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Morocco: Agricultural power, European partner and African ally

The agrifood sector is making the Cherifian kingdom a new pole of attractiveness, both for Europe and for Africa.

Blue Morocco and Green Morocco: two revolutionary plans

According to forecasts by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Morocco could achieve an annual growth of 3.8% in 2020. A dynamism driven by good political health and profound economic reforms, particularly in sectors of agriculture and fisheries. A success that Morocco owes in particular to its current Minister of Agriculture, Aziz Akhannouch. The latter has indeed multiplied reforms and measures to develop Moroccan agriculture in order to make it a competitive and efficient sector on the world market.

The progress made by Morocco in this area in recent years should also be addressed in the speech of the throne, scheduled for July 30. In a speech that will have a particular flavor this year, twenty years after the accession to power of Mohammed VI, projects set up in the field of fisheries or agriculture should be cited as an example.

On the one hand, the “Blue Morocco Plan” (formally Halieutis), launched in 2009 and which must highlight the country’s tremendous fish wealth provided by its thousands of kilometers of Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts – and on the other hand, the “Green Morocco Plan”, launched in 2008. A program of modernization both economic and social, agriculture, representing 40% of the total employment of the country, 20% of its GDP and 5.25% growth on average over ten years. For several years, we have seen the emergence of a solid green economy in the Cherifian kingdom: with the National Strategy for Sustainable Development launched in 2017 and the National Initiative for Human Development launched in 2005, the Ministry of Agriculture has makes the Cherifian kingdom a new heavyweight of the world food industry.

African Strategic Depth and European Cooperation

In the fisheries sector, thousands of kilometers of fish-rich coastline in Morocco is a veritable gold mine, threatened by overexploitation and capture by foreign players. But the “Blue Morocco Plan” strategy seems to have borne fruit. The country has been able to defend its interests in the region, particularly within the Ministerial Commission on Fisheries Cooperation between African States bordering the Atlantic Ocean (COMHAFAT).

Rabat and Brussels seem to have found common ground, especially since Brexit is an opportunity to set up a real common fisheries policy. The United Kingdom had been blocking progress for many years, and his departure from the EU was to facilitate progress with Morocco. Moreover, the agreements signed in 2018 on the fisheries sector and the agricultural sector between the European Union and the Kingdom of Morocco are the first encouraging elements of an ambitious cooperation policy. A policy that is already bearing fruit: the impact study on this fisheries agreement revealed that 75% of the inhabitants interviewed living in the southern provinces recognized that this agreement with the European authorities had considerably improved their living conditions and created thousands of jobs.

Building an integrated region

The reforms undertaken by Morocco in its agriculture and fishing make it not only an essential partner for Europeans: it is also a real pivot on which African development can count. We can thus imagine in the medium term that Morocco can join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This economic area, with a population of 300 million inhabitants spread over 15 states, with an area of ​​6 million square kilometers and a cumulative GDP of $ 630 billion, is the 21st largest economy in the world. A space that already accounts for 65% of Morocco’s investment, and which could become the 16th world economy if the Shereefian kingdom joined it.

Boosted by reformed and modernized agricultural and fisheries sectors, Morocco attracts European capital and draws all of West Africa in its wake. Keystone of an economy of the Mediterranean, Rabat could well become unavoidable in the region in the coming years.

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