Morocco’s king receives report on New Development Model

The new development model advocates a vision that unites “a strong state with a strong society”, so that all forces are mobilised to create more opportunities for progress in the country.

Friday 28/05/2021
A file photo of Moroccan King Mohammed VI. (AFP)
A file photo of Moroccan King Mohammed VI. (AFP)

RABAT – Morocco’s King Mohammed VI received this week a long-awaited report on the New Development Model, on which the country relies to consolidate the societal project and create more opportunities for progress.

In the report’s findings presented during a ceremony chaired by the king at the Royal Palace in Fez, the Special Commission for the Development Model emphasised that  a human-centered approach to development carries “a national ambition and proposes a credible path for change that can be implemented on the ground.”

While receiving chairman of Morocco’s Special Commission for the Development Model (CSMD), Chakib Benmoussa, the king said the commission had fully respected the participatory approach for which he had called.

The long-awaited general report is the product of a broad polling of opinion that included consultations and discussions on the renewal of the Moroccan development model. King Mohammed called for a serious thought to be given to the report’s conclusions, in a way that served “the development of our country and the well-being of its citizens.”

“The publication of this report comes at an appropriate time and in an exceptional context, which is nationally characterised by the initiation of a deep collective assessment of the future of the national development model,” said Mohamadi El Yacoubi, head of the Morrocan tax authority.

“At the international level, this report comes at a time marked by intense economic competition and rigidity in compliance rules for production and quality. All of this comes within an environment affected by the development of digital technologies,” Yaakoubi added in a statement to The Arab Weekly.

The head of the tax authority explained that the report was driven by a “desire to define the broad lines for the renewal of the system or the national development model, through the adoption of collective thinking and a consultative approach, for an effective, competitive and more equitable system that serves development and accommodates global principles of good governance.”

On the political level, the commission’s report revealed that “despite the noticeable expansion of the government’s authority and powers under the constitution, successive government coalitions have been hit by recurrent tensions and political dynamics that do not allow for the convergence of actors around a collective vision for economic and social development in a way that places the citizen at the centre of attention and respects the spirit of the country’s constitution”.

The report continued:  “This situation contributed to the slowdown in the pace of reforms and the creation of a climate of mistrust within a context that was marked by sluggish economic growth and a deterioration in the quality of public services”.

To undertake its consultations, the commission carried out 70 hearings, 113 workshops, 35 citizen-listening sessions organised in different cities of the kingdom and visited 30 locations in Morocco.

Political parties, economic and social bodies, non-governmental organisations and think tanks, as well as all citizens from across the country contributed to the new development model.

On the social level, the report emphasised a decline in trust and a widening of disparities have caused social tensions, especially in small and medium-sized cities. Social media networks, which gained prominence, contributed to liberalising the debate and helped provide additional mechanisms to measure the economic and social situation of the country, the report added.

King Mohammed created the CSMD in December 2019. Headed by Benmoussa, the commission is consultative in nature and its mission, which has a limited lifespan, consists in establishing the contours of a new development model by means of a participatory and comprehensive approach.

In 2019 the king had said he wanted the CSMD  to address the issue of the development model and present ambitious ideas for the creation and redistribution of wealth. “These ideas were not addressed in the report,” said  Moroccan economist Idriss el-Feineh, “which has also overlooked the issue of minimum wage”.

He noted, the issue of minimum wage “remains a basic reference for development in all countries and a mechanism for the distribution of wealth, in a way that reflects a desire to improve the social conditions of an important part of the middle class in both urban and rural areas.”

Feineh also explained to The Arab Weekly that “the report did not refer to the problem of mismanagement and the networks that meddle with appointments and thus corrupt good governance, nor did the report address other fundamental problems, including wealth creation, redistribution, the role of political elites, the dilemma of democracy which has failed in allowing for the emergence of good leaders in our country, especially those who can make effective decisions with full responsibility and patriotism.”

Among the recommendations of the report is the central government’s keenness on integration and creative balance between adopted national policies and long-term goals on the one hand and the strengthening of local business on the other hand.

The local business should benefit from a form of governance that encourages experimentation, innovation and the emergence of pioneering success models that allow for change at the local level.

The new development model advocates a vision that unites “a strong state with a strong society”, so that all forces are mobilised to create more opportunities for progress in the country.