Samir Chaouki retraces 20 years of Moroccan diplomacy in Africa

“Mohammed VI, an African King: 20 years of Moroccan diplomacy in Africa (2000-2020)” is the title of a book by journalist Samir Chaouki, recently published by Orion editions. Witness to the evolution of this royal diplomacy, for having ensured the coverage of several visits made by King Mohammed VI to African countries, Samir Chaouki retraces the main lines of the Sovereign’s African policy which culminated in the return of Kingdom in the bosom of the African Union, January 30, 2017.

The 190-page book (medium format) is divided into four chapters: “Morocco and Africa, a story of love and loss of love”, “New reign, the touch of King Mohammed VI”, “A triumphal return , behind the scenes” and “A promising tomorrow”.

Throughout the chapters, the reader will be able to discover the ins and outs of the Sovereign’s far-sighted African strategy which has been expressed, over two decades, through a “soft power” with a strong social and humanist dominance.

Far from demagoguery, the author shows how Morocco, under the leadership of the King, has made room for pragmatism in its relations with Africa, by adopting a proximity approach and “win-win” partnerships to improve trade. commercial and economic and strengthen cultural ties with the countries of the continent.

According to the author, the Kingdom has bet on “a web of soft power” woven around four main axes, namely South-South economic cooperation based on the principle of win-win, a migration policy of tolerance and reception , a strong involvement in peacekeeping and the fight against terrorism in conflict zones and an all-out generosity with the support granted to the solidarity economy of several countries.

Thanks to the royal impetus, public companies and “national champions in service” have been able to intervene on major projects in Africa, recalls Chaouki, noting that this is how Al-Mada (ex-SNI), OCP, Morocco Telecom, Attijariwafa Bank, BMCE Bank of Africa, Banque Populaire and Addoha, among others, have embarked on the pursuit of the “African dream”, taking advantage of state support to access the continent’s markets. In terms of migration policy, Chaouki underlines that the Kingdom has set out to “redefine the fact of migration in a more positive way” through several approaches including the regularization of 70,000 migrants since 2014, the reception of the headquarters of the Observatory African Union on Migration and the appointment of the King as AU Leader on Migration.

Referring to UN peacekeeping operations, the writer cites some telling figures: 74,000 Moroccan soldiers engaged in 14 peacekeeping missions and 17 field hospitals in 14 countries, providing 650,000 medical services to local populations and refugees.

In addition to these aspects, the African policy of King Mohammed VI is also that of “solidarity with African countries”, points out the author, citing some concrete examples of this solidarity dimension which is available on different levels.

Thus, on the educational level, he mentions the granting of scholarships to African students and on the health level, he mentions the inauguration of the Mohammed VI Center for training in emergency medicine in Abidjan, as well as the opening of several hospitals in other African countries. On the spiritual level, he recalls the creation of the Mohammed VI Foundation of African Ulemas in 2015, to promote exchange between Moroccan Ulemas and their sub-Saharan counterparts.

Samir Chaouki also dwells at length behind the scenes, indiscretions and highlights of Morocco’s return to the AU, which was the high point of this active African diplomacy of the Sovereign. This part is embellished with photos and testimonies of several African Heads of State on the occasion of this historic moment. “Mohammed VI, an African King” is a meticulous and documented deciphering of 20 years of Moroccan diplomacy in Africa which have been those of openness and understanding of the aspirations, challenges and opportunities of the young continent.

By advocating openness and adopting realpolitik, the Sovereign embodied the break with the past and marked the beginning of a new era for both Morocco and Africa. Samir Chaouki has been a journalist for thirty years. During his career as a journalist and founding President of the Horizon Presse group, he became interested in the geopolitics of the African continent. It is in this context that he covered several royal visits to many African countries and lived behind the scenes and indiscretions there.

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