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Africa Day 2021: Promoting ‘Pan-African’ Arts, Culture, and Heritage

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RABAT, Morocco

Since Morocco joined the African Union in 2017, it has proved to be a valuable African partner economically, culturally, and politically.

Rabat – The African Union kicked off Africa Day 2021 under the theme “The AU Year of the Arts, Culture And Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.” Members of the African Union (AU) have worked towards building a stronger network of economic cooperation from the north to the south.

Today, celebrations around the world commemorated Africa Day 2021 and the AU seeks to promote a Pan-African renaissance which will be realized through Agenda 2063. 

The agenda prioritizes sustainable development, Pan-African economic cooperation, and the realization of a shared African culture. 

Morocco has maintained its status as an invaluable member of the African Union since its recent accession in 2017.

Agenda 2063

King Mohammed VI has announced a variety of Moroccan-led initiatives to help achieve the goals of the AU’s Agenda 2063.

Regarding sustainable development, Morocco has worked to become “one of the first productive development sectors, modernizing agriculture, promoting agricultural investments, good integration of productive chains, ensuring food security, boosting agricultural product exports, and valuing local products,” according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests.

As the Africa-wide agriculture sector struggles to find investors, members of the AU have lauded the Green Morocco Plan’s success in funding local farmers and promoting agricultural science to the next generation. 

n the topic of Pan-African unity and cooperation, Morocco has worked diligently to establish new relationships within the African continent while also cultivating relationships preceding its AU membership. 

In the past month, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita has met with African foreign ministers from a variety of countries such as Mauritania, Central African Republic (CAR), Nigeria, Gambia, Niger, Benin, Malawi, Zambia, and Egypt. 

The ministers renewed their support for Morocco’s autonomy plan in Western Sahara and many have consulates in the region such as Burundi, CAR, Senegal, Zambia, and Eswatini among many others.

The meetings sought to bolster economic cooperation between African countries. 

Morocco has been one of the greatest proponents of South-South cooperation. The plan focuses on the exchange of knowledge, skills, expertise, and resources across all sectors including tourism and land management.

“I never cease to cite Morocco as a reference, a country which receives 13 million tourists a year thanks to its political stability, its developed infrastructure, its dynamism and its good governance,” said the Kenyan Minister of Tourism and Wildlife Najib Belala in a statement on Morocco’s economic strategy in Africa. 

Morocco and Pan-Africanism

The idea of a shared, African culture is intertwined in Moroccan culture as Moroccan society is highly diverse. 

Morocco.com divides Moroccan society into two groups: Arab and Amazigh (Berber). However, the two groups are comprised of varied origins as Moroccans can trace their roots to the Middle East and across Africa. 

African culture exists all throughout Morocco in the form of music, food, dress, and history. 

Southern Morocco is notorious for the prevalence of Gnawa music. The africanesque music stems from the caravan slave trade of Africa in the 19th century and sub-Saharan culture that has remained an integral part of Moroccan culture in southern cities like Essaouira and other small towns across Morocco.

Morocco will continue to recognize its unique role in Africa as it aims to become the “Gateway to Africa” through other development plans such as the Dakhla Port project and the increasing of travel to international destinations by state-owned airline Royal Air Maroc.

Textiles and Clothing at the bazaar. The Turkish market.

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