The Major Projects
Mr. Nizar Baraka
President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council

Advanced regionalisation : southerm provinces lead the way

In southern provinces, the advanced regionalisation project should enable creating a new dynamic in terms of economic and social development and of governance, leading to shared growth and regional balance.

A new territorial confiuration is taking shape, in harmony with changes our country is undergoing. As one of the major new spurs to development introduced by the new Constitution, advanced regionalisation provides an opportunity for our country to fid fresh drive for growth. To this end, each region must invest in its local assets and specifiities in order to create wealth and jobs. "In addition, [it] creates amobilising climateborne by a promising social dynamic, fostering the emergence of new elites, in particular amongst women and young people, in the context of a democratic alternation open to ability". (Royal speech, November 6th 2012).

The main break will come on governance level, as powers will be transferred to regional councils elected by direct universal suffrage. Councils will be responsible for planning and implementation of State-approved development plans, as set down in the Constitution. This new style of governance, more participative and founded upon primacy of law, is based on people's direct involvement as a whole.

This participative approach prevailed during the Economic, Social and Environmental Council's drafting of the development's new model for southern provinces, which are set to be a pilot region for implementation of advanced regionalisation.

Over 1500 local actors, representing elected offiials, local authorities, economic operators, unions, associations and the general public, were consulted regarding their needs and expectations, in order to associate as many people as possible with construction of the new model, which seeks to be inclusive, integrated and sustainable. By ensuring public's participation as designers and then managers and benefiiaries of the model, the latter seeks to provide guarantees of its success by putting the citizen at the heart of the initiative.

Measures proposed by the new model provide economic, social, environmental and cultural development a full arsenal for the fist time. The model is also based on an innovative set of standards: a new-generation version of human rights that includes social and environmental rights alongside individual liberties.Emphasis is put on strengthening individual capacities by improving access to employment, making best use of local know-how, preserving heritage and enabling citizens to manage their regions' affairs democratically.

Measures proposed are both realistic and operational, aiming to set a new socioeconomic development dynamic in motion bringing growth and generating jobs. And in the context of local sectorial policies adaptation, the model encourages creation of regional competitive clusters. Laâyoune-Boujdour should become a logistics platform for the southern provinces and Africa as a whole. The Oued-EddahabLagouira region is set to become a major fihing centre and the Guelmim-Es-Smara region will largely be focusing on renewable energies and a unifid social economy.

Responsible, high-added-value use of provinces' natural resources, whether aquatic, halieutic or mineral, will be put to citizens' and local development's benefi, as its priorities dictate. Another break advanced by the model is the reworking of social assistance systems by handing over responsibility to benefiiaries and guaranteeing integrated provision of care to new comers into the national territory. Criteria Clarifiation for assistance allocation and refied benefiiaries targeting will help promote transparency and fairness, sine qua non conditions for social cohesion, along with fair and effiient access to justice.

These reforms, undertaken on a national level and set to be carried out in the fild, put citizens and their well-being at the heart of projects for the future, and should turn southern provinces into a hub between the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as a source of stability and prosperity.