Morocco:A Moment of Reckoning for Decentralisation in Morocco
By Yossef Ben-Meir -Marrakech-
Morocco’s parliament, at this moment, is deciding the nation’s Decentralisation Charter. Since its working draft is not currently made public, we can only hope that every parliamentarian realises that the human development course of the nation and the relationships between public, civil and private institutions depend upon the creation of a meaningful charter. Its conception and implementation will also determine the extent to which Morocco can inspire its neighbours towards a hopeful, modern and yet historic approach to empowering people to achieve their best life’s course.
With the benefit of hindsight, one may fairly consider that in 2008, Morocco’s public commitment to decentralise decision-making, especially with regards to people’s development, was a forward-thinking and strategic position to take. The declaration of King Mohammed VI that Morocco would commence the restructuring of public administrations, was the culmination of a series of other actions and preceded several others. These served to demonstrate a consistency of participatory principles that guide and accelerate sustainable development.
Considering that the decentralisation of management is best achieved in contexts that also promote the participation of communities in project planning, Morocco had already incorporated this concept in its National Initiative for Human Development in 2005. The building of decentralisation is also enabled by an active civil society and the full inclusion of women in all aspects of social development, the frameworks of which were expanded upon in laws that were brought into operation in 2002 and 2004 respectively. Morocco then in 2010 reaffirmed these statutes in its Municipal Charter, delegating responsibilities to locally elected leaders, to facilitate people-centered development utilising the participatory method.