HM King Mohammed VI, accompanied by HRH Prince Moulay Rachid, chaired, on Saturday in Laayoune, the launch ceremony of the new development model in the southern provinces, an integrated development vision based on an objective analysis of the situation in these provinces.
A real revolution in terms of management and governance, this model, whose launch coincides with the celebration by the Moroccan people of the 40th anniversary of the Green March, will help lay the bases for an integrated policy promoting the Sahara as an economic hub and a link between Morocco and the African continent.
At his arrival at the Meshwar square where the ceremony is being held, the sovereign saluted the Moroccan flag while the national anthem was playing and reviewed a detachment of the Royal Guard which paid the honors.
HM the King was greeted by head of the government Abdelilah Benkirane, speaker of the house of representatives Rachid Talbi Alami, speaker of the house of advisors Hakim Benchamach, interior minister Mohamed Hassad, minister delegate for the interior Cherki Drais and chairman of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS) Khalihenna Ould Errachid.
The sovereign was also greeted by walis of the regions of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra, Guelmim-Oued Noun and Dakhla-Oued Eddahab, the president of the regional council of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra, the governors of the provinces of Tarfaya, Boujdour and Smara, the presidents of the provincial councils of Laayoune, Tarfaya, Boujdour and Smara, the presidents of the communal councils of Laayoune, El Marsa, Foum El Oued, Dchira and Boucraa, and the pacha of the city of Laayoune.
Afterwards, the monarch awarded royal wissams to several Moroccan and foreign figures on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Green March.
At the beginning of the ceremony, the ministers of interior and economy Mohamed Hassad and Mohamed Boussaid gave a presentation before HM the King concerning the broad lines of the new development model for the southern provinces.
Hassad underlined that this new model, which puts the citizen at the center of its priorities, is based on the principles of participation, inclusion, responsible governance and sustainability.
This new model will contribute to the establishment of a new development dynamic promoting the creation of jobs, encouraging private initiative and putting the region at the service of citizens, the interior minister said.
The Economy minister stressed that this new model, totaling 77 billion dirhams, seeks to create centers of competitiveness and relies on main pillars as economic development, social promotion, good governance, sustainability and reinforcement of connectivity.
Economically, it provides for the restructuring of the phosphate sector through the project "Phosboucraa for industrial development", the promotion of the agricultural and fisheries sector and the development of environment-friendly tourism, said Boussaid.
Socially, the new development model for the southern provinces lays down provisions for building the Laayoune University Hospital Center and a town with high-tech industrial facilities in Foum El Oued, and promoting the Hassani culture to make it a lever for local development.
As for the section of "sustainability and connectivity", the new model focuses on three main goals namely the protection of water and fisheries resources, the development of renewable energy, the preservation of diversity and natural systems, and the reinforcement of the southern provinces' connection with the Kingdom's provinces and prefectures as well as with the rest of the world.
President of the Laayoune-Sakia Al Hamra region Hamdi Ould Errachid presented the 2016-2021 development project for the Laayoune-Sakia Al Hamra which will involve the provinces of Laayoune, Smara, Boujdour and Tarfaya.
Hamdi Ould Errachid expressed, on his behalf and that of the region's populations, his loyalty and unwavering attachment to the Alawite Throne, as well as his pride over this royal visit.
The managing director of the Sherifian Phosphate Office Mustapha Terrab underlined that the Office intends, as part of the new development model for the southern provinces, to construct a new industrial complex for fertilizer production (16.8bln MAD) and build a town with high-tech industrial facilities in Foum El Oued (2 bln MAD) which will host the Mohammed VI multidisciplinary university of Laayoune, a high school of excellence and a capacity-building center.
Speaking on this occasion, chairwoman of employers' association CGEM Miriem Bensaleh-Cheqroun said that CGEM will back up the implementation of the new development model through the mobilization of investments and job creation in these provinces.
Worth 5.4 bln MAD, the CGEM initiative provides for carrying out 59 projects in the different sectors (energy, real estate, trade, services, transportation, education, health) which will generate 10,300 jobs on completion.
Equipment minister Aziz Rebbah presented the redevelopment project of the National road n1 between Tiznit and Dakhla (8.5 bln MAD). This project, which will benefit populations in the regions of Souss-Massa, Guelmim-Oued Noun, Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra and Dakhla-Oued Eddahab, will be carried out within six years and will concern around 1,055 km.
Agriculture minister Aziz Akhannouch said that two structuring projects will be implemented, as part of the new model, and will enable to give new momentum to agricultural economy in the region of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra.
The two projects concern the agricultural upgrading of 1,000 hectares in Boujdour (465 mln MAD) and the development of the solidarity-based agriculture program in the region of Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra (1.1 bln MAD).
Health minister El Houssaine El Ouardi noted that the university hospital center (CHU) which will be built in Laayoune (1.2 bln MAD) will offer 3rd generation services. With a capacity of 500 beds, the reference hospital center will include poles of excellence in the various specialties (mother-child, oncology, psychiatry..)
The sovereign chaired, afterwards, the signing ceremony of five agreements on the implementation of the new development model for the southern provinces.
Nearly 4,000 people attended this ceremony, including the head of government, the speakers of the two houses of parliament, HM the King's advisors, government members, elected members, dignitaries and chiefs of tribes of the southern provinces.
At the end of the ceremony, HM the King offered a luncheon in honor of the present personalities, chaired by HRH Prince Moulay Rachid.