The day after the formation of the new cabinet, King Mohammed VI of Morocco gave a founding speech for the next 5 years on the occasion of the opening of the new legislative year and defined three structural priorities.
Mohammed VI declared that “this legislature begins at a time when Morocco is entering a new phase that requires the pooling of efforts around strategic priorities”.
The royal roadmap, outlined on Friday, October 8th now revolves around three main areas: the consolidation of national sovereignty by strengthening the security of “strategic needs and supplies,” the continued management of the pandemic crisis and economic recovery, and the implementation of the new development model (NMD) through the launch of structural projects.
National Sovereignty On Top of the Agenda
Within the framework of the three proposed axes, the Moroccan sovereign said: “We will emphasize first the necessary consolidation of the place occupied by Morocco and the imperative defense of its higher interests, particularly in the present situation which carries in its wake challenges, risks and threats”, referring to the regional environment in which Morocco evolves.
Emphasizing the imperative of safeguarding national production, industrial, food, medical, health, energy, Mohammed VI first addressed the issue of “national sovereignty”. He focused on the Moroccan experience in defending its assets and its independence in the face of the pandemic threat. “If many countries have experienced significant dysfunctions in the supply and distribution of basic necessities, Morocco has managed to manage its needs in this area and ensure a normal and sufficient supply of its markets,” said the Moroccan Head of State.
Faced with the pandemic threat in an international environment in perpetual turmoil, the King of Morocco announced the creation of “an integrated national mechanism for the strategic reserve of essential products, including food, health and energy and the continuous updating of national needs in this area. This highly strategic subject should therefore be an important part of the new government program.
An economic restart in progress
Mohammed VI has also focused on the management of the pandemic crisis and the pursuit of economic recovery, delivering an optimistic and reassuring vision. “The national economy is experiencing a significant improvement,” he said, affirming that Morocco will continue its development project, while accelerating the pace.
Far from any pessimism and away from a certain negativist rhetoric, the Moroccan King has an “optimistic and realistic” view on the economic situation of his country, which expects to record this year a high performance in the regional and continental scale, as evidenced by the forecast growth rate that should be above 5.5% in 2021.
The primary sector is also expected to record a remarkable rate of over 17%, “thanks to efforts to modernize the sector and the good results of the agricultural campaign,” he said. He added: “some sectors such as automotive, textiles, electronics and electrical sectors have experienced a significant increase in exports. As a result, the engines of the Moroccan economy are clearly recovering.
Another major achievement in a period of fluctuating global markets is that inflation remains under control at 1%. “A percentage below the high rates observed in some economies in the region,” he said. The State, for its part, “will continue this national effort,” the sovereign reiterated, particularly through public investment, support for businesses and the adoption of incentives in their favor.
Deployment of the NMD to prepare for the future
The last part of Mohammed VI’s speech relates to the operationalization of the development model and the launch of a new generation of integrated projects and reforms. The 11th NMD will therefore be “the starting point of this ambitious proactive dynamic embodying the collective intelligence of Moroccans.
More than a set of measures, it is a general framework for action. The new development model proposes quantified objectives, including the doubling of the gross domestic product per capita by 2035, a mastery of basic learning at the end of the primary cycle by more than 90% of students, an increase in the number of doctors per capita to reach WHO standards, the reduction to 20% of the share of informal employment, the expansion of the participation rate of women to 45%, against 22% in 2019, a rate of satisfaction of citizens towards the administration and public services of more than 80%.
To achieve this expected course, the Special Commission on the Development Model has proposed an implementation mechanism: “the National Pact for Development”. For the King of Morocco, this is an essential lever for the implementation of this model.
At the same time, the royal speech emphasized the need for greater coherence, complementarity and synergy between public policies and the monitoring of their implementation, by ordering a substantial overhaul of the High Commission for Planning (HCP). In addition to the implementation of the NMD, the stakes are high for the new Executive, which “must complete the major projects already launched,” said the sovereign, referring to the generalization of social protection, the overhaul and upgrading of the health system, the reform of companies and public institutions, and tax reform.