Tuesday 14 March 2023- His Majesty King Mohammed VI addressed a Message on the occasion of the presentation of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Outstanding Achievement Award-2022 to the Sovereign on March 14, 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda.
Here follows the full text of the Royal Message, which was read by the Minister of National Education, Preschool and Sports, Mr. Chakib Benmoussa.
"My Dear Brother, Paul KAGAME, President of the Republic of Rwanda,
Mr. President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association,
Mr. President of the Confederation of African Football,
Ladies and Gentlemen, First of all, I should like to say how delighted I am to receive this CAF President's Outstanding Achievement Award for the year 2022. I accept it with great pleasure.
I would like to salute the presence of Mr. Gianni INFANTINO, President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association and commend him on his strong commitment to African football.
I also wish to thank the President of the Confederation of African Football, Mr. Patrice MOTSEPE, for his leadership and his action for the development of African football and the renewal of credibility of its institutions.
With my brother, President Paul KAGAME - whom the Confederation of African Football is also honoring today - I share an unwavering confidence in our African continent, its youth and capacities. We are working to make the most of that potential, without ever being satisfied with mere hopes, nor, for that matter, with our achievements. Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is still my firmly held belief, as I pointed out in my speech at the 29th African Union Summit in 2017, that "the future of Africa hinges on its youth", and that only "a proactive, youth-oriented policy can channel energy for the achievement of development".
Therefore, the Award you are bestowing upon me today is, first and foremost, a tribute to the genius of Africa and its vibrant youth. To me, this Award represents a recognition of the choices I have made to bring about the right conditions for their development and fulfillment. Football is not just a sport, it is a work in progress and a long-term process.
In my country - the Kingdom of Morocco - I have sought to make football a driver of success and sustainable human development. In addition to being a passion and the expression of creative skill and talent, football also implies a vision of the future, a long-term commitment, efficient, transparent governance, as well as investment in infrastructure and human capital.
By making Africa proud at the last World Cup, in Qatar, Moroccan football also upheld the values of perseverance, self-sacrifice and self-surpassing. We are working to anchor these values by linking sport to education in order to expand the practice of football, unlock players' potential, and support the talents that are discovered through customized training. It is not as much through words as concrete deeds that the Kingdom of Morocco has proven, on countless occasions, that its resources, infrastructure and experience, especially in football, are at the disposal of all African sister nations sharing our wish to make youth a lever of hope and growth. That is because the ambition I hold for my country is inseparable from that which I nurture for the African continent. Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen, With that in mind, I would like to announce, before this assembly, that the Kingdom of Morocco has decided, together with Spain and Portugal, to present a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
This joint bid, which is unprecedented in football history, will bring together Africa and Europe, the northern and southern Mediterranean, and the African, Arab and Euro-Mediterranean worlds. It will also bring out the best in all of us - in effect, a combination of genius, creativity, experience, and means. Thank you.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh".