Moubarack Lo: Morocco Can Become an “Emerging Country” Thanks to its Accelerating Economic Dynamism

Morocco is one of the main emerging economies in Africa that is experiencing an accelerating economic dynamism that can elevate it to the ranks of "emerging countries."

Moubarack Lo, researcher at the Policy Center for the New South in Rabat and President of the Emergence Institute, affirmed that Morocco is one of the main emerging economies in Africa that is experiencing an accelerating economic dynamism that can elevate it to the ranks of “emerging countries.”

In the Center’s podcast entitled “The Economic Emergence of African Countries Facing the Covid Pandemic,” Lo reviewed the situation in Africa and highlighted the health crisis’ impact on the ambition of African countries, which had already witnessed, before the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, a slowdown in growth during 2019 despite an overall decline in poverty rates all over the continent.

The researcher said, “If Africa had escaped the dire consequences of the pandemic at the human level, its repercussions on the economic fabric were massive,” noting that before the health crisis, the continent was “growing steadily”, so experts predicted that the 21st century will be Africa’s, like the 20th century for Asia, a perspective reinforced by the AU’s Agenda for 2063.

In this regard, Lo highlighted the risks of missing years of development progress in Africa, explaining that pre-health crisis predictions heralded the rise of about ten African countries within 10 years (2018-2028), but the health crisis slowed this process, while keeping these projections for only three countries; namely Morocco, South Africa and the Maurice Islands, which have managed to maintain their emerging dynamism.

The researcher also referred to the development of a “synthetic index of economic emergence” that classifies various countries, and includes a set of dimensions related to emergence, such as levels of economic dynamism, inclusiveness, structural transformations, and integration into global economy.

In this context, Lo stressed that the current bet lies in the countries’ ability to finance their recovery plans which sometimes exceed initial expectations, raising therefore questions on how these countries will be able, in light of difficult global and local conditions, to mobilize the largest number of resources they can to implement financing for recovery schemes.

On a final note, Lo pointed out that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represents a real opportunity for Africa, but the latter still remains dependent on industrialization, which requires huge investments in terms of human and technological resources, stressing the need to review medium-term expectations, adjust agendas, and develop long-term scenarios, with the aim of rejoining the right path towards recovery.

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