Morocco recommits to helping Grenada in economic development
Morocco has expressed its commitment to ongoing assistance to Grenada in several areas, including agriculture, the provision of more scholarships to Grenadian students, and in agro-processing research.
Moroccan officials outlined their position during a visit to the country by a four-member Grenada delegation headed by Anthony Boatswain, minister of education and human resource development.
“I am grateful to the Moroccan government and people for their deep interest in assisting Grenada in so many areas of our development thrust, including education, agriculture and agro-processing,” Boatswain said on his return to Grenada.
His delegation included senior ministry official Andrew Augustine; chief executive officer of the National Training Agency, Lincoln Morgan; and lawyer and former MP Peter David.
As foreign minister in the former administration, David negotiated several benefits for Grenada, including donations of fertilizer, scholarships and grant funding.
“The current government invited me to join the delegation on this recently ended trip because they wanted to ensure continuity in the relationship and the warm ties that were opened up during my tenure as foreign minister. Overall, it was a very successful trip for the Boatswain-led delegation that will redound to the benefit of Grenada,” David said.
Much of the discussion centred on what is known as the 2013 to 2015 road-map on cooperation programme between Grenada and Morocco.
The road-map covers issues such as scholarships for Grenadians to study at technical and vocational training institutions in Morocco; and training for personnel working in Grenada’s health, tourism, fisheries, transportation and craft sectors.
Grenada is also seeking expert help in the area of agriculture, additional supplies of fertilizer and grant funding for the construction of a national library.
Morocco has promised that a shipment of fertilizer should be leaving for Grenada by October 15.
Moroccan officials also indicated willingness to support collaboration in research related to agro-processing in Grenada after the matter was raised by Boatswain, an economist and the MP for St Patrick West.
During the visit, which ran from September 23 – 26, the delegation also met with Grenadian and other Caribbean nationals studying in Morocco, as well as with representatives of Morocco’s ministry for tertiary education and the ministry of foreign affairs and cooperation.
At a meeting with Ambassador Nasser Bourit, secretary general of the ministry of foreign affairs and cooperation, Boatswain extended Grenada’s delight with the results of the cooperation between Grenada and Morocco.
Bourit said there is reciprocity in the relations, explaining that Morocco welcomes the friendship and suggesting that there could be future benefits through tourism development collaboration.
At the meeting with students, recommendations were made to resolve some of their complaints that include the cost of renting for those not living on university campuses, and the need for greater communication with government officials at home in the Caribbean.
One recommendation called for the possible formation of a Caribbean Students’ Organization.
Another proposal, made by David, was exploring the establishment of an OECS embassy in the Moroccan capital, Rabat. Its responsibilities would include handling student matters, David said.