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Royal speeches

Royal Message To The 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (Marrakech GES 2014)

Here follows the full text of the message addressed on Thursday by HM King Mohammed VI to the official opening session of the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Summit(Marrakech GES 2014):

Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon 

the Prophet, His Kith and Kin

Distinguished Heads of State,

The Honorable Joseph Biden, Vice President of the United States of America,

Honorable Ministers,

Distinguished economic operators and civil society representatives,

Your Excellencies, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome you all to the Kingdom of Morocco. I also wish to commend the decision to hold this Fifth Global Entrepreneurship Summit here in Marrakech.

Founded almost a thousand years ago, this city has, for centuries, nurtured creativity, innovation and progress and played a key role in their mutually beneficial transmission to the Saharan, Arab, Muslim and, finally, European worlds. The Atlantic ports nearby showed a keen interest in the New World at a very early stage.

We are proud that this Summit, which was launched in 2009 by President Barack Obama, is being held for the first time on African soil, thereby confirming the calling and ambition of the Kingdom, for which the promotion of its partnership with the African Continent is a well thought-out, irreversible choice.

In keeping with its core values and basic principles, Morocco believes wholeheartedly in the Summit’s objectives. It has been devoting its energies to promoting human and sustainable development and investing in entrepreneurship. My country also encourages the sharing of expertise and know-how in addition to the optimization of complementarities, particularly between the countries of the South.

Your Excellencies, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

One is not born an entrepreneur; one becomes an entrepreneur by embarking on the road to success in an interactive process involving hard work, learning and a capacity to deal with challenges.

Entrepreneurs are people who challenge the established order and the status quo. They do not hesitate to respond - at their own level - to needs that are yet to be identified, that are unmet or that are new.

Entrepreneurship and innovation are twin values; they are both springboards for freedom, social mobility and prosperity, provided the business environment is favorable and the required conditions are met.

Education is an essential step, a prerequisite for the maturation process that leads people to think critically and to hone their skills so that they are able to seize an economic, technological or social opportunity when they see one.

Therefore, it is up to us to provide future generations with an education that goes beyond the mere ‘accumulation-transmission’ process in order to develop creativity, responsiveness and inventiveness.

Today, young people have a window open onto the world thanks to new information and communication technology, which makes universal knowledge - both theoretical and applied - an asset shared by all humans.

Therefore, I should like to commend and encourage the repositories of knowledge - be they individuals or institutions - that supply our young people, who are eager for personal progress, with knowledge and contents that are accessible to all.

They contribute to making knowledge shared online a global social ladder that offers invaluable tools and information for innovation and entrepreneurship to those who were once deprived of them.

In an environment where modern means of communication are sometimes perverted to serve reprehensible causes - such as religious radicalization or the promotion of deviant ideologies - it is important to harness and develop those means for the benefit of positive emulation and citizens' initiatives, through closer cooperation with civil society.

Your Excellencies, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Every nation, culture and community can find in itself motivations for confidence in the future, which is essential to entrepreneurship.

I can personally attest that these universal virtues are epitomized by Islam, which champions an optimistic vision of life.

Our religion does not object to profit. On the contrary, it encourages the entrepreneurial spirit, personal fulfillment and promotion based on merit. Better still, the institution of the waqf (endowment) is an original form of entrepreneurship, which is rooted in our tradition of inter-generational solidarity.

To overcome the pessimism that has plagued our continent, our governments should instill self-confidence in our young people so that they can believe in their ability to learn and to become entrepreneurs. To this end, we need to nurture positive examples and turn success stories into models to emulate.

The same applies to female entrepreneurship, which holds so much promise for our economies and our societies that we all need to encourage it; otherwise, we will be depriving ourselves of a huge potential.

The entrepreneurial society we look forward to should also ensure equal opportunities for all by inspiring and encouraging women and young people to become entrepreneurs. Their role in this ecosystem would be more effectively valued as a powerhouse of proposals and actions to boost inclusive growth and employment.

Your Excellencies, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We must not confuse technological innovation with technical sophistication. The so-called low-tech innovations - just like more sophisticated technologies - can help us meet specific needs, especially in developing countries.

Innovations of this kind are often helpful in terms of supporting social development and improving the well-being of the population.

It goes without saying that innovation must not be the exclusive privilege of the rich and the upper classes. Entrepreneurs may also want to turn their attention to low-income consumers, by offering them products and services that are both profitable and tailored to their needs.

The telecommunications sector in Africa is a case in point. Through ingenuity and local innovation, specific services and innovative applications have been developed, to the great satisfaction of users.

Your Excellencies, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As evidenced by the success of the Summits held over the last five years, it is through the exchange of best practices and expertise and the sharing of funding mechanisms and project development approaches that we can achieve collective wealth, since Knowledge is the only resource whose value increases when it is shared.

I would like to congratulate all those who have helped make new interactions possible, here in Marrakech today, between policy makers, economic operators, civil society, academics and the media.

I am particularly pleased to note that this Summit has brought together a large number of project developers, investors and young entrepreneurs from various backgrounds.

In this respect, the "Innovation Village", set up on the sidelines of the Summit as a dynamic, interactive space, offers young entrepreneurs an ideal platform to present their new ideas and creative projects, and also to share their entrepreneurial experiences.

I wish them every success in their endeavors towards ensuring a better future for us all, in a fair, solidarity-based world.

Thank you.

Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

MAP 20 November 2014