Long before the pandemic, Morocco established a development model based on renewable energies and a sustainable vision

Renewable energy can play a key role in both South-South cooperation and Africa’s sustainable economic recovery, explains Mustapha Bakkoury
Mustapha Bakkoury, President of Masen, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy

By Mustapha Bakkoury

Mustapha Bakkoury is the President of Masen, the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy

09 Nov 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is having a particularly strong impact on the world’s most vulnerable countries.

Morocco, despite swift and exceptional management of the crisis, is not exempt from the macroeconomic repercussions of the outbreak, with indicators showing that economic growth is likely to be significantly lower than previously predicted.

Nevertheless, Morocco possesses major assets to help move the country out of the crisis.

Long before the pandemic, Morocco had established a development model based on renewable energies and a sustainable vision.

In 2009, with impetus from His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the country embarked on an energy transition, aimed at developing renewable energies, supporting energy efficiency and achieving a minimum 52 percent renewables energy mix by 2030.

Morocco is determined to adapt its development model to incorporate stronger social aspects and build a more inclusive, fairer economy; one that is more durable and resilient.

In His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s words, "Within the framework of unrestricted cooperation, we can, together, build the future". Morocco is confident that South-South cooperation can play a major role in countering the negative impact of the crisis in developing countries.

“Morocco's commitment to South-South Cooperation is illustrated by its actions with some 20 - mostly African - countries delivering capacity-building and technical assistance programmes helping develop renewable energy projects”

We are therefore advocating for a South-South cooperation model that can provide a sustainable future for countries facing similar challenges, particularly those with challenges in accessing energy.

Morocco's commitment to South-South Cooperation is illustrated by its actions with some 20 - mostly African - countries, delivering capacity-building and technical assistance programmes helping develop renewable energy projects.

The similar challenges faced by the countries of the South, both in terms of financing and socio-economic impact, make such experience and knowledge sharing essential.

Numerous international institutions have recognised the importance of supporting the development of South-South cooperation and replicating reference models in similar countries.

The African Development Bank has appointed me - as President and CEO of the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) - as Chair of the steering committee of the ‘Desert to Power’ initiative, which aims to generate 10 GW solar capacity across 11 Sahel region countries.

The Islamic Development Bank has also joined forces with Morocco in a strategic partnership to support African member countries to  enhance their renewable energy capacity.

Furthermore, the UN recently announced the launch of an international Coalition based on South-South cooperation, led by Morocco and aimed at accelerating access to sustainable energy in least developed and developing countries.

Lastly, the European Union now considers a trilateral EU-Morocco-Africa cooperation as an essential element of the Morocco-EU Green Deal currently being finalised.

The European Green Deal has also seen increased interest in Morocco’s expertise and its renewable potential.

As part of the Sustainable Electricity Trade (SET) Roadmap, Morocco, Germany, Spain, France and Portugal are looking to integrate their green electricity markets, with several projects for exporting electricity and ‘green molecules’ are under consideration for between the two shores of the Mediterranean.

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