RABAT, Morocco — Celebrating the 15th anniversary of King Mohammed VI’s rule, Morocco is at the forefront of North Africa in sustainable human development and democracy.
Morocco’s success encourages all developing nations to seek a similar course of action in structuring their institutions to include elements of democracy.
King Mohammed VI’s strategies have included many initiatives. His first move was to ensure inclusion of all parties and groups, as well as protection and enhancement of the status of women in Morocco. He also fought to preserve Morocco’s multicultural heritage and diversity of all faiths. He simplified laws governing civil society organizations and made more funding available for organizations.
In 2005, the National Initiative for Human Development, which provides funding for projects in marginalized communities, captured the king’s understanding of development as a comprehensive process including economic, cultural, political, financial and social factors.
King Mohammed VI’s dedication to encouraging peace, sustainable human development, stability and cooperation has been respected around the world. A group of former U.S. ambassadors wrote a letter to the king on the 15th anniversary honoring his work:
“As former U.S. Ambassadors to Morocco, we are keenly aware of your accomplishments over the past 15 years — creating steady liberalization, democratization and economic development for Morocco, and leading the country into a new era with bold social and economic reforms,” wrote Edouard M. Gabriel, Michael Ussery, Margaret D. Tutwiler, Frederick Vreeland, Joseph Verner Reed, Thomas Nassif, Samuel L. Kaplan and Marc Ginsberg.
The letter also emphasizes that Morocco has passed a new Constitution that guaranteed women’s rights, freedom of religion and separation of powers; held free and legitimate elections; investigated human rights abuses and compensated victims; and founded a human rights watch agency.
“Focusing on key sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing and services, the strategy has created more and better jobs for Moroccans and more than doubled agricultural output over these 15 years.”
They stressed that reforms have made Morocco a favorable environment for foreign investment as well as encouraged ties with its neighbors in Africa.
Morocco still faces some challenges ahead. They will need to enforce strict implementation of the initiatives. More than 40,000 organizations have been created since 2002, but the majority are not productive.
Literacy and capacity building will need to be made higher priorities, as well.
The 15th anniversary of sustainable human development in Morocco provides a moment to both commend successes and see what needs to be done from here on out.
In order to continue success, Morocco will have to produce large numbers of community leaders in order to foster more sustainable human development. It also means speeding up decentralization to transfer power to the people. This is especially important in the Western Sahara, a region vital to Morocco.
King Mohammed VI’s vision should be commended and respected around the world. But the implementation of his initiatives will need to be efficient and urgent to further better the lives of the Moroccan people and to serve as an example for other countries.
– Colleen Moore