Morocco has bolstered its status as the first Arab and African partner of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) by agreeing to deepen cooperation in various water and energy-related fields – including establishing an Educational Visitor Centre at the MRC Headquarters in Laos.
During a 7–9 December visit to Rabat, a delegation of senior officials from the MRC Member Countries and Secretariat headed by Chief Executive Officer Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun renewed a 2017 Memorandum of Understanding with their Moroccan counterparts.
The renewal aims to further enhance the continuous cooperation and exchange of expertise in a range of fields such as green energy, including solar and wind; managing integrated water resources; drought management, water demand and uses; eco-tourism and conservation projects; and management of natural disasters.
The working visit was a chance for the MRC delegation to have constructive meetings with relevant Moroccan departments and agencies to dovetail a possible roadmap for the implementation of the new MoU, which was signed on Friday, 9 December 2022, by Dr. Kittikhoun and Mr. Fouad Yazourh, Ambassador, Director-General of Bilateral Relations and Regional Affairs at the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates.
“This MoU signifies that the Mekong River remains at the center of the world’s attention as we work with partners to benefit our region, politically and economically,” said Dr Kittikhoun.
The Government of Morocco, through the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), will finance the establishment of an Educational Visitor Centre in Vientiane, anticipated in 2023-2024.
Along with showcasing the Mekong cooperation history, opportunities, and challenges presented by water resources development and climate change, the Centre may offer educational programs, drawing on Moroccan experience and expertise in capacity building and technical cooperation, which the country is willing to expand sharing with Southeast Asian countries.
This agreement also symbolizes the latest MRC effort to expand and deepen its partnerships around the world, particularly with one of the world’s fastest-growing countries and a pioneer in renewable energy in the African continent like Morocco. Such dialogue has been a priority for the intergovernmental agency – comprised of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam – since the MRC’s inception in 1995.
MRC officials and national representatives made their first visit to the Kingdom of Morocco in late 2017. The covid pandemic put a delay in some of the planned collaboration activities.