Determining the economic and social profile of a region may seem easy in light of dominant discourse on the benefits of extensive decentralization. Pitfalls in functionalist approaches adopted by the state and its institutions appear without delay, thereby undermining attempts to come up with an analysis which could question emerging development rationale that is increasingly gaining ground.
Curiously enough, the region is to a certain extent a
territorialized entity that is at the heart of the debate on this new rationale.
In this instance, it serves, however, as a defining element of a new development
vision and not as a mere substitute used strictly for basic tasks in the local
management of national development programs.
The interplay between development economy and territorial
economy gave birth to perspectives on development economy as a whole. One such
perspective is a new outlook on territorialized development processes, hence the
importance of alternative methods of space management which no longer serves as
a mere adjunct to major activity. Perspectives on territory change to allow room
for territorial economy and localized systems of production and bring into play
factors such as competition, cooperation, labor division and innovation.
In Morocco, the debate on regionalization appears to have been
gaining momentum since 1976, following the review of the communal charter that
governs local authorities. Both the 1992 and 1996 constitutions gave
decentralization a territorial dimension, further consolidated through a revised
communal charter in October 2002 and its amendment in 2008. The perspective on
regionalization, nonetheless, continues to be anchored in decentralization.
High Royal Directives outlined in the King's address of January
3, 2010, mark, however, a new era in the dynamics of institutional reforms and
speak in favor of a more advanced view on regionalization. Therefore, "extended
regionalization is not meant to be mere technical or administrative planning but
rather an informed choice towards renovation and modernization of state bodies
and the consolidation of integrated development."
Such new dynamics is the best barometer to initiate new
practices towards fostering Morocco's economic, social and cultural progress,
and extend tangible achievements to all regions without losing account of local
resources, efforts and legitimate aspirations.