MFA Nasser Bourita: African Diaspora, Considerable Contribution to National Economies of the Continent

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MFA Nasser Bourita: African Diaspora, Considerable Contribution to National Economies of the Continent
The African diaspora is a considerable contribution to the national economies of the continent, stressed on June 10, 2021, minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita.

"The African diaspora is also a considerable contribution to African national economies. It is the agent of an economic mission with a dual purpose: investment and co-development," said MFA Bourita at a virtual meeting of consultation and exchange to prepare the establishment of the High Committee of the decade of African roots and diasporas.

The diaspora is one of the first sources of funding for the continent, if not the first, he said noting that remittances from the diaspora represent more than three times the levels of official development assistance and foreign direct investment to sub-Saharan Africa.

These transfers have also beaten predictions by being remarkably resilient to the economic effects of the pandemic with, in general, a smaller than expected decline in Africa, he added, noting that these transfers have even increased in 2020 in many countries.

"With its 150 million souls in the world, the African diaspora is primarily an opportunity for the continent. It is cemented around a sense of cultural and human belonging and brings an addition to the African identity, it shines in the societies where it evolves, "said the minister.

It is, therefore, a bridge with other continents and cultures, so it is called the "6th sub-region" of the continent: a region where the "territory of life" joined the "territory of origin", said Bourita noting that African migrants are often considered vulnerable people, victims of discrimination of all kinds.

However, Bourita said that these difficulties have not prevented the multiplication of "success stories" of African figures who, throughout the world, have imposed themselves in different areas, including the economy, politics, science and culture.

But, if its contribution is essential, Bourita said that the diaspora also expresses the desire to be accompanied. However, Africa has much to do in this regard since only 10% of remittances are invested in projects or savings products in Africa, he stressed.

Beyond the financial aspect, "we have the responsibility to create a framework conducive to a return of skills and a better redistribution to the territory of origin," he said, calling for increased visibility to this diaspora by integrating it politically, administratively, and culturally. "This is the meaning of our commitment in Morocco," he said.

Morocco has more than 5 million citizens residing abroad, present in 100 countries on five continents and for whom their link with the motherland has never weakened, he said, highlighting the high concern of His Majesty King Mohammed VI for the Moroccan community abroad considered as "a major asset for the new Morocco, in the vanguard of players".

MFA Bourita expressed his satisfaction with the convergence of Togo's initiative with the enlightened vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. This Royal Vision is faithfully carried by the African Agenda for Migration, presented by the Sovereign at the 30th Summit of the African Union (AU), in His capacity as Africa's Leader for Migration, he recalled, noting that the issue of African diasporas is a fundamental element of the migration-development nexus which is at the heart of this Agenda.

In this vein, he noted that Morocco has ensured that the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, adopted in Marrakech in 2018, duly takes into account the important contribution of diasporas in the development of both countries of origin and destination.

Indeed, the Marrakech Pact has established, for the first time, a methodology for qualitative cooperation between countries of origin and destination, for a responsible and coordinated migration governance, he noted.

The coherence between the continental and global positions of Morocco, stems from a constant policy of the Kingdom in this area which is reflected in two fundamental national strategies, both in convergence with the spirit of the Togo initiative, he stressed.

-A National Strategy for Immigration and Asylum, which reinforces the objectives of economic, social, cultural and political integration of African migrants in Morocco and a National Strategy for Moroccans Residing Abroad, which further consolidates the family and human ties of Morocco with Moroccans around the world, said MFA Bourita.

These two strategies are carried by institutions dedicated to meeting the expectations of Moroccans around the world, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, whose mandate has been expanded and refocused on Moroccans living abroad as well as the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad which is a constitutional body, he added.

Also, the strategic interest that the Kingdom gives to the Moroccans of the World is illustrated, again, by the importance given to them in the report on the New Development Model, which was recently submitted to His Majesty the King and in which they are considered a real lever of development, and whose potential remains largely untapped, said MFA Bourita.

Building on its strong experience and this spirit of sharing and emulation, Morocco expresses, here, its wish to be part of the High Committee that will be established at the end of this meeting, said the minister, expressing the hope of the Kingdom to actively join and contribute to initiate projects and concrete actions, to promote the role of people of African roots and the African diaspora in the development of our continent.

As part of this exchange of views on the work of the High Committee, the minister shared some elements to feed the roadmap of Morocco to make our diasporas powerful factors of development.

"We must, in this regard, support a significant reduction in transaction costs related to remittances, a considerable loss of revenue," he said, adding that these costs must be reduced to 3%, to meet the Aspiration 2 of the AU Agenda 2063 and achieve Goal 10 of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

It is also necessary to share the "success stories" that help channel diaspora financial flows into the formal economy, to be forward-looking and to call on expertise to develop innovative models of financial involvement as well as to ensure that we share our experiences on "Repats", those people from the diaspora or of African descent who wish to make their return project a reality.

"We must also encourage and support the initiatives of the diaspora to constitute forces of proposal capable of carrying the voice of Africa in the host countries, but also within the UN bodies as well as encourage each country to develop a system of mapping its skills abroad, to optimize involvement in development," he noted, stressing the willingness of Morocco to share its experience of more than a decade with the brotherly African countries.

 

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