“It is our responsibility to make from Jubilee of Independence a privileged historical moment, and pause to assess the steps taken by our country during half a century, in terms of human development, highlighting successes, difficulties, and ambitions, and learning lessons from the choices made during this historical period, and the big turning points that marked it. Our goal is to consolidate clearly and confidently our future choices and directions, underlying, in all objectivity, the extraordinary efforts made to put Morocco on the path of building the modern State. Such is the best way to be faithful to the eternal memory of the architects of the homeland’s independence".
It was in these words that His Majesty King Mohammed VI inaugurated, in His Speech, on August 20th, 2003, a collective and participatory project of study, thinking and debate regarding the retrospective assessment of human development in Morocco since its independence and the vision of its prospects for the next twenty years. This project took the form of a report entitled "50 Years of Human Development in Morocco and prospects for 2025".
The main goal behind this project is to launch a broad public debate on policies to be implemented in the near and distant futures, in the light of the lessons learnt from successes and failures of the past. This offer to debate is framed by a threefold conviction:
- Our country’s destiny is in our hands. Our country is at the crossroad. Today, it has the means to embark resolutely on the path of a great national ambition, shared by all, and focalized on human development. To this end, the national community is under a fervent obligation to make coherent choices, speed up the pace and deepen the scope of reforms, and break with the practices and behaviors that have so far thwarted its development.
- The virtues of public debate are invaluable. In the management of public life, nothing substitutes these forums where ideas, concepts and analyses are all combined to serve a shared national project.
- Only the consolidated democratic practice can irreversibly set our country on the path of success. Undertaken sustainably, through the responsibility and vigilance of all, it is neither a luxury nor a utopia. Carried out in accordance with the principles of participation and scientific and editorial independence, the project involved more than one hundred national experts from universities, government departments and the civil society.
The central concept of this project, that of "human development" made it possible to take up a wide range of topics and questions, often interdependent and not easily accessible through unidisciplinary approaches. Thus, the use of this relatively new concept, still under fine-tuning, certainly enriched the work made in the report.
This work was conducted at a time when major reform projects were launched. The country was undergoing a historic period marked by many transitional processes: democratic and political, demographic and societal, economic and cultural. It was a time for deep and profound questions, appropriate for the shaping of great intentions, the renewal of the national project and the speed-up of the pace of human development in our country.
The report always emphasized that the human development dimensions are themselves largely determined, not only by political choices and stakes, but by the different internal and external contexts and junctures that have or will shape these choices. Reading our history and past in the light of today’s legal, ethical and conceptual references, without putting in perspective the analysis of the public policies by their different contexts or by the development doctrines that prevailed at the time of their formulation, could have resulted in a report that lacks equity and loyalty towards the actors of that era.
The Report on "50 Years of Human Development in Morocco and Prospects for 2025" provides a database and arguments to launch the debate, taking lessons from the country’s past experiences, and showing paths of thinking for the two coming decades. It is, therefore, to be considered as a public spirit contribution, driven by the patriotic spirit as well as the requirement of objectivity.
Its main message is to confirm that thanks to this contemplative reflection on the last half century, today's Morocco, in peace with itself and with its past, strengthened by its successes and the lessons of its assumed failures, upheld by its women and men, its youth and elders, is in a position to find, with confidence and determination, the path that leads to a high level human development.