Moroccan Southern Provinces, A Future Model of Sustainable Development
On november 6, 2012 in his speech to commemorate the 37th anniverssary of the Green March, King Mohammed presented guidelines that were the first phase in the process of elaborating the new economic and social development model for the Moroccan southern provinces. The model will be part of an extensive regionalization, will deal in-depth with all related matters and will be a reorientation for the the whole region region. Following that important speech, the Moroccan Environmental, Economic and Social Council had set up an ad hoc and multidisciplinary committee to elaborate the new economic and social development model for the southern provinces.
The President of the Council Chakib Benmoussa recalled that the model under elaboration, that will be finalized in October 2013, seeks to launch a system that boost economic, social, cultural and environmental development for the benefit of local populations in the southern provinces.
He also confirmed the Council’s determination to make this project an example of effectively involving concerned populations and consulting with locally elected officials, stakeholders and civil society.
Morocco’s southern provinces, which are witnessing a remarkable economic development, can become “one of the most dynamic and most interesting models of development not only in Morocco but in the whole region. The southern provinces are growing and a comprehensive development program, targeting long-term investments from a wide range of companies that are transforming this area.
Private companies play a central role in the strengthening many of the traditional and modern sectors. Due to the Spanish occupation that lasted until 1975, the southern provinces did not enjoy the same level of development as the northern regions of the kingdom.
The importance of the decentralization policy; an approach adopted at the national level but has a particular significance in the southern provinces with regard to their geographical distance from the cities of Rabat and Casablanca.
The southern provinces will become a hub for investment and a model of integrated regional development. Resources will be mobilized synergies for sustainable economic and social development in the region will be created.
In 2006, the southern provinces were among the top-ranking Moroccan regions in the Human Development Index of UNDP and in 2007, Laayoune was declared a slum-free city.
The southern provinces are now considered among the main contributors to the economic development of Morocco.
The Moroccan government has set ambitious targets to maximize investment revenues in the southern provinces in different sectors. Cultural characteristics of the south represent an economic advantage for its economic future and serve as catalyst for growth in all sectors.
Now the Moroccan Environmental, Economic and Social Council will certainly stand up to its commitments and will come up with a comprhensive and promising development plan that will give a new impetus to the Moroccan southern provinces and turn them into a model of development in the region.