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HM the King Underlines Need for More International Support and Cooperation to Enable African Countries to Mitigate Repercussions of Inflation
Marrakech - HM King Mohammed VI has underlined the pressing need for more international support and cooperation to enable African countries to mitigate the repercussions of the inflationary spiral affecting the global economy, and to enhance their resilience in the face of external shocks.
In a message to the Meeting of the African Caucus of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of African Countries members of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which kicked off Tuesday in Marrakech, the Sovereign recalled that at a time when the world was about to overcome the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global economy experienced unprecedented disruptions in supply chains, growing inflationary pressures and record increases in energy, food and raw material prices.
The impacts of this crisis on African countries have not been the same, depending on each country's resources and its needs for raw materials, especially in the energy and food sectors, the Monarch pointed out in this message, which was read out by Minister of Economy and Finance, Nadia Fettah Alaoui.
"In these difficult circumstances, our African continent has been one of the regions most affected by the situation, given the increasing threat to its energy and food security, the decline in the economic growth levels achieved and the worsening social conditions faced by many African countries," HM the King said, adding that the increase in financing needs in an environment characterized by the scarcity of concessional financing and stricter conditions for access to that financing are causing a sharp rise in debt service, which is further exacerbating the economic conditions prevailing in a large number of countries in the African continent.
The Sovereign, who noted that there is very little diversity in many African economies, which depend heavily on the export of raw materials, stressed that agriculture in these countries hinges on climatic fluctuations, and these countries are far from making the most of their tremendous demographic assets.
"Therefore, it is necessary today to pool efforts in order to address imbalances and shortcomings through the preparation of comprehensive development programs, with clear objectives and innovative financing mechanisms, in which the African citizen comes first," HM the King pointed out, adding that these programs should, in particular, create opportunities for the achievement of inter-African economic integration and make sure Africa is actively engaged in the digital transformation and the energy transition the world is witnessing today.
In this regard, the Sovereign underlined that the progress made in institutionalizing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), in spite of the challenges created by the current crisis, is further evidence of "our continent's ability to enhance its economic integration, based on a common vision."
"Operationalizing this free trade area as soon as possible will contribute to faster integration of African economies - among themselves as well as into global value chains - and to the consolidation of the South-South trade and economic cooperation we are yearning for," HM the King said, while calling, once again, "on our partners - at the bilateral as well as the multilateral levels - to support the efforts made by our countries to achieve development."
"This should be done within the framework of a win-win strategic partnership that provides African countries with sufficient resources to meet the challenge of achieving sustainable development while ensuring a safe, decent life for our peoples," the Monarch underlined.
The Sovereign recalled that South-South cooperation remains the best way to improve the economic conditions of African countries.
"In addition to having firm convictions in this regard, Morocco has made significant accomplishments by remaining committed to the achievement of large-scale projects, such as the gas pipeline project between Morocco and Nigeria, which is expected to contribute effectively to enhancing the energy security of a large number of African countries," HM the King pointed out.