We have a collective duty to work together to strengthen the foundations of a modern Moroccan state imbued with the values of unity, progress, social justice and equity, thus reflecting a firm commitment to our time-honoured identity. Our nation has entered a new era, not by coincidence or because of unforeseen circumstances, but rather as the result of a well-thought-out policy and gradually implemented strategy. These are based on our sovereign will and are fully consistent with the citizens’ legitimate expectations.
We have carried out comprehensive economic reforms to consolidate and upgrade basic infrastructure in urban areas, and improve access to remote rural zones by providing the necessary services and facilities. Similarly, we have sought to create conditions conducive to promoting investment, implementing a social development policy. In this respect, we gave fresh impetus to social and development-oriented projects by launching, in 2005, the National Initiative for Human Development, which builds on a comprehensive vision designed to fight marginalisation and poverty. As our policy choices require that we set priorities and determine precise timeframes for their actual implementation, we wanted, through a specific approach, to come up with a roadmap for carrying out reforms.
Since the rule of law is the source of all progress, the judiciary will be the first to undergo major reform. Given that the new constitution puts the independence of the judiciary at the heart of the nation’s constitutional setup, I believe conditions for the success of this major reform project are now in place. I hope, in this regard, that the authority in charge of reform will adopt an open, participatory approach and prepare concrete, practical recommendations as quickly as possible. I also call upon stakeholders and officials in all institutions to be worthy of the trust placed in them. In addition to the executive and judicial branches, I ask elected institutions, at all levels, to comply fully and at all times with the new concept of authority. Elected officials must serve the citizens and maintain their trust, avoiding any personal or narrow-minded considerations.
The advanced regionalisation initiative that I have launched and that was endorsed by the new constitution is a major project that needs to be managed with forethought and the utmost care so as to introduce gradual, in-depth change to state institutions and the relationship between central government and local authorities. At the same time, special attention should be given to the major project of carrying out the reforms needed for the implementation of the new territorial management system, using an approach based on good governance that makes human development the foremost concern. Indeed, in order to tackle the challenges of territorial governance, we need to achieve fair, equitable human development that enables us to rectify shortcomings in rural areas and address the inadequacies that hamper growth in urban settings.
Thanks to these policies, we have been able to launch major projects that have strengthened our infrastructure and helped us provide the services needed for the country’s development. Sector-specific strategies have been laid down, using efficient criteria to achieve the desired objectives. In this respect, we have focused on developing industrial and modern technology sectors, creating hubs and major integrated economic centres that boost investment and help our enterprises sharpen their competitive edge.
We should further promote Morocco’s Green Plan, which is one of the key elements for agricultural development in our country. We therefore need to increase the activities included in the plan so as to expand and diversify our production base and upgrade smallholders’ capabilities through solidarity-based programmes that improve the living conditions of rural populations, especially as Morocco experienced challenging climate conditions in 2012. I must insist, in this respect, on the need to further develop contract mechanisms for partnership between the public and private sectors to make the best possible use of available investment resources.
As we are aware of the importance of this partnership, we have adopted a groundbreaking approach by creating the Moroccan Investment Authority, which brings together national sectoral investment funds. The authority seeks to promote investment in all sectors and encourage partnerships between businesses and government institutions. Our goal is to enable our country to access financing opportunities offered by foreign sovereign funds, especially investment funds in the Gulf sister nations. In this regard, we appreciate the decisions that have been made concerning the strategic partnership between Morocco and the GCC, and I should like to reiterate Morocco’s firm commitment to expanding its relations with the Gulf nations and strengthening our ties in all sectors.
In this respect, we should underscore tourism’s important role in promoting employment and creating national wealth, given Morocco’s varied natural assets and its rich cultural heritage. Since 2001, we have been implementing a comprehensive strategy, building on specific programmes that have contributed to the growth and development of tourism in our country. As part of Vision 2020, we have sought to further develop the sector by setting up the Wissal fund for the promotion of investment in tourism, which primarily aims to promote sustainable development. As a result, Morocco is a preferred tourist destination in the Mediterranean.
As I am keen to guarantee justice and provide assistance to the most impoverished segments of our population, I have sought to make sure a health care scheme for the benefit of those in need is implemented. The scheme is the result of a long preparatory process in which the Kingdom has been involved for the last 10 years, the aim being to provide assistance to the disadvantaged. The government is therefore called upon to do all it can to make this scheme a success by carefully identifying beneficiaries and ensuring good service provision.
Our education system should help young people ensure their personal development so that they may shoulder their civic responsibilities in an environment that preserves their dignity, upholds equal opportunities and enables them to contribute to economic, social and cultural development. To this end, we have to reconsider our approach and our education policies to go from a system centred on the teacher and his or her performance, in which knowledge is simply transmitted to learners, to a method that promotes interaction, and enables students to develop their abilities and gives them opportunities to show their creativity and innovative thinking, in addition to enabling them to acquire skills, improve social interaction and commit themselves to the ideals of freedom, equality and respect for difference.
Moreover, the school should not be an institution based on the principle of cramming information into pupils, but one which encourages critical thinking and perceptiveness to prepare students for the information and knowledge-based society. The government must to act along these lines and to lay special emphasis on upgrading state schools as well as on developing private education and ensuring interaction and complementarity between the two systems.
I also call upon the government to meet citizens’ social demands and to make sure the country’s finance policy is properly managed in order to preserve our development potential as well as the nation’s credibility in the international arena. Since I am fully aware of the need to safeguard the future of coming generations, I have always emphasised the indispensable link between development and environmental protection so as to ensure sustainable development. This is why we have been working with great resolve to preserve and manage our natural resources properly, making sure they contribute to our economic development. The ambitious wind and solar energy programme I have launched falls within the framework of this policy. It is designed to help us reduce conventional energy imports and alleviate the energy burden on our economy.
Based on speeches delivered by His Majesty in 2012
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