In his welcome address, the ADF Chairperson, Marc Gbaffou emphasizes on the fact that the historical role played by the Premier of Gauteng, Honourable David Makhura in the Gauteng Provincial Government is unique and shall be spread across the continent. According to Marc Gbaffou, this year commemoration is a “historical coincidence”. In fact, the “ADF has been fighting for 10 years to make sure things happen on behalf of migrants and the diaspora community in South Africa. Now, the country of Nelson Mandela and Cyril Ramaphoza is taking very prominent roles in international bodies. That is what makes this a special and important time. For the ADF Chairperson, “this year celebration is very important as it is dedicated to our hero, our world icon, Nelson Mandela: “the year of Nelson Mandela, building a better Africa and a better world”.
The Kingdom of Morocco presence on the African scene
A view shared by the Moroccan Embassy in South Africa Charge d’Affaires, Mr Abdelkader Naji, “as we celebrate Africa Day we must remember our forefathers who lead the fight of the liberation of the African nations from colonialism and then, worked to reunite it on the regional or continental level’’.
Thus, “we recalled King Mohammed V, Hassan II, Kwame Nkrumah, Abdel Nasser and others…” As we ought to our forefathers the creation of the framework that united the African countries aiming:
to liberate the continent from colonialism. Elimination of economic underdevelopment. Consolidation of African solidarity. To elevates the continent to the status it deserves in international decision-making.
Then this institution was reformed and named the African Union with new objectives and principles aiming to strengthen the democratic institutions; to respect the human rights and to combat terrorism as one of the universally accepted principles.
According to the Kingdom of Morocco representative in South Africa, “these objectives are noble and great aimed at serving the African citizen, but the challenges seem to be greater than to be achieved in a situation that suffers from the fragility of the economy and the consequences of climate change and wars, which lead to racism, illegal migration and terrorism, xenophobia etc”.
One must know that the Kingdom of Morocco under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohamed VI, by virtue of its African identity and its African depth, has always been and shall continue to be present on the African scene, economically, politically, generally when the Kingdom is needed. In all situations, Morocco stands beside his African brothers. Hereby we remember Nelson Mandela, António Agostinho Neto, Ahmed Benbella and others who were hosted, trained and supported by the kingdom of Morocco in their fight against colonialism and apartheid.
On the same context, the Kingdom has adopted a south-south/win-win cooperation. In this regard, His Majesty King Mohamed VI has made more than 50 visits to African countries and has signed more than 1,000 economic and social agreements.
Considerable progress on the issue of migration
On the issue of Migration, William Lacy Swing, the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), spoke highly of Morocco’s “humanist and exemplary regional and continental” policy on immigration and asylum. Morocco’s migration policy has made considerable progress over the four years since its implementation in guaranteeing the rights of migrants and refugees and ensuring their integration in society, becoming a “pioneer in the region” in terms of immigration.
The four years of work on migration policy is already bearing fruit on an international scale, as Morocco is co-chairing along with Germany the 11th summit Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), in Marrakech in December 2018.
King Mohammed VI, who was appointed by the African Union leader on the issue of migration, submitted to the pan-African organization the “African Agenda on Migration,” a non-binding document permeated by a co-development approach and containing ideas, proposals and thoughts shared by official institutions, civil society organizations and researchers from Africa to address migration challenges.
As we are celebrating the centenary of Mandela birthday, we remember also Winnie Mandela and her role in emancipating South Africa. We remember all the heroes who sacrificed their lives to free Africa and defeat the colonial powers.
For Mr. Abdelkader Naji, ‘’Africa needs its people first, good governance, generalization of education, free trade and movement around the continent, respect of human rights, solidarity between its people and countries, to build bridges and abolish borders and above all an African economic framework to endorse development through south-south cooperation which Morocco has approached years ago, and through which Morocco established close and strong economic cooperation that profit all the stakeholders’’.
“Mr Abdeslam Habiballah Ahmed who is the Executive Chairperson of Union of Arab Community of South Africa and Vice-Chairperson of African Diaspora Forum said: It with great pleasure and honour to see for the first time Morocco celebrating African Day in Johannesburg, the presence of Morocco was seen, the majority of the marchers in the parade were wearing red T-shirt with Morocco name in green in the back, colour of Moroccan Flag leaving the crowd touched by its participation”.
By Serge Babylas de SOUZA