Jouahri: “It is important to have inclusive economic integration of Africa”


The Wali of Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), Abdellatif Jouahri, underlined, Wednesday in Dakhla, the importance of inclusive economic integration of Africa to achieve the expected prosperity.

This economic integration should be mutually beneficial and should not be to the detriment of the most vulnerable countries and populations, indicated Mr. Jouahri at the opening of the 5th edition of the “International Days of Macroeconomics and Finance” (JIMF ), which continues until May 24 in Dakhla, under the theme “Economic integration in Africa: The path to a more prosperous future”.

African countries are well aware of the benefits of integration, he said, noting that numerous initiatives have been launched in this direction and have led in particular to the constitution of Regional Economic Communities.

In this wake, he recalled the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), noting that this agreement constitutes a glimmer of hope in view of its potential benefits. Indeed, although largely approximate, the various evaluations carried out on its impacts show substantial gains.

Mr. Jouahri also noted that simulations carried out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicate that the establishment of this zone, if accompanied by reforms facilitating trade, could increase the median of Africa’s trade with the rest of the world by 15% and with African countries by 53%, which would contribute to an increase in median GDP per capita of more than 10%.

He also considered that Africa has a long way to go, to the extent that it needs to develop its human capital to benefit from its demographic dividend, to fundamentally reform its economies to better leverage its wealth and to fill its huge infrastructure deficit.

This requires substantial resources in a context characterized by shrinking budgetary margins and tightening financing conditions, he recommended, noting that according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the unmet financing needs for infrastructure is between 68 billion and 108 billion dollars per year.

And added that in addition to financial resources, the successful implementation of such a reform agenda first requires an environment of political stability and security, which is unfortunately lacking today in certain regions of the continent. .

Africa nevertheless has enormous development potential, continued Mr. Jouahri, emphasizing that the continent’s primary wealth is none other than its demographics with a young and rapidly growing population.

He also noted that despite the difficult international context, Africa is called upon to emerge and find its place within the global scene, noting that the access of the African Union in 2023 to the status of permanent member of the within the G20 and the recent decision to allocate a third seat to the continent within the Board of Directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are only precursory signs of Africa’s inevitable rise towards the position which falls to him at the international level.

At the same time, the Wali of BAM indicated that the African continent has always occupied a central place in Morocco’s strategic orientations, indicating that HM King Mohammed VI “has often called for win-win co-development and launched major projects like the Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline which should contribute to the diversification of energy supply for many countries and its participation in guaranteeing food security on the continent, as well as the Atlantic Initiative which aims to facilitate commercial integration of several landlocked countries.

Public policies in terms of trade and investment generally devote a largely specific and favorable treatment to relations with the rest of the continent, thus facilitating the installation of numerous Moroccan groups in financial services, the mining sector, telecoms and real estate, among others, he noted.

In this line, Mr. Jouahri indicated that BAM, in accordance with the Royal vision, encouraged and supported the banking sector in the development of its external growth drivers in Africa.

Moroccan banks are today present in more than thirty countries on the continent where they carry out nearly 23% of their activity, he said.

“As a central bank, we maintain close relationships for sharing experiences and expertise with numerous regulators on the continent either bilaterally or within the framework of bodies such as the Association of African Central Banks, the Economic Commission for Africa or even the African Union,” he argued.

Initiated by BAM, the Research Laboratory in Innovation, Responsibilities and Sustainable Development (INREDD) of the Cadi Ayyad University of Marrakech and Bernoulli Center for Economics (BCE) of the University of Basel, in collaboration with the Regional Council of Dakhla- Oued Eddahab, this edition of JIMF is marked by the presentation of 18 research works related to the theme of the event carried out by researchers from 12 national and international universities.

These days are enhanced by the participation of several speakers including ambassadors from several Sahel countries, presidents of economic, social and environmental councils and local actors from several cities and regions of the continent, as well as presidents of renowned African universities. .

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