In a brotherly act of solidarity, King Mohammed VI of Morocco has given instructions for the delivery of medical aid to several African countries. This aid aims at providing preventive medical equipment to assist Morocco’s African neighbours in their efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a communiqué from the minister of foreign affairs, the aid consists of nearly 8 million masks, 900,000 visors, 600,000 floats, 60,000 gowns, 30,000 litres of hydroalcoholic gel, as well as 75,000 boxes of chloroquine and 15,000 boxes of Azithromycin.
The aid will benefit 15 African countries from all the subregions of the continent, namely: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia.
This action of solidarity is part of the implementation of an African Initiative launched by the King of Morocco on 13 April 2020, as a pragmatic and action-oriented approach, aimed at African neighbouring countries, enabling them to share experiences and good practices. It aims to establish an operational framework to support their efforts in the different phases of pandemic management.
All of the protective products and equipment, which make up the medical aid being sent to neighbouring African countries, are manufactured in Morocco by Moroccan companies and comply with World Health Organization standards. The first two countries to receive this aid yesterday afternoon (Sunday 14 June) were Mauritania and Niger.
King Mohammed VI has launched this African Initiative to help African leaders to fight the coronavirus pandemic in a joint and coordinated manner. WHO forecasts for Africa predict a bleak future if they do not act quickly and decisively.
The Moroccan sovereign’s initiative calls for the establishment by African heads of State of an operational framework for the concerted management of the various phases of the pandemic. According to a statement by the Royal Cabinet, the Moroccan head of state held telephone conversations in April with the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, and the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, concerning the fight against the spread of COVID-19 on the continent.
On his personal Twitter account, Senegalese President Macky Sall wrote: “I thank His Majesty for this welcome initiative, and express my willingness to work towards the success of the process, which will soon be the subject of a videoconference between the Heads of State and Government of the countries concerned”.
Numerous initiatives of continental scope have been led by Mohammed VI in recent years. The main milestone of Mohammed VI “the African” was the return to the African Union of Morocco, after 34 years of absence. In July last year, Morocco, along with 51 other African countries, also joined the African continental free trade zone.
Morocco’s involvement in the continent’s economy is growing. Morocco is the first and largest investor in the region of West Africa, and the second African investor in the continent. Almost two thirds of Moroccan foreign direct investment goes to Africa.
In all his speeches on Africa, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, has always called for Africa to be seen as a continent of opportunities and not risks, to break down the stereotypes which picture the African market as riskier than others, and to strengthen the potential for inter-continental and intra-continental cooperation. Today, Africa and its development are a priority, and at the centre of Moroccan foreign policy.