As Moroccans prepare to breathe the twentieth candle of the accession of Mohammed VI to the throne, a symbolic anniversary, much has already been written on the record undeniably positive of these years of rule. The physiognomy of the country has radically changed. A social and economic dynamic was able to release the energies to make them more creative. Moroccan leadership in the concert of nations has been consolidated. And because Morocco participates actively and positively in the great international conversation, its star shines brightly.
Moroccans, because they have learned to tolerate their differences and overcome their antagonisms, have managed to create a peaceful and harmonious whole life unpublished in the region. Morocco has become this essential regional power in the strategic dialogue between two continents with planetary ambitions that are Europe and Africa.
How to analyze and understand the springs that allowed Morocco to achieve this performance and to avoid the whirlpools that cause disruptions and participate in creating this legendary Moroccan exception? Many elements of reflection and analysis can explain and rationalize this Moroccan particularism without pouring into dithyrambic self-satisfaction.
The first element is mainly the quality of the relationship between King Mohammed VI and the Moroccan people with its different strata. Since his accession to the throne in 1999 after the death of Hassan II, Mohammed VI has spontaneously embodied the hope of all the Moroccan people to evolve towards a democratic society, open and tolerant, but also dynamic in their desire to want to reform and live with your time. This bond of trust is all the stronger because Mohammd VI’s veneration for the person is at once spontaneous, sincere and not subject to any kind of constraint.
With Mohammed VI, Moroccans have been able to preserve the hope of a better world and a new, modern Morocco, in line with their aspirations for reform and change. Their adherence to the monarchy and to the person of Mohamed VI is neither a feigned posture nor an attitude of circumstance. It comes from a deep conviction that the Moroccan ruler is the undisputed symbol of their unity and stability.
Mohammed VI Style
At the end of a rather authoritative sequence, the young King Mohammed VI had been able to gently and skilfully provoke a real break with the past while maintaining the golds and appearances of continuity proper to a secular monarchy. The style first changed. No big Masses of communication. Everything is framed in major decisions that mark time and minds as the national initiative of human development with education as a national priority elevated to the rank of political doctrine. The main objectives of this initiative seem to constitute the societal choices of the new king: Invest in the Moroccan to enable him to become a producer of his own happiness, to leave the country of a mentality of assisted that paralyzes the energies and cumulates the frustrations . Morocco has an invaluable capital, the human.
The Mohammed VI style has shown great originality. Only strong acts speak. Royal communication was built around concrete projects. The King is in perpetual motion to create the great momentum that the country needs and to put all the levers back into action. His multiple appearances act as an accelerator of projects that gigantism on the one hand and a fussy bureaucracy on the other hand, can paralyze.
Crown Prince, Mohammed VI was already loved and cherished by the Moroccans who saw in him the hope of a peaceful and gentle transition to a better world in an uncertain and turbulent reality. Become King of Morocco, Mohammed VI reinforces this impression. During the exercise of power, Moroccans confirmed what they already felt about him. As much as his empathy for Moroccans in necessity and suffering was truly sincere, his desire to transform Moroccan society to meet the economic and political challenges of the new century was solid and uncompromising. The King had inscribed his action between his two parameters which resulted in the Moroccans giving him boundless admiration.
During these twenty years, Mohammed VI succeeded in reconciling Moroccans with their monarchy. His style, his way of communicating with strong and symbolic acts have profoundly reinforced the attachment of Moroccans to his person. This truth was so striking that even in the demonstrations of social anger and political frustration that enamelled the Moroccan street at the mercy of domestic social crises and regional political turmoil, the person of the King as a unifying icon was spared. What had the gift of consolidating this image of unifying, unifying symbol of Moroccans in their great diversity, referee above the fray.
In twenty years, King Mohammed VI did not only mark the Moroccan society by his avant-garde political projects intended to inject a new dynamic. He has also managed to mark the imagination of Moroccans and others by a new style that contrasts with the heavy and sometimes hung up protocol imposed by the monarchical exercise.
Opening of the political game
The second element that sheds new light on this Moroccan exception is this strategic decision to open the political game to allow a real logic of participation in the management of public affairs. This created the conditions for the arrival of a so-called “Islamist” party like the ruling PJD and the appointment of a prime minister like Abdelilah Benkirane, then another Saad Eddine El othmani. Even if this experience encounters some difficulties and causes some gnashing of teeth, it still contributes to nurture a democratic culture and install mechanisms of political alternation, the only guarantee of good democratic health. This unique experience has resulted in the birth of a vibrant civil society, a relevant free press and a distinguished political class. This strategic choice had the merit of removing the carpet under the feet of populists and demagogues who intended to take advantage of the uncertainties of modern times to advance their agendas.
The main work that the King has done since his accession to the throne is to build a democratic building. With a parliament, the reflection of the popular will, which works, representative parties of the currents that work the Moroccan society who play their scores and a government that governs.
Under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Believers, Morocco has intelligently avoided major political storms that have dangerously and sometimes mortally disturbed countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Syria or Libya. Which earned him an international distinction unpublished. Morocco is often cited as the example to follow for the smooth transitions on African and Muslim lands.
This performance is all the more commendable as it came as the country was still subject to the pressure of the Sahara conflict, which is fed by an obsessive and irrational blindness to its Algerian neighbor. This fictitious conflict continues to bleed its economy, undermine the chances of its take-off and create the conditions for regional security instability. Yet despite all its disabling factors, Morocco seems stronger and more determined than ever to meet the challenges of economic development and democratic experience.
This new Morocco, which has made a quiet break with an authoritarian and sclerotic past, is owed to Morocco by the strategic projects launched by King Mohammed VI. From the human development initiative that put the liberation of the Moroccan citizen from the throes of poverty and if necessary to the heart of the political project, through the establishment of the instance of equity and reconciliation that has helped to heal the wounds of Morocco and to reconcile them with their past to the imagination of a project of autonomy of the Moroccan Sahara in the framework of the process of advanced regionalization which allows to rustle up the great diplomatic and political blockages. Not to mention the institutionalization of the culture of human rights within the state apparatus, the new concept of authority, the new family code. So many choices have paved the way for Morocco to democracy and harmonious living together. These royal initiatives, which have acted as positive markers of Moroccan political life, have been generously developed and decoded.
Commander of the believers
On the religious level, Morocco shone by the speech of moderation of which it became in Europe as in Africa the door emblem. Embodying in the DNA of its political regime an Islam of moderation and the right environment, Morocco, carried by the Commandery of the believers has become a great factory of the strategies of fight against the radical discourses, with a know-how, an expertise internationally recognized. All nourished by an incontestable religious legitimacy embodied by the King of Morocco. The creation of an institute to train imams whose influence reaches both the African and European territories, has come to materialize this desire to fight against radicalism.
For an Africa whose part of youth disoriented by the frustrations of globalization could be tempted by the melodious but misleading sirens of radical discourse, a Europe that perceives the Islamic posture as a threat to its beliefs and identity, Morocco aspires to play a role of conceptual moderation that extinguishes the flames of radicalism and rupture.
Parallel to a mastery of the religious discourse and the mechanisms of its manufacture and its diffusion, the Morocco of Mohammed VI also shone in a field become the big security nightmare of the whole planet: the fight against terrorism. With unquestionable expertise, an unshakable originality, Moroccan security services have shown a know-how that avoided the world of monstrous dramas and thwart deadly attacks. In this area, the expertise of Moroccans has become a label of quality.
Mohammed VI has all the merits of having managed the country in the calm, the serenity and an undeniable political intelligence that during these twenty years, Morocco was cornered, on a strategic and geographical level, by three formidable antagonisms. That of the North where Spain was drying, competition compels, to block the trade of Morocco with the juicy European market. And that of the East where the Algerian neighbor, still worked by a pathological and inexplicable Moroccan obsession, unfolded its permanent ability of nuisance. Or in the south to the Sahel, where many terrorist groups were active, threatening the stability of the region.
In response to these pressures, Mohammed VI transformed Morocco into a real regional player and a must for all those who want to invest in the African continent. His African tours leave in mind his memorable influence on this continent. His popularity in the Arab world is skyrocketing. His relationship with the great powers, Europe and America, makes him an essential interlocutor.
In fact, projects as gigantic as they are original have made the star of Morocco shine brightly. First there was the launch of Tangier Med port, the second part of which has just been inaugurated, propelling Morocco to the rank of Mediterranean actor. The port of Tangier Med is one of the maritime jewels of all the African continent. Due to its strategic position and its immense capabilities, it will play a structuring role throughout the global trade distribution chain.
Then was the launch of the first high-speed train (LGV Al Borak) on the African continent connecting Tangier to Casablanca in record time. This structuring project is the fruit of an important economic and political collaboration between Paris and Rabat, between the North shore of the Mediterranean and its South shore. Morocco has shown its ability to put its action in gigantic projects capable of creating other destinies and to put large technology at the service of its development. Morocco, the first Arab and African country whose citizens will become acquainted with high-speed technology, is also the source of a particular distinction.
The third image that has boosted the Moroccan symbolic capital is the launch by the Arianespace company of a Moroccan observation satellite Mohammed VI-B. With access to satellite imagery, Morocco enters the very closed club of countries that will domesticate the rich information provided by a spatial eye and put them at the service of its territory to develop its resources and protect its wealth. He will join in space his binomial Satellite MOHAMMED VI – A, launched by Arianespace on November 7, 2017. This Moroccan space adventure has brilliantly shine the image and reputation of the country. It consolidates its credibility and gives it new ways to control its evolution.
These policies have been driven by the most intelligent diplomacy. Moreover, there are other words that can describe the diplomatic choices of Mohammed VI since his accession to the throne 20 years ago. Visionaries, flamboyant, effective, realistic, uncompromising, voluntary, committed … so many postures that have given Moroccan diplomacy a consistent line of conduct and which have come to bear fruit in the field of achievements and the naked image of Morocco in the world. The turning point began with the revelation of a passion for Africa. Morocco has found its natural roots, contours of its geographical and strategic depth. This continued with the development of a strong alliance with the Arab countries, including those of a powerful and compelling agglomeration of the Gulf Cooperation Council. This has been consolidated by establishing a realistic, mutually beneficial relationship between the major powers of the globe, the United States, Russia and China. This was achieved through the development of a frank and profitable dialogue with the European Union, whose relationship with France, the former colonial power, remains the main but not the only keystone. Lastly, this resulted in an uncompromising intransigence with the Algerian neighborhood which, despite its bellicose hints, was largely contained in its aggressiveness.
Today, over the years and political and economic projects that shape the new Morocco, Mohammed VI has managed to establish with the Moroccans a link of extreme power based on adherence to his projects and respect for his person . In their relations with their King, Moroccans no longer feel this notion of constraint or obligation. In twenty years of reign, Morocco has become a country where life is good, where it is appropriate to invest and launch business. An island of stability where political detention has virtually disappeared, where the press has unprecedented margins of freedom, where human rights are respected and supervised. All these objective factors that make Mohammed VI become a true Moroccan pride.