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Visit to Morocco

Morocco is linchpin for stability in the region, says Parliamentary State Secretary Silberhorn


Thomas Silberhorn with the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mbarka Bouaida, in Rabat

23.10.2014 |

Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, visited Morocco from 21 to 23 October. Through his visit, he wanted to pay tribute to Morocco's reform efforts, encourage the Moroccan government to embark on further political and economic reforms, and highlight the importance of Moroccan-German development cooperation, among other things.

His talks with the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mbarka Bouaida, focused on the implementation of the 2011 constitutional reform, which gives more rights to the government, parliament, the judiciary and civil society. State Secretary Silberhorn noted that Morocco was a linchpin for stability in the region. He said, "The German government values Morocco as a reform-oriented and also reliable partner with a stable foreign policy."

Thomas Silberhorn in talks with the President of the Moroccan House of Representatives Rachid Talbi el-Alami

Thomas Silberhorn also had talks with representatives of the African Development Bank, the Moroccan Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE), and the Moroccan Parliament. In his meeting with the President of the Moroccan House of Representatives, Rachid Talbi el-Alami, State Secretary Silberhorn underlined the importance of the parliament and civil society for Morocco's further development.

Another important topic during his visit was the future of the Moroccan energy sector. Thanks to its geographical situation, Morocco is almost ideally placed to generate energy from wind and solar power, but so far it has relied almost exclusively on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas for its power generation.

Using renewable energy resources and improving energy efficiency are among the priority areas of Moroccan-German development cooperation.
State Secretary Silberhorn visited the Tanger wind park, the largest of its kind in Africa, which has been co-financed by Germany. The plant has a capacity of 140 megawatts and began to operate in 2011.


Thomas Silberhorn visiting an "eco-school" in Tanger.

He also visited two environmental projects: a landfill that is being rehabilitated with German support, and an "eco-school" at which students are sensitised to environmental and sustainability issues. Environmental issues are part of regular classes. The school was the first in Morocco to receive an award for being an "eco-school".

The change during the Arab Spring in 2011 has transformed the entire MENA region, and Morocco plays a special role in that region. The reforms that had been launched by King Mohammed VI even before that have been continued and accelerated. There are tangible signs that the country has become more open politically and socially. Germany has had development cooperation with Morocco for more than 50 years now. It is one of Morocco's most important bilateral donors. At the recent government negotiations, Germany committed some 40 million euros in grants to Morocco, plus development loans in the energy and water sectors.


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