15th OIC Summit:  Moroccan king urges attention on least developed African member countries

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The King of Morocco, His Majesty King Mohammed VI, has stressed the need to devote more attention and care to the least developed African Member Countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

King Mohammed made the call in a speech to the 15th OIC Summit Conference being held on May 4 and May 5, in Banjul, Republic of The Gambia.

The king, whose speech was delivered by the Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed Toufiq, said this was to help them rise to the various challenges affecting their development and progress.

“Given that the Kingdom of Morocco is itself an African nation, and considering my country’s close, longstanding human ties and age-old spiritual bonds with African sister countries.

“ I wish to insist on the need to devote more attention and care to the least developed OIC African Member Countries in order to help them rise to the various challenges affecting their development and progress,” said the Sovereign

He noted with concern that those countries were facing increasing threats to their energy and food security as well as to their economic growth.

He added that the situation was having a negative impact on their stability and is worsening their social and economic conditions.

Highlighting the importance of South-South cooperation, he recalled the launch of the Atlantic Initiative as a platform for African partnership.

The main goal of the platform include but not limited to strengthening cooperation and integration between the African countries bordering the Atlantic Ocean and thus promote peace, stability and shared prosperity in the region.

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“I have also announced the launching of an initiative at the international level to enable the countries of the Sahel to have access to the Atlantic Ocean,” adds His Majesty the King.

He noted that the Morocco-Nigeria Gas Pipeline project is rooted in the same spirit of solidarity, since it is a project designed to promote regional integration, a joint economic take-off and a genuine industrial dynamic in the Atlantic region.

The Sovereign also pointed out that this Islamic Summit is being held at a time when several regions in the Islamic world are still experiencing political and military tensions as well as challenges to their security.

He added that this situation was having adverse effects on people’s living conditions in a number of OIC Member States, especially in Africa.

“Our Organization and its specialized agencies are therefore called upon to strive doubly hard through their efforts and initiatives to assist these countries, in keeping with the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity among Muslims.

“Making sure they benefit from the development programs and plans endorsed by our summits and meetings,” he said.

He called on the Organisation’s members to shore up their ability to respond to these challenges and adapt, on a continuous basis, to the turmoil affecting the world economy due to the pressure on global supply chains resulting from wars and the threat to maritime shipping lanes.

The King said that meeting the challenges of sustainable, comprehensive human development and attaining economic well-being require exploring opportunities for complementarily and integration so as to achieve common benefits and implement the objectives under the eighteen priority areas of the next ten-year program of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.(NAN)

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Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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