On 8 July 2020, the President of the Commission on Morocco’s new development model, His Excellency Chakib Benmoussa, granted audience to a delegation of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA Africa) led by its Secretary General, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, and including Mr. François Paul Yatta, Director of Programs, and Mr. Mohamed Cherkaoui, Head of Protocol and in charge of Relations with Administrations.
The meeting that was also attended by Mr. Mohamed EL Mahdi Gaouane, Director of the Cabinet of the President of the Commission and Ms. Ihssane Guennoun, Task Manager, took place at the Commission’s headquarters in Hay Ryad, Rabat.
The Secretary General of UCLG Africa first welcomed the clear-sightedness of His Majesty King Mohammed VI who felt the need to reflect on a new development model for Morocco before the COVID-19 pandemic imposes the obvious need for it all over the world. He then praised the effective way Morocco is managing the health crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and expressed the thanks of the community of mayors and heads of local authorities in Africa for the solidarity shown by the Kingdom of Morocco towards its sister countries in Africa through the sending of medical and protective equipment and medicines to these countries, at a time when everywhere else in the world the pandemic has created a reflex of selfishness.
Mr. Mbassi then recalled the important role that the Government of Morocco has played in the creation of UCLG Africa. In particular, he underlined the fact that since the organization’s headquarters were established in Rabat, Morocco, in 2008, UCLG Africa has continued to receive multifaceted support from the Moroccan Government and local authorities and their representative associations, all of which are members of the continental organization.
At its founding congress held in May 2005 in Tshwane, capital of the Republic of South Africa, the members of UCLG Africa defined the general objective of the continental organization of local and regional authorities as contributing to the unity of the continent and promoting its development from the bottom up. It is this orientation that guides the commitment and action of the 48 national associations and some 2,000 cities and territories across the continent regrouped within UCLG Africa.
This return to the territories or to the impulse of development from the territories is now a must for all countries wishing to improve the standard of living and the living conditions of their populations in a sustainable way.
This reflection has matured within UCLG Africa over successive Africities Summits, one of the most remarkable of which took place in Marrakesh in December 2009, under the leadership of His Excellency Chakib Benmoussa, then Minister of the Interior of the Kingdom of Morocco.