Morocco is at the heart of the challenges of demographic change

The world population passed the 8 billion mark on Tuesday, November 15, as announced by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, during the opening ceremony of the Summit on the implementation of COP 27 climate commitments in Egypt, an expansion that sounds the alarm of concern in a world haunted by the unequal distribution of population and wealth and by climate change. This day thus allowed Morocco to project itself into the future and to reflect on the measures necessary to anticipate any repercussions.

This demographic growth comes 11 years after the threshold of 7 billion was exceeded on October 31, 2011, it is estimated that the population will number around 9.7 billion by 2050. This is what attracted the attention of the High Commission for Planning (HCP), which recently organized, in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a meeting-debate on the theme “Demographic trajectories and challenges” focusing on the case of Morocco and on the policies and strategies that can be put in place to avoid socio-economic fallout and to anticipate future demographic trends.

Morocco is at the heart of this reality of the border between these two worlds with contrasting demographic and economic evolutions, and faces daily the difficulties of its management being itself both a source of emigration, for a long time a country of transit and today a country of residence for immigrants”said Ahmed Lahlimi Alami, High Commissioner for Planning during his introduction on the occasion of this day.

Europe, the greatest economic power in the world, is naturally one of the poles of attraction for immigration, exacerbated by the proximity of the countries of the South and by the multiplication of centers of geostrategic crises throughout the world, whereas it is expected to experience a population decline from 743 million today to nearly 703 million in 2050”he adds.

The official stressed that Morocco, as an integral part of Africa, continues its efforts in the fight for its development, adding that “despite its own economic problems, Morocco, the first African investor in Africa, plans to contribute to the development of African infrastructures where the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline is one of the flagship projects of this continent“.

Lahlimi Alami thus explained that “Africa remains, in terms of development, lagging behind other regions of the world, handicapped in particular by the low level of development of its infrastructures and a preponderance of its informal sector, particularly due to the low productivity of its agricultural sector“, adding that she”should see its population increase from nearly 1.17 to 2.11 billion in 2050. This demographic growth, which is accompanied by an increasingly large working-age population and which sees the one of the solutions for escaping unemployment and poverty, would exacerbate the pressure on the countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean as a place of obligatory passage towards Europe“.

The High Commissioner said that the HCP is engaged in a major program of surveys and work on international migration in Morocco, namely the integration of a module on migration in the General Censuses of Populations and Housing, the introduction, since 2017, of a specific module on immigration in the National Employment Survey, the survey on international migration for 2018-2019 in its various dimensions (emigration, immigration, return migration and emigration intentions of the non-migrant population).

Its commitment also includes the programs of the national survey on forced migration of 2021, the survey on the impact of Covid-19 on the socio-economic and psychological situation of refugees in Morocco of 2020, in partnership with the High -Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees and the harmonization of administrative statistics of international migration.

To conclude, Lahlimi Alami points out that “the problems and challenges posed by demography remain largely dependent on the ability of developing countries, particularly in Africa, to engage in appropriate development models capable of ensuring structural transformation that will make it possible to better exploit population growth for more of wealth creation and a better distribution of the fruits of development“.

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