Real reason Morocco wants to join ECOWAS – Spokesman

Moroccan King Mohammed VI[Photo Credit:Aljazeera]
Moroccan King Mohammed VI[Photo Credit:Aljazeera]

A spokesman for the Moroccan government and parliament, says the country’s interest in joining ECOWAS stems from its desire to build strong South-South partnership.

The official, Mustapha El Khalfi, disclosed this on Thursday while briefing participants of the maiden News Directors Forum of the Atlantic Federation of African Press Agencies (FAAPA) in Rabat.

Asked by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) participant why Morocco, located in North Africa, should apply to join ECOWAS, he said: “It reflects the vision of His Majesty, the King, to build strong South-South partnership and to bring our efforts together to deal with economic and social challenges.’’

He described the move as “a project still ongoing within the institutions’’, stressing that the vision behind the move was to “enhance our capacities to deal with economic and social challenges of the 21st century’’.

Morocco’s application to join ECOWAS came after it re-joined the African Union (AU) in January 2017.

The country had left the continental body in 1984 following AU’s recognition of Western Sahara, a territory that Morocco regards as part of its historic region.

The West African leaders, at the 51st summit held in June 2017 in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, had agreed in principle to Rabat’s request to join the sub-regional grouping.

They, however, requested the ECOWAS Commission to consider the implications of such a decision pursuant to the provisions of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty and submit their findings to the 52nd session.

Advertisement

wits Advert

Morocco’s efforts to join ECOWAS included 23 royal visits to 11 countries in West Africa by King Mohammed VI, with the signing of hundreds of investment contracts.

Morocco said these efforts had given a strong impetus to its bilateral cooperation with the sub-region.

ECOWAS comprises 15 West African Nations but none shares a border with the North African country.

Rabat drew criticisms from diplomatic veterans, activists and lawyers, who argued that the economic implication of Morocco’s admission would be enormous.

They believe that Morocco’s admission into ECOWAS would erode Nigeria’s diplomatic influence not only in the sub-region, but also in the international community.

A study on the impact of Morocco’s membership was carried out and the outcome was submitted to the West African leaders at the 52nd summit in Abuja during which they failed to reach a conclusion after a long closed door session.

Advertisement

Akwa-ibom Advert

In a communiqué adopted at the end of the summit, they instead asked a committee of presidents of Togo, Cote d’ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Nigeria to supervise the thorough study of the implications of Morocco’s accession. (NAN)

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.