For the fifth lecture in PIC’s ‘Ambassador Speaks’ series, we had the honour of hosting H. E. Mr. Mohamed Maliki, Ambassador of His Majesty the King of Morocco to India. HEon “Regional Emerging Challenges of Morocco and its Role, along with its partners, in the development and stability of Africa,” on 27th July. The event was chaired by Amb. Sudhir Devare, former Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, India. Mr. Abhay Vaidya, Associate Director, PIC welcomed everyone and introduced the speaker.

Amb. Maliki began by providing a brief background of Morocco’s current relations with its partners in Africa. He touched upon the effect of the pandemic on globalisation, as well as bilateral and multilateral relations, especially with regard to the challenges with vaccine availability and distribution across the globe. He noted that like most countries, Morocco had to conduct a mid-term review of the national budget and development projects that were adversely affected by the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. He spoke of the evolution of relations between Morocco and its partners in the Maghreb and Sahel regions of Africa in finding solutions to the many issues the regions faced – from public health resource sharing to combating human trafficking. He noted that migratory flows of Africans to Europe was an issue that Morocco and its partner nations in Africa were working at managing, by having open and peaceful discussions to arrive at solutions to immigration issues.

Amb. Maliki also described some of the infrastructure projects like gas pipelines and electric grids that were being carried out by Morocco along with other African countries. He noted that the use of political Islam by Iran to destabilise the region was an issue of great concern not only for Morocco and North African nations, but also for the European Union. Another issue he elaborated on was that of the Sahara and Sahel regions, where Islamic fundamentalism had spread faster than the rest of Africa. Amb. Maliki noted that on-going democratisation processes and inter-African integration were being strengthened through military cooperation, religious and humanitarian diplomacy. He concluded that India’s role in the strengthening of such cooperation and integration in Africa, in partnership with African nations like Morocco and its partners was invaluable.

The lecture was followed by a round of questions and answers.