Jonahhesburg – “Morocco is a country on the move, barely recognisable from the face it presented 15 years ago,” South-African newspaper ‘The Daily Maverick’ said.

“Morocco’s slum removal initiative Program National d’Action pour la Urban Fabric, launched in 2001, and the subsequent Ville’s Sans Bidonvilles Program (‘Cities without Slums’), launched in 2004, combined with an aggressive industrialisation and job creation strategy are dramatically changing the face of cities across the country,” the publication noted, adding that such initiatives have been underpinned by strong growth in the economy averaging 4.3 percent since 1999.

“For sub-Saharan Africa, where population numbers will double to two billion by 2040 and where 800-million will be added to its cities over this time, there should be much to ponder from Morocco’s experience,” the source said.

HM King Mohammed VI “embarked on widespread social and political reforms, freeing political prisoners, improving the position of women under the law, improving social conditions, and stimulating the economy,” the publication noted.

“The government has also incentivised the private sector to play its part by providing land and generous tax breaks. It has likewise encouraged home ownership,” the source said.

“There is a wider resonance at the very moment Morocco prepares to once more take up its seat at the African Union after a 34-year hiatus,” the South-African paper underlined.

“The Kingdom is the largest source of African investment in Africa after South Africa, with a presence in 25 countries in banking, 27 in insurance, and 10 in the telecom sector, and with growing other interests especially in construction, renewables and agro-industry,” the source said, adding that Morocco’s carrier Royal Air Maroc flies to 26 other African countries.

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