New Year’s Reception 2017
- January 20, 2017
- 13:00 to 15:00
- Spiegelsaal im Grand Elysée | Rothenbaumchaussee 10, 20148 Hamburg
- +49 (0) 40 609 455 437
Morocco as a Gateway for Africa
More than 100 partners and members followed the invitation to the EMA New Year’s Reception to celebrate the New Year. In addition to high-ranking representatives from business and politics, science and culture, representatives of Arab foreign missions also attended the reception at the Hotel Grand Elysée in Hamburg.
The event was opened by EMA President Christian Wulff, who reviewed the past year and stated that it had been a “year of 50:50”. With the election of Trump as President of America, the decision of the United Kingdom to “Brexit” and the election of Duda as Polish President, important decisions had been made very close. He expected a similar development in the upcoming French presidential elections, which represent a crossroads for both the Franco-German friendship and the European community. In order to meet the challenges that democracy is currently facing, both from the outside and from within, Mr. Wulff pleaded for greater civil society involvement. Democracy and a liberal society should not be accepted as guaranteed, but must be lived and defended consistently.
“Ouissal one of the most beautiful projects”
In order to support precisely this civil society commitment in the EMA region, perspectives and examples of success had to be pointed out, which could be used as orientation. “One of the most beautiful projects in this area is the Ouissal project of the EMA, in which entrepreneurs from Germany, Morocco and Tunisia came together last year and discussed, networked and exchanged ideas with joy and energy. Through such win-win situations trust would be strengthened and contacts would be made and maintained, which are essential for international cooperation.
“Morocco as a gateway for Africa”
This was also joined by André Azoulay, who represented the priority country Morocco and is the personal advisor of His Royal Majesty Mohammed VI. Mr. Azoulay emphasized Africa’s economic potential and presented his concept of the “vertical”, which denotes the geographical area from South Africa to the Mediterranean and its neighbors to Europe. Africa is the guarantor of economic growth in the future and, above all, its agricultural tradition can contribute to food security. Through his commitment, Morocco has already developed into a “gateway for Africa” and can thus help entrepreneurs to enter the African market. Morocco’s role as a mediator is strengthened above all by the cultural diversity and religious tolerance that prevails there – values for which André Azoulay is outstandingly committed. In this context, he also emphasized the importance of enabling women to take an active role in society and thanked EMA for the progress achieved in this area in the Ouissal project.
After Mr. Azoulay had answered the questions of the interested guests, Mr. Wulff awarded him the honorary membership of EMA to honour his special commitment to peace and international understanding, religious tolerance and cultural diversity.