Daily Archives: March 13, 2015

Boko Haram unrest: South Africa worry at Nigeria ‘mercenaries’ (Oexnews.com)

The South African executive is concerned its nationals could also be operating as mercenaries in Nigeria inside the struggle against the Boko Haram militant team of workers.

Nigerian executive spokesman Mike Omeri steered the BBC that foreigners were merely training troops in the use of new weapons.

Nigeria has in recent years bought helicopter gunships and tanks from South Africa and former Soviet Union countries.

But the South African government says the men may be fascinated about fighting.

Nigeria and its neighbours have now not too way back recaptured quite a lot of towns and villages from Boko Haram, that may be allied to Islamic State (IS).

Thousands of other folks have been killed, so much recurrently in north-eastern Nigeria, making an allowance for that it began its insurgency in 2009.

line

Analysis by the use of Will Ross, BBC News, Lagos:

It is hard to explain why there had to be six years of carnage in north-east Nigeria in advance than the very important equipment used to be as soon as bought and aggressive, decisive movement used to be as soon as taken against Boko Haram.

But now the Nigerian executive are taking all of the lend a hand they can get and have finished a couple of good fortune against the jihadists. Whether we identify them mercenaries or military trainers, since the Nigerian government would prefer, the hired men from South Africa and the former Soviet Union are deployed inside the theatre of warfare and a couple of are armed.

Some were serving to show the Nigerian troops on the way to use the in recent years were given military equipment in conjunction with helicopter gunships, tanks and armoured cars. But the South African executive suspect that may be cover for illegal mercenary artwork.

For the Nigerian government, the issue of mercenaries is a gentle one and gives to the already tricky means of explaining why it ever was essential for the neighbouring armies of Chad, Niger and Cameroon to put in inside of Nigeria.

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It is unlawful for South Africans to struggle in another country for private gain.

South Africa’s Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula suggested the BBC that anybody suspected of fighting in Nigeria can also be investigated by the use of South African police.

Nigeria’s army has gained additional equipment to have the same opinion fight Boko Haram

No serving individuals of South Africa’s safeguard pressure were in Nigeria, the minister brought.

The presence of South African mercenaries was first steered thru a South African newspaper in January, and speculation intensified after a photograph circulated on Twitter ultimate week showing a white man in a khaki T-shirt and body armour, next to a heavy-calibre device gun.

The area of the photograph was later referred to as Maiduguri in north-east Nigeria, on the subject of the fighting with Boko Haram.

Casualty confirmed

On Thursday, South African internet web sites steered that a mercenary from the country have been killed in an incident of delightful-fireside in Nigeria. Two anonymous belongings speaking to the French knowledge corporate AFP confirmed the incident.

The South African government has said the demise of no doubt considered one of its electorate in Nigeria, the  New York Times  tales.

“We are disturbed by the use of the dying of this one person,” defence spokeswoman Joy Peters knowledgeable the paper.

“Unfortunately, they went to Nigeria in their own personal capacity. We’d love to signify that this will serve as a warning to others who are taking into consideration sexy in such movements to in fact believe sparsely and believe the repercussions.”

Alongside South Africans, mercenaries from former Soviet Union global places are also steered to be taking part inside the fight.

In addition, not unusual soldiers from Chad, Niger and Cameroon have been operating with the Nigerian military to recapture towns and villages in north-east Nigeria that experience fallen under the regulate of the Islamist combatants.

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Boko Haram at a glance:

  • Founded in 2002, first of all enthusiastic about opposing Western-style coaching – Boko Haram way “Western coaching is forbidden” inside the Hausa language
  • Launched military operations in 2009 to create an Islamic state
  • Thousands killed, so much often in north-eastern Nigeria – has moreover attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja
  • Abducted a lot, in conjunction with a minimum of two hundred schoolgirls
  • Controls a variety of north-eastern towns
  • Launched attacks on neighbouring states

Related eBooks

More Than a Matter of Curiosity [press release]

Describing a paper as revolutionary might seem a bit extreme. However in the case of an avant-garde’ paper, Curious Matter, the claim is substantiated …
Already used by numerous international brands, from TV broadcasters through design magazines, to museum catalogues and luxury end-users, Curious Matter is the latest innovation from Arjowiggins Creative Papers’ Curious Collection.
It launched to designers as well as printers in South Africa this week at events hosted by Antalis South Africa (Pty) Limited in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
The extravagant creature created using Curious Matter by designer Gary Card.
Caroline Coughlan, Marketing Manager, Antalis South Africa (Pty) Limited, who did the presentation at the launches, says choosing paper has always been a creative act. “Today that rings even more true than before as paper competes with digital and digital communications. Therefore, paper has to generate a bigger impact.
Curious Matter, which took Arjowiggins spent eight years to create, and is a complementary part of the multi-sensory Curious Collection, is such a paper. “It is a new patented generation paper with unique characteristics, and it is these that give the paper a tactile experience unlike other paper because of its texture which is contradictory,” she explains.
This is because at first touch the paper is sandy, but at second touch it is silky. The third touch evokes thoughts of inspiration; of creating – exactly because it is a sensory touch experience.
Using starch for texture
To achieve this unusual texture of the paper, and in a different approach to sustainability, potato starch is used in the process to metamorphosis the paper. Using the same process that molecular gastronomy breaks down foods to reconstruct them in completely surprising forms, Arjowiggins used the spherical particles of raw starch – a by-product from the food industry – to form an arrestingly textured surface.
The names of the different papers in the collection are inspired by the type of potato used – Black Truffle, Adirondacks Blue, Desiree Red, Andina Grey, Ibizenca Sand, and Goya White. She also says that the advanced vivacity of colours of the paper is because pigments were used instead of dyes.
Designers are constantly searching for a unique look and impressive feel. “This paper will allow designers to create textural contrasts through the creative application of silk screening, embossing, debossing, die stamping and foil-blocking. The textured surface contrasts well with the smooth finish of an applied varnish or foil.”
Multi-purpose
It also provides differentiating effects at an accessible price and the paper does not require expensive print techniques. “Selecting the right colour and font is enough, as the paper will enhance even the most minimalist designs,” she explains. The paper can be used for every type of communication, from folders to business cards and invitations, and is said to be perfectly suited for offset and dry toner digital printing. It is claimed to give a sharp print performance and is suited for all finishing techniques.
Its versatility means that it fits with all different print techniques. It is easy to use as it prints very well with standard offset printing or on iGen4. This paper can be easily creased and folded, hot-stamped, varnished, laser-cut and laminated. It is even suitable for dry toner printing, compatible with Xerox iGen3.
“We know Curious Matter is popular with avant-gardist designers and brands, but we wanted to get that message across that it is suitable for any use and any environment from cosmetics, food, to luxury good.”
Designer Gary Card, a rising star of the London scene and fêted costume and set designer for Lady Gaga, launched the range overseas. He created an extravagant creature transformed from earth into an explosion of texture and colour by the hand of Man.

Royal Message to Crans Montana Forum – Full Text [document]

HM King Mohammed VI addressed, this Friday, a message to the annual meeting of Crans Montana Forum, held in the southern city of Dakhla on March 12-14.
Here follows the full text of the Royal message read out by Government Chief Abdelilah Benkirane:
Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to send this message to the current session of the Crans Montana Forum on Africa, which is being held under my high patronage, and which has brought together eminent international figures from various walks of life.
I wish you all a pleasant stay in Morocco, particularly in Dakhla, the pearl of Morocco’s southern region.
I congratulate you on your choice of theme for the Forum’s meeting.
Indeed, the new development model for the Sahara region adopted by Morocco aims to turn this region into a hub between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. In this respect, the city of Dakhla will be at the heart of the future African economic hub, which will be devoted to serving peace and stability in the sub-Saharan region.
This new development model is the result of an ambitious policy made possible by a new generation of institutional reforms based on advanced regionalization.
Indeed, the Kingdom of Morocco’s ambition is to showcase local specificities, to foster good governance at local level and to devise public policies at regional level that guarantee efficient state action as well as partnerships with local governments.
In this respect, the city of Dakhla is destined to become a platform for multi-form exchange relations between the Atlantic region, the Maghreb and the Sahel.
Therefore, the presence in Dakhla of participants from all walks of life – representing government, civil society, economic stakeholders… – coupled with the important themes to be discussed by the Forum confirm the pertinence of the choices we have made to make sure Africa embraces solidarity and looks resolutely to the future.
I see this as a tribute to the relentless action I have been spearheading in favor of our Continent. Indeed, Morocco has been working untiringly to help forge a modern, bold, entrepreneurial and open Africa; an African continent which is proud of its identity, which derives its vibrancy from its cultural heritage and which is capable of transcending outdated ideologies.
Therefore, I would like, today, to pay a warm tribute to Mr. Jean Paul Carteron, who has successfully drawn on his rich, wide-ranging experience to serve lofty causes through dialogue and sharing.
The reasoned, logical decision made by the eminent institution he represents to convene in the Moroccan Sahara will undoubtedly be a factor for success.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The theme “South-South cooperation and the development of Africa”, which you have selected for your conference, is both topical and highly pertinent. It reflects a shared ambition to place Africa at the heart of major global geopolitical concerns.
In this regard, the underlying concepts of South-South cooperation should integrate new 21st century perspectives, given the significant impacts of globalization as a multi-faceted phenomenon.
Consistent with the same line of thinking, we have been calling for efficient, solidarity-based cooperation that makes the most of the opportunities offered by triangular cooperation, at regional level as well as with the countries of the North. Needless to say, such cooperation must be rooted in mutual esteem, be based on balanced approaches and show that the interests of the various partners concerned are duly taken into account.
Having made South-South cooperation one of the pillars of its foreign policy, the Kingdom of Morocco has adopted a proactive policy to develop fruitful partnerships with its European, North American and Asian partners. This is precisely the multidimensional partnership model involving several actors that we need to pursue resolutely in order to achieve greater development in Africa.
Our continent bore the brunt of colonization and the Cold War. Sadly, it continues to grapple with the fallout to this day.
In Africa, the borders inherited from colonization often continue to be a major source of tension and conflict. It is up to us – Africans – to innovate in order to turn them into open spaces where fruitful exchange and interaction can flourish between African societies.
Africa is also a continent with many economic, political and cultural fault lines producing multi-faceted crises, at a time when Africa’s tremendous human and natural resources should, instead, be a powerful catalyst for regional integration and complementarity to overcome the consequences of the fragmentation Africa was subjected to during the colonial era, and which led to political and ethnic strife.
Furthermore, Africa is a continent with growing and unsettling security issues. Alarmingly, new transnational perils – including terrorism, organized crime, trafficking in drugs and human beings as well as religious extremism – are on the rise in many parts of our continent. These are major challenges which call for transnational responses and underscore the need for collective and concerted reflection on the security issue.
However, one of the reasons for hope, motivation and a firm belief in our common goals is that Africa today is the continent that has the most significant multi-dimensional assets to embody the future of the world.
– The African continent has had the fastest growing economy since 2000; over this same period of time, its trade with the rest of the world has increased by more than 200 per cent.
– By the year 2050, Africa will have a population of approximately 2 billion people, and our continent will have to harness this tremendous demographic asset properly – particularly African youth – in order to consolidate the continent’s standing in the global economy.
– Africa is the continent with the largest potential for natural resources; they should be used to foster sustainable human development for the benefit of African populations.
– Africa is also the continent in which democracy and good governance have been developing and reinforced day after day.
To this end, Africa should free itself from the shackles of the colonial past, look resolutely to the future, be more self-confident and believe in its own capabilities.
Africa needs to develop and support win-win partnerships.
It needs to bolster its share in the global wealth creation chain.
Africa needs to push forward regional economic integration and develop common areas for shared prosperity that allow for the free movement of goods and people.
Africa needs to invest massively in infrastructure and improve the living conditions of African citizens.
Africa must also meet tremendous energy needs to support its development agenda successfully. It has huge potential for renewable energy production which should be tapped to promote sustainable development.
In this respect, the idea of a project devoted to renewable energy in Africa is especially pertinent, given the vast wind and solar energy production opportunities available in African countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
Just as pertinent is the need to muster the levers of inter-African cooperation. One of the lessons of history is that economic, political and social interdependence is a prerequisite for progress. That is why we firmly believe in Morocco that isolated development will not succeed.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Morocco has made Africa one of the strategic priorities of its foreign policy. This choice is partly due to geography, since Morocco is part of Africa, but also to history, given its deep, time-honored bonds with Africa, which have shaped Morocco’s African culture and identity. This has naturally reinforced Morocco’s African calling as a hub for regional advancement, stability and cultural development.
The various visits I have paid to African countries attest to my firm desire to strengthen cooperation with sister African nations. Those visits have led to concrete projects and many cooperation agreements have been signed in different fields.
The Kingdom of Morocco, which has consistently rejected Afro-pessimism, advocates resolute, proactive and solidarity-based action to forge a “new Africa”. This is a most cherished wish, and we shall continue to try and pool efforts to fulfil it.
Morocco’s African policy is based on a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach designed to promote peace and stability, encourage sustainable human development and safeguard the cultural and spiritual identity of our populations, while respecting the universal values of human rights.
This policy derives its originality from the fact that state and institutional actors no longer have an exclusive monopoly over it. Quite the contrary, it is increasingly devised and conducted by private economic operators, with the involvement of civil society organizations.
Morocco’s action in this respect aims to support sister African nations in their efforts to build strong economies, through the transfer of know-how, human resource training, investment in key sectors of the economy and the pooling of resources.
Furthermore, and considering the importance of sub-regional groupings, Morocco has been calling for fresh momentum to be injected into the Arab Maghreb Union, which celebrated its 26th anniversary this year. The Kingdom of Morocco has also been a particularly active member of the CEN-SAD, which will hold its next summit in Morocco. Furthermore, my country has been developing closer relations with several other regional groupings in West and Central Africa.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We welcome the initiatives undertaken by your Forum to promote cooperation among African countries bordering the Atlantic. The setting up, on the sidelines of this meeting, of the “Atlantic Africa Club” reflects a shared desire to support development and regional integration in Africa and foster a more proactive policy regarding the Atlantic coast.
Indeed, for many years, this important dimension of Pan-African action has been neglected. Far from being an obstacle, the Atlantic Ocean is a key element conducive to development; it can be a bridge for fostering more openness, interaction and integration between African countries bordering the Atlantic.
Another initiative which deserves to be lauded is the “African Women’s Forum”, which will serve as a platform for exchange and debate among women participants. This will also be a fitting opportunity for African women to plead in favor of their full rights and to encourage their active contribution to the development of their respective countries. Indeed, our continent needs to pool all available resources and energies in order to achieve the desired objectives.
In this respect, I have always attached special importance to promoting the status of women and advocated greater participation of women in various political, economic, social and cultural spheres. Gender parity, which is enshrined in the Kingdom’s new Constitution, is a goal we are seeking to achieve.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before concluding, I wish to pay tribute to the Crans Montana Forum and its President, Jean-Paul Carteron, for devoting the theme of the Forum’s annual conference to Africa and Africans. I commend them on their dedicated, untiring efforts over more than three decades to promote closer cultural bonds and coexistence.
The Crans Montana Forum will always find in the Kingdom of Morocco the support needed to promote and expand its action to serve the just causes of peace and development.
I also wish to commend ISESCO and its Director General, His Excellency Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, for having actively contributed to the organization of this important event and for their commendable efforts to ensure its success.
I wish you a successful conference and a pleasant stay in your second home.
Thank you.
Wassalamou alaikoum warahmatoullahi wabarkatouh.

AU, UN Officials Meet in Ethiopia to Discuss Security Challenges in Africa

Officials from the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday held an annual meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa to discuss security challenges facing Africa.
The half-day meeting focuses on the situations in the Great Lakes Region, the Central African Republic, Mali and the Sahel, Libya, South Sudan, Somalia, Darfur, and issues related to combating the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Haile Menkerios, Special Representative of the UN Secretary- General, said poor governance is the root cause of insecurity on the continent.
“Military action should be integrated into feasible political processes and we should take steps to prevent crises from escalating into violence in the first place,” said Menkerios.
The UN official expressed disappointment with lack of progress in the South Sudan peace process, adding the UN will in the weeks ahead strengthen collective mediation efforts with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development in East Africa.
With regard to the move to counter Boko Haram, Menkerios said he is encouraged by the progress made by members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin, with AU and UN support, towards the formation of a multinational task force.
“However, a military response must be part of an overall regional multidimensional strategy that tackles the underlying causes of the insurgency,” he added.
The AUPSC and UNSC held their first consultative meeting in 2007 in Addis Ababa.

Royal Message to 25th Crans Montana Forum (Full Text) [document]

HM King Mohammed VI addressed, this Friday, a message to the 25th Crans Montana Forum, held in the southern city of Dakhla on March 12-14.
Here follows the full text of the Royal message read out by Government Chief Abdelilah Benkirane:
Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to send this message to the current session of the Crans Montana Forum on Africa, which is being held under my high patronage, and which has brought together eminent international figures from various walks of life.
I wish you all a pleasant stay in Morocco, particularly in Dakhla, the pearl of Morocco’s southern region.
I congratulate you on your choice of theme for the Forum’s meeting.
Indeed, the new development model for the Sahara region adopted by Morocco aims to turn this region into a hub between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. In this respect, the city of Dakhla will be at the heart of the future African economic hub, which will be devoted to serving peace and stability in the sub-Saharan region.
This new development model is the result of an ambitious policy made possible by a new generation of institutional reforms based on advanced regionalization.
Indeed, the Kingdom of Morocco’s ambition is to showcase local specificities, to foster good governance at local level and to devise public policies at regional level that guarantee efficient state action as well as partnerships with local governments.
In this respect, the city of Dakhla is destined to become a platform for multi-form exchange relations between the Atlantic region, the Maghreb and the Sahel.
Therefore, the presence in Dakhla of participants from all walks of life – representing government, civil society, economic stakeholders… – coupled with the important themes to be discussed by the Forum confirm the pertinence of the choices we have made to make sure Africa embraces solidarity and looks resolutely to the future.
I see this as a tribute to the relentless action I have been spearheading in favor of our Continent. Indeed, Morocco has been working untiringly to help forge a modern, bold, entrepreneurial and open Africa; an African continent which is proud of its identity, which derives its vibrancy from its cultural heritage and which is capable of transcending outdated ideologies.
Therefore, I would like, today, to pay a warm tribute to Mr. Jean Paul Carteron, who has successfully drawn on his rich, wide-ranging experience to serve lofty causes through dialogue and sharing.
The reasoned, logical decision made by the eminent institution he represents to convene in the Moroccan Sahara will undoubtedly be a factor for success.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The theme “South-South cooperation and the development of Africa”, which you have selected for your conference, is both topical and highly pertinent. It reflects a shared ambition to place Africa at the heart of major global geopolitical concerns.
In this regard, the underlying concepts of South-South cooperation should integrate new 21st century perspectives, given the significant impacts of globalization as a multi-faceted phenomenon.
Consistent with the same line of thinking, we have been calling for efficient, solidarity-based cooperation that makes the most of the opportunities offered by triangular cooperation, at regional level as well as with the countries of the North. Needless to say, such cooperation must be rooted in mutual esteem, be based on balanced approaches and show that the interests of the various partners concerned are duly taken into account.
Having made South-South cooperation one of the pillars of its foreign policy, the Kingdom of Morocco has adopted a proactive policy to develop fruitful partnerships with its European, North American and Asian partners. This is precisely the multidimensional partnership model involving several actors that we need to pursue resolutely in order to achieve greater development in Africa.
Our continent bore the brunt of colonization and the Cold War. Sadly, it continues to grapple with the fallout to this day.
In Africa, the borders inherited from colonization often continue to be a major source of tension and conflict. It is up to us – Africans – to innovate in order to turn them into open spaces where fruitful exchange and interaction can flourish between African societies.
Africa is also a continent with many economic, political and cultural fault lines producing multi-faceted crises, at a time when Africa’s tremendous human and natural resources should, instead, be a powerful catalyst for regional integration and complementarity to overcome the consequences of the fragmentation Africa was subjected to during the colonial era, and which led to political and ethnic strife.
Furthermore, Africa is a continent with growing and unsettling security issues. Alarmingly, new transnational perils – including terrorism, organized crime, trafficking in drugs and human beings as well as religious extremism – are on the rise in many parts of our continent. These are major challenges which call for transnational responses and underscore the need for collective and concerted reflection on the security issue.
However, one of the reasons for hope, motivation and a firm belief in our common goals is that Africa today is the continent that has the most significant multi-dimensional assets to embody the future of the world.
– The African continent has had the fastest growing economy since 2000; over this same period of time, its trade with the rest of the world has increased by more than 200 per cent.
– By the year 2050, Africa will have a population of approximately 2 billion people, and our continent will have to harness this tremendous demographic asset properly – particularly African youth – in order to consolidate the continent’s standing in the global economy.
– Africa is the continent with the largest potential for natural resources; they should be used to foster sustainable human development for the benefit of African populations.
– Africa is also the continent in which democracy and good governance have been developing and reinforced day after day.
To this end, Africa should free itself from the shackles of the colonial past, look resolutely to the future, be more self-confident and believe in its own capabilities.
Africa needs to develop and support win-win partnerships.
It needs to bolster its share in the global wealth creation chain.
Africa needs to push forward regional economic integration and develop common areas for shared prosperity that allow for the free movement of goods and people.
Africa needs to invest massively in infrastructure and improve the living conditions of African citizens.
Africa must also meet tremendous energy needs to support its development agenda successfully. It has huge potential for renewable energy production which should be tapped to promote sustainable development.
In this respect, the idea of a project devoted to renewable energy in Africa is especially pertinent, given the vast wind and solar energy production opportunities available in African countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
Just as pertinent is the need to muster the levers of inter-African cooperation. One of the lessons of history is that economic, political and social interdependence is a prerequisite for progress. That is why we firmly believe in Morocco that isolated development will not succeed.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Morocco has made Africa one of the strategic priorities of its foreign policy. This choice is partly due to geography, since Morocco is part of Africa, but also to history, given its deep, time-honored bonds with Africa, which have shaped Morocco’s African culture and identity. This has naturally reinforced Morocco’s African calling as a hub for regional advancement, stability and cultural development.
The various visits I have paid to African countries attest to my firm desire to strengthen cooperation with sister African nations. Those visits have led to concrete projects and many cooperation agreements have been signed in different fields.
The Kingdom of Morocco, which has consistently rejected Afro-pessimism, advocates resolute, proactive and solidarity-based action to forge a “new Africa”. This is a most cherished wish, and we shall continue to try and pool efforts to fulfil it.
Morocco’s African policy is based on a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive approach designed to promote peace and stability, encourage sustainable human development and safeguard the cultural and spiritual identity of our populations, while respecting the universal values of human rights.
This policy derives its originality from the fact that state and institutional actors no longer have an exclusive monopoly over it. Quite the contrary, it is increasingly devised and conducted by private economic operators, with the involvement of civil society organizations.
Morocco’s action in this respect aims to support sister African nations in their efforts to build strong economies, through the transfer of know-how, human resource training, investment in key sectors of the economy and the pooling of resources.
Furthermore, and considering the importance of sub-regional groupings, Morocco has been calling for fresh momentum to be injected into the Arab Maghreb Union, which celebrated its 26th anniversary this year. The Kingdom of Morocco has also been a particularly active member of the CEN-SAD, which will hold its next summit in Morocco. Furthermore, my country has been developing closer relations with several other regional groupings in West and Central Africa.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We welcome the initiatives undertaken by your Forum to promote cooperation among African countries bordering the Atlantic. The setting up, on the sidelines of this meeting, of the “Atlantic Africa Club” reflects a shared desire to support development and regional integration in Africa and foster a more proactive policy regarding the Atlantic coast.
Indeed, for many years, this important dimension of Pan-African action has been neglected. Far from being an obstacle, the Atlantic Ocean is a key element conducive to development; it can be a bridge for fostering more openness, interaction and integration between African countries bordering the Atlantic.
Another initiative which deserves to be lauded is the “African Women’s Forum”, which will serve as a platform for exchange and debate among women participants. This will also be a fitting opportunity for African women to plead in favor of their full rights and to encourage their active contribution to the development of their respective countries. Indeed, our continent needs to pool all available resources and energies in order to achieve the desired objectives.
In this respect, I have always attached special importance to promoting the status of women and advocated greater participation of women in various political, economic, social and cultural spheres. Gender parity, which is enshrined in the Kingdom’s new Constitution, is a goal we are seeking to achieve.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before concluding, I wish to pay tribute to the Crans Montana Forum and its President, Jean-Paul Carteron, for devoting the theme of the Forum’s annual conference to Africa and Africans. I commend them on their dedicated, untiring efforts over more than three decades to promote closer cultural bonds and coexistence.
The Crans Montana Forum will always find in the Kingdom of Morocco the support needed to promote and expand its action to serve the just causes of peace and development.
I also wish to commend ISESCO and its Director General, His Excellency Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, for having actively contributed to the organization of this important event and for their commendable efforts to ensure its success.
I wish you a successful conference and a pleasant stay in your second home.
Thank you.
Wassalamou alaikoum warahmatoullahi wabarkatouh.