FT/African immigration, a royal strategic priority

The migratory issue is a strategic priority for the Kingdom, which takes a very particular interest in this subject. Morocco, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI bearer of a vision for Africa in this area, Since 2014, it has been carrying out a voluntarist and humane migration policy which has resulted in the launch, initially, of the integration phase for people in an irregular situation.

Internationally acclaimed, it concerned nearly 25,000 people and, in addition to the facilities granted to immigrants to access healthcare, training and the job market, provided considerable support for the education of more than 7,000 children of migrants and refugees.

Morocco as a land of welcome, tolerance and sharing, had allowed, in the momentum, the regularization of the situation of nearly 25,000 additional migrants. The Sovereign, by committing himself in this way, appealed to the sense of dignity and responsibility on both sides. In addition, he invited the countries of the world to adapt to the new conditions of international migration because they constitute a factor of economic dynamism which also benefits the host countries.

The sovereign had insisted during the 29th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), on the need to change our perceptions of migration, to approach it not as a constraint or a threat, but as a positive force “.

Six months later, he presented the outline of the “African Agenda for Migration», a roadmap that is mainly based on sub-regional coordination, a continental perspective and international partnership. Since then, and many successful and recognized initiatives and experiences afterwards, King Mohammed VI, determined to put the Kingdom’s expertise in this area at the service of Africa, had submitted a report to the 35th Ordinary Summit of the AU, on the state of progress of the establishment of the African Observatory of Migrations in Morocco.

Indeed, the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the AU had signed, on December 10, 2018, in Marrakech, the Headquarters Agreement on the establishment of the headquarters of the African Observatory on Migrations, born precisely from the Vision that King Mohammed VI brings migration to Africa.

The Headquarters Agreement established the legal framework on the basis of which the Observatory is established and exercises its functions and activities in Morocco. The Kingdom has respected all the commitments contained in this agreement, in particular by providing the means necessary for the effective start of the activities of the African Observatory on Migrations. Its Statutes having been adopted, during the 33rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the AU in February 2020. Since then, the Kingdom has spared no effort to create the conditions necessary for the appropriate operationalization of the Observatory. Based on these legal foundations and in compliance with these institutional decisions, the process culminated with the official inauguration of the African Migration Observatory in Rabat, on December 18, 2020, symbolically coinciding with International Migrants Day.

African Observatory on Migration: Nasser Bourita presents the Sovereign report to the AU
Addis Ababa Nasser Bourita presenting the report of the African Observatory on Migration

In the Royal Report presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Nasser Bourita, who represented the Sovereign at the 35th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, King Mohammed VI declared : “ Our proposal has made its institutional way within the AU: During the 31st Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held in Nouakchott, on 01 and 02 July 2018, the African Observatory on Migrations was established as a new Organ of the African Union by Assembly Decision 695. The Conference endorsed decision 771 of the Peace and Security Council, during which it was agreed to set up the Observatory following Our proposal. Similarly, Decision 782 of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, dated June 27, 2019, requested the African Union Commission – to accelerate the creation of the Observatory of Migrations in Morocco”.

The Sovereign also noted that “This inauguration is one of the many concrete materializations of Our mandate as Leader of the African Union on the migration issue. It has a triple dimension for Morocco, for Africa and for cooperation between Morocco and Africa..

After its return to the African family, Morocco immediately took charge of hosting an institution of the African Union and thus fulfilled the royal promise. ” As soon as the Kingdom sits effectively, and it can make its contribution to the agenda of activities, its return will contribute to uniting and moving forward, ” had pointed out the King.

This is what the Observatory is working on, as an institution of the African Union articulated around a triple function of understanding, anticipation and action. It serves as a means of knowledge of the migratory phenomenon, aid in the design of informed migratory policies, and an instrument of coordination and networking, noted in Addis Ababa, Nasser Bourita. It goes without saying that with the initiatives of King Mohammed VI, Africa is becoming the forerunner of the new migratory governance desired by the Marrakech Pact and is positioning itself as a central player in its implementation.

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