings.

15. Morocco, which was 117th in the 2000s, is now approaching the world's 50 largest economies. This improvement is not fortuitous. It is the result of courageous reforms to improve the business climate, including:

- The reorganization of the organization and attributions of the Regional Investment Centers which, as one-stop shops, should give a strong impetus to investment.

- The simplification and dematerialization of legal and administrative formalities, with the creation of electronic platforms for the creation and development of companies.

- The strengthening of economic governance, through the effective establishment of two independent constitutional bodies, namely: the National Competition Council and the National Instance of Probity, Prevention and the Fight Against Corruption.

- Improving access to finance for SMEs and innovative businesses. Thus, we have recently set up specific financing instruments for start-ups, revised the micro-credit system and modernized the legal framework governing the creation of securities.

- The establishment of a new financial inclusion strategy based on international best practices was adopted in April 2019.

16. Regarding its macroeconomic framework, the business climate and its financial sector, I think it is safe to say that it is certainly good to invest in Morocco, particularly in the emerging productive sectors such as automotive, aeronautics, electronics and renewable energies that contribute to strengthening our country's integration into international value chains and diversifying our economy.

17. On the other hand, Morocco can fully understand the need (of Germany) for a minimum of business climate guarantees to project foreign investment (FDI). But at the same time - as His Majesty the King puts it so well, "we have chosen to pursue a policy of solidarity with the rest of the African countries by setting up balanced partnerships with them on the basis of mutual respect and in the best interests of the African peoples ".

18. Because, "We do not consider Africa as a market [...] or a framework for quick profit, but rather as a space of common action for the development of the region, at the service of the African citizen" (64th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People).

19. The Royal Vision for African Policy is based on public-private partnerships, as much as it mobilizes intergovernmental cooperation. Be it banking institutions, real estate groups or telephone operators; the Moroccan enterprise is conceived as an African enterprise. Its method is the sharing of expertise. Its approach is transparency. Its purpose is the co-development of the continent.

20. Therefore, to say that Africa is a priority for my country is not a "statement"; but a reality:

- She is registered at the center of the foreign policy of the Kingdom;

- 2/3 of Moroccan FDI are in Africa;

- Morocco is the second largest African investor in Africa, and the first in its region: West Africa.

- Moroccan exports rose from 2 to 21 billion dirhams (twice the 1 billion euros allocated to the Compact).

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

21. I cannot praise lucidity, optimism and pragmatism in speaking of the Compact's demarche, and let go of it by evoking its future. Yes, we bet on a sustainable success of the Compact. More than that: we are committed to it.

22. For all that, our ambition is not the Compact, but Africa. The Compact is at the service of Africa. The opposite is not - and should not - be true. Africa is not the object of an ambition. It is ambition in itself, and the fundamental purpose of what we do.

23. His Majesty the King solemnly declared it in His historic speech marking the return of Morocco to the African Union: "Africa, so long neglected, has become a key actor. The era when it was just an object in international relations is over. "

24. This means that we see Africa through the lens of its interests, and not the lens of other interests, whatever they may be. But, I am convinced, the interest of Africa is not in assistance (assistantship), but in the partnership of equals and win-win.

25. Africa today does not need development assistance as much as it needs to generate its own growth and, most importantly, to translate it into development. A development that radiates beyond its only homes. For, all too often, we see all the evils associated with developmental deficiencies being perpetuated, alongside countries that show sometimes double-digit growth.

26. It is not that growth is wrong. But, it is that the growth in isolated islets (in the middle of fragile regions) is an uncertain promise. Development is none other than sustainable growth, which reduces structural inequalities; the very ones that generate instability and reinitiate the vicious cycle of decay.

27. This is, moreover, the meaning of the New Model of Development, called by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, May God assist him, a model of social prosperity; where growth, investment and development complement and improve, but do not substitute for each other.

28. Africa - which has one-third of the world's natural resources and half of the world's non-agricultural arable land - is a key driver of growth. But, often, some of the best endowed by nature are paradoxically among the most shunned by development. It would also be a success for the Compact to contribute to this reconciliation. In supporting reforms in Africa, of course, but also in supporting a revision of approaches in the North.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

29. Finally, I would like to share with you some conclusions that I draw from this first phase of the Compact's life:

- First, it is important to expand the Compact with Africa. By opening up more widely to African countries, the vocation of the Compact must be trans-regional. The 12 African countries members of the Compact - including the Kingdom of Morocco, must join tomorrow other sister countries, in a logic of coherence, complementarity, but also of diversity (geographical and economic). We all win to create emulation; and sometimes the path of development is easier to be undertaken collectively.

- We must break down the stereotypes that the African market, by an intrinsic factor, is more risky than other markets. Trust generates trust. This basic observation is all the more true since yesterday's Africa is not that of today.

- Inter-continental cooperation should not obscure the potential for intra-continental cooperation. At the time of the ACFTA, the compact must also show us that if foreign investors are interested in Africa, African investors themselves must look at it, particularly through triangular cooperation.

30. We are certainly in a new era of cooperation; an area that recognizes the flaws of the vertical action North / South, which exceeds the limits of action "government to government" and tames the need for an innovative approach, pragmatic and uninhibited.