The 2018 edition began on Friday March 16, bringing together more than 1,000 participants, representing more than 100 countries, around various themes such as food security, sustainable agriculture, public health and renewable energies.
“We are very happy to meet the big African family in Morocco for very lively reflections, sharing of experience, sharing of vision”, declared the president of the forum Pierre-Emmanuel Quirin.
âWe offer a free platform to be able to create this exchange of experiences on themes such as agriculture, fishing potential, renewable energies, responsible ecotourism. I think that somehow the city of Dakhla, at least for a few days, has become the capital of the mainland.
For the first time since the Crans Montana Forum moved to the city of Dakhla in 2015, a Moroccan head of government participated in this important event for the African continent.
There is a new African awakening leading to relations between African countries in several fields, whether at the level of economic cooperation, cultural cooperation, and trade, we must increase cooperation at all levels between countries Africans.
Euronews spoke with Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani:
âThere is a new African awakening leading to relations between African countries in several areas, whether at the level of economic cooperation, cultural cooperation, and trade, we must increase cooperation at all levels between African countries. Unfortunately, trade and investment in Africa is still very low.
South African Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini was one of the most important guests of this edition, engaging with policymakers and experts on topics such as agriculture, health, poverty reduction and youth migration.
âThere is a lot of poverty [in Africa]Something that pains me is seeing so many peopleâ¦ migrating to other countries, âhe told Euronews. âIt is painful to see our people flee their place of belonging.
Zambia’s Deputy Home Minister Grace Njapau spoke about the role of women highlighting women’s leadership:
âMen try to marginalize women but we say no, we are over it now, as women we have to come together. We have to know exactly what we want to do and we have to know who we are. We are women who can change the world, who can change Africa.
This year, 49 African countries were present to discuss the future of Africa. One of the key themes of the event was urban development – a challenge for the African continent.
âDevelopment is above all a question of mentality,â said Souleymane Fall, special adviser to Senegalese President Macky Sall. âAfricans are convinced that our continent – with all the riches it abounds – can become a world leader. It will be with this conviction, with this winning spirit and above all with our unity.
This year, it is the former Haitian President Michel Martelly who received the Foundation Prize of the event, a prize awarded to notable actors of Peace, Freedom and Democracy.
âHaiti is Africa, we have Africa in our blood. We are Africa in our skin, in our culture, âsaid Martelly.
âWe are the African diaspora, we are the children of Africa, therefore we belong to the world. In fact, we should already belong to the African Union.
After two days of discussion and sharing, the forum closed its first part in Dakhla. The second part of the event took place aboard the Rhapsody, the prestigious Italian cruise ship, during a cruise to Casablanca.