For the past two years, we have been constrained in celebrating our glorious Throne Day within the dire context of the global pandemic crisis of Covid-19.
The past two years have changed our habits but did not alter our core beliefs. Regardless, Morocco’s past, present and future are driven by the same identity, attached to the same conviction and carries the same ambition as it has done for centuries.
As we celebrate today, the 22nd Anniversary of the accession of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to the throne, we are, in effect, celebrating 22 years of a visionary path, one that has continually guided and led Morocco in its endeavours, its developments, and its choices for a better future.
Today’s celebration is the perfect reflection of our nation’s unity, which has always be driven by traditional commitments and long-standing solidarities.
Morocco is an ancient nation but one that engages its future, while honouring its past. The kingdom upholds its ancestral values no matter the circumstances. This year is no different. Despite all the challenges, our country has never given up or failed in its core commitments, which hare an integral part of its national DNA. Morocco has always moved forward with courage and serenity. And in more than one aspect, this year has been, for Morocco, a year of outspoken renewal, enhanced adaptation, and re-commitment to unwavering solidarity.
This renewal for the kingdom was not dictated by the crisis but rather by our visionary choices. Long before the emergence of the pandemic, Morocco, under the leadership of His Majesty the King, initiated a comprehensive and inclusive discussion about a new development model. The model was finalised a month ago, after years of development, as a global pact that interlocks the aspirations of our citizens and the requirements from our public policies. The project mobilises all Moroccans who work in unity to craft a future of shared prosperity and solidarity.
Managing this global health crisis has meant many sacrifices have had to be made, but these are aligned to commitment and empathy, so that we can make the right choices. In all the decisions taken by Morocco – the interests, well-being and protection of humans – has always taken precedence over all other considerations.
Morocco has never, and will never, waiver in its humanism nor deviate from its ancestral principles. It continues to uphold its core values, and remains steadfast in the face of the severity and difficulty of this virus, however relentless it is. Where some suggest Covid is a breaking force, Morocco prefers to see it as an opportunity to create new milestones that will accelerate change for the better. The generalisation of social protection to all Moroccans is one of the most articulated example of this change for the better.
This project was conceived against the backdrop of the pandemic, and was designed by His Majesty Mohammed VI. It is set to change the lives of millions of Moroccans in various ways, not least is that within the next five years health coverage, family allowances, retirement pensions and compensation for loss of jobs is to increase. This will manifest in far-reaching reform, indicating that Morocco is shifting towards a social state through a policy of redistribution of wealth for the benefit of the least fortunate.
In addition, Morocco continues to demonstrate strong commitments in the fight against the pandemic. The announcement of a timely and historic public-private partnership has set Morocco on the path of becoming a vaccine-producing country. This is part of a global investment of nearly $500 million (R7.4 billion). The Kingdom’s production capacity is estimated to be more than five-million vaccines a month in the near future, with even more promising growth prospects in the long term.
My steadfast commitment is to see the historic solidarity between Morocco and South Africa – as once praised by Nelson Mandela – as reflecting in the future of a bilateral relation of understanding, respect, and a partnership that honours our common past as well as the interdependence of our African destinies.