With many African countries being hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Morocco has made a significant contribution to ensuring that its neighbours are equipped to address the crisis.
King Mohammed VI is providing medical aid to a number of fellow African countries to help them in this fight.
The country is providing around eight 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.
This aid will be shared between 15 African countries from all the sub regions of the continent, specifically Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mauritania, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad explained that that the aid package was a solidarity action, stemming from an Initiative launched by King Mohammed VI in April of this year.
"This initiative is an act of the heart for which His Majesty is accustomed by his legendary munificence and solidarity with the African people"
This Initiative was designed to provide a pragmatic and action-oriented approach to showing Morocco’s commitment to its fellow nations. It is designed to ensure that experience and best practice is shared as effectively as possible as a way of providing mutual support.
In addition, the initiative calls on African heads of State to establish an operational framework for the concerted management of the various phases of the pandemic.
A recent Ministry of Foreign Affairs communiqué explained that, “This is a pragmatic and action-oriented initiative that allows for the sharing of experiences and best practices to address the health, economic and social impact of the pandemic”.
In April 2020, the King spoke with the President of Côte d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, and the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, on what they could do to fight the spread of COVID-19 on the continent.
There will also be a videoconference between the Heads of State and Government of the countries concerned. The Senegalese President has praised the Initiative by the King, and affirmed his willingness to make this a success.
The reactions to the medical aid deliveries were universally positive. Prof Alexis Elira Dokekias, President of the Commission in charge within the committee for the fight against COVID-19 in Congo, said, "This is an extraordinary decision, an act of the heart for which His Majesty is accustomed by his legendary munificence and solidarity with the African people.
This assistance supports our States to strengthen the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Kingdom of Morocco has become, for we sub-Saharan Africans, a real factor in our emergence and development"
He continued, "The Kingdom of Morocco has become, for we sub-Saharan Africans, a real factor in our emergence and development. This is clear from the numerous investments, direct and indirect medical assistance, university and post-graduate training.
In addition, many of our medical specialists are trained in Morocco, where the welcome is friendly, and the prospects are good. We salute His Majesty’s kindness and generosity".
Meanwhile, Congolese Foreign Minister Jean Claude Gakosso, said, "What we have just seen is the most perfect illustration of the harmonious, friendly and sincere relationship that exists between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Congo.
It's a very old and very loving relationship. It's in misfortune that we really recognise true friends and Morocco gives us an ideal demonstration of what friendship is.” He conveyed the feeling of the people of Congo to His Majesty of “deep gratitude for this gift, which will be decisive in the fight we are waging in our country against the COVID-19 pandemic”
This is the latest in a series of initiatives initiated by King Mohammed in recent years. Shortly after his enthronement, he announced the cancellation of all external debt owed by African countries, In July 2019, Morocco joined with 51 other African nations in creating the African continental free trade zone.
It represents the country’s growing involvement in the continent’s economy. The country is now the leading investor in West Africa and is second only to the Republic of South Africa in overall continental African investment.
This is an example of the increasing solidarity on the African continent and a growing willingness to work together. Morocco will continue to demonstrate its commitment to taking the initiative whenever needed.