For a Happy New Year 2017 in the Maghreb and North Africa,

I often had in the past, to stress on numerous occasions in my counselling activities for the Maghreb and African Governments about how the lack of integration did in fact result in the loss of several points from the region’s growth.  This was principally tied with and / or consequent to the prevailing lack of morality in the region’s leadership.  And how Morality of Leaders as factor of stability has become a factor of progress or a sine-qua-non condition for a sustainable development.

Any sustainability in development would have to take into account the current ecological challenge amongst many other things, that in this 21st century, should essentially be made through good governance and effectively be knowledge based.  For the development of whether the Maghreb or North Africa to be competitive in these globalization times and the fourth economic revolution that is looming upon us between 2020/2030, we ought to first remove all productive sectors out of the rentier economy model and incorporate them in the global arena of fair trade.

The Maghreb and Africa hold significant potential, especially in human skills, wealth that is more important than all the reserves of hydrocarbons for Algeria or Phosphate for Morocco and Tunisia.  To overcome the current situation both locally and abroad, in addition to deep sense of morality of the people responsible for running the city, the fight against corruption and illegal transfers of capital, with democratic control mechanisms should be the urgency of the hour.

One cannot ignore the effects of globalization that in the main is positive but could at the same time be perverse if unregulated.  We should for instance inscribe all future projects as part of the integration of the Maghreb, bridge between Europe, the Middle East and Africa, for the stability and prosperity of the whole region.  The Maghreb and Africa being at the crossroads, we must avoid any complacency, and contrary to the daily lives of the vast majority of the population, we should refuse letting it become a source of collective neurosis.  Whilst avoiding gloom, everything achieved in all countries of the Maghreb and Africa is after all not entirely negative, but there are many deficiencies that require to be absolutely addressed.

Would, in 2017, the present rulers of the Maghreb and Africa, toast it by chosing those resolutions that in these moments of great geo-strategic upheavals, help them to both take stock of the situation objectively, avoid running forward and possibly become aware of the gravity of the situation.  They should notably make their cultural mu, with a focus not on their personal interests but rather on the superior interests of their populations.

To meet all challenges of the future, the Maghreb and Africa rulers, need a return to CONFIDENCE through a language of truth in order to secure their respective future.  They should rehabilitate work and intelligence, and gather all political, economic, and social forces whilst avoiding any division on subtopics.  Most importantly, they should learn to respect our different sensitivities, and therefore opinions of others, by spreading a culture of tolerance.

Unanimism is generally source of decadence and confrontation of ideas very often a productive source of mutual enrichment.  The challenge of all nations in the 21st century world that is in perpetual motion would be the mastery of time.  Any country that does not move forward goes necessarily backward.  According to the majority of all international reviews, the stability of the Maghreb and Africa could be a factor of stability of the entire Mediterranean and African continent and any destabilisation would have geo-strategic implications whereby the importance of its development as a dialectic link between security and development.

Hence the importance of a broad inter-Maghreb, African and international cooperation so as to deal with above all else terrorism that is a global threat.  The Maghreb and Africa would continue to have a future with strong potential, presuming sub regional integrations, can achieve sustainable development reconciling economic efficiency, a deep social justice and consolidate unity to which I am deeply attached.

In this New Year 2017, I would like to wish that our region, North Africa and the continent of Africa, all the security and development and face the coming fiscal pressures as a shared equitable sacrifice.  I am entirely convinced that the Maghreb and Africa have all the potentialities to surpass the multidimensional crisis they are presently facing. This would involve new modes of local political, economic and social regulations, based on the Rule of Law, the development of freedoms in the broader sense our world knowing a moral crisis that will be overcome only by a profound change in international relations for a fairer world, as based on better global governance.




Dr Abderrahmane MEBTOUL, University Professor on 26/12/2016