Morocco’s first South-South Cooperation agreement to benefit Guinea and other countries in Africa

16 June 2014, Rome- Building on previous efforts, the Kingdom of Morocco will offer technical assistance to the Republic of Guinea through a South-South Cooperation Tripartite Agreement signed today at FAO headquarters by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, and Guinea’s Ambassador Permanent Representative to FAO, Mamady Conde.

The project includes development of irrigated agriculture, support to the horticulture value chain, and capacity building for the Ministry of Agriculture of Guinea. It seeks to contribute to Guinea’s effort in fighting hunger and extreme poverty in the country.

“This agreement marks another chapter in the partnership between FAO and Morocco,” Graziano da Silva said after the signing ceremony, which took place at an event organized by the Government of Morocco to share the success of its national agricultural strategy, the “Plan Maroc Vert“.

That strategy, which promotes sustainable growth in agricultural production, is seen as the engine behind Morocco’s achievement of the First Millennium Development Goal’s hunger target.

Today’s agreement shifts into action the General Agreement on South South Cooperation  signed last April between Morocco and FAO.

In his remarks, Graziano da Silva also welcomed a contribution from the Credit Agricole du Maroc to the Morocco Trust Fund for South South Cooperation at FAO. An innovative feature in the agreement allows for public as well as private sector contributions to the trust fund.

“We believe that promoting South-South Cooperation can greatly contribute to reducing inequality in African countries. It is not about imposing a specific approach but about sharing knowledge, know-how and experience,” Minister Akhannouch said at the event. “In this framework, we shall find the basis of a new solidarity between African countries”.

Morocco’s support for South South Cooperation in Agriculture and Fisheries will be financed through a trust fund established in April.  “We are shifting the agreement into action only two months after it was created,” Graziano da Silva noted.

Through the fund, Morocco will contribute to achieving food security in African countries by supporting sustainable agricultural production and improving natural resources management.

“We want to learn from Morocco’s experience and benefit from FAO’s expertise”, Ambassador Permanent Representative of the Republic of Guinea to FAO, Mamady Conde, said.

The partnership between FAO and the Kingdom of Morocco also extends to other areas. “While we are working together to support other countries through South-South Cooperation, FAO is also assisting Morocco in its own path towards sustainable development,” FAO Director-General explained.

In this context and within FAO’s revised strategic framework, FAO is finalizing two TCP Facility projects that will support Morocco’s efforts in promoting Blue Growth and in adopting the Modeling System for Agricultural Impacts of Climate Change (Mosaicc).

FAO’s Director General thanked Minister Akhannouch for his “personal commitment to strengthen the partnership between the Kingdom of Morocco and FAO.”

“I hope that we can continue to work closely towards our common objectives, to the benefit of the people of Morocco and the people of the region,” he added.

Morocco was recognized by FAO in a separate event today for having met the First Millennium Development Goal hunger target of reducing by half the proportion of its population who is undernourished ahead of the 2015 target date.