Morocco and Africa: Strengthening the Ties

Morocco and Africa: Strengthening the Ties


[symple_box color=”blue” text_align=”left” width=”100%” float=”none”]

mourad beni-ichDr.Mourad Beni-ich is a Political, Intelligence & Strategic Analyst based in Washington, DC. Mr.Beni-ich holds a BA in Law, a BA in Political Sciences, a MA in Security and Intelligence Analyses, a MA in Global Terrorism and a PhD in International Politics. His studies were pursued in England and the U.S. Mr.Beni-ich began his career as a lawyer working for the British Home Office (The Ministry of Interior) as well as The British Foreign Office. Mr.Beni-ich gave many lectures in the United States regarding the current affairs in the MENA region, both in universities and organizations. Mr. Beni-ich is currently based in Washington, DC where he lobbies for the Moroccan affairs and coordinates with many U.S. officials and Think-Tanks to promote Morocco’s interests, both in the United States and Morocco. You can follow him on Twitter at: @MonarchKnight[/symple_box]

Washington, District of ColumbiaThe late king Hassan II of Morocco once said that the Kingdom of Morocco is like a tree; its roots are well planted in Africa, and its branches are over Europe. That was a clear statement that Morocco will forever cherish its African heritage and will never deny its roots. His successor King Mohammed VI, since he came to throne in 1999, has made sure that he follows in his father’s footsteps and has ensured that the African-Moroccan relations are well established and strengthened.

After many official visits to many African nations, King Mohammed VI will begin on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 a series of State visits to a number of African countries, which will include Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.

In the midst of the global and regional economic and political turmoil, Morocco has chosen a new approach to its international relations by focusing on the South-South cooperation, and it has been obvious that Morocco is heading towards a successful expenditure in Africa and tightening its bonds with African nations. Morocco knows well how to absorb the collapse of the national economy by opening new horizons in Africa and collaborating with many African nations to create new business ventures that will benefit all parties.

The Moroccan monarch King Mohammed VI has been conducting a series of official visits to African nations to boost the bilateral relations and open new ventures and markets in the continent. Moroccan investments have grown significantly in the last few years focusing mainly on improving infrastructure, providing electricity to villages as well as security and telecommunications. Needless to mention that Morocco has always had a spiritual and religious influence in the Sub-Saharan countries, and the kingdom always encourages an exchange of scholars and always took the initiative to form and educate local religious leaders in the Moroccan universities and schools.

Those State visits will be commemorated by the signing of a series of conventions between the Kingdom of Morocco and those countries. Such conventions will cover economic treaties and obviously, Morocco will bring forth its vast expertise in many fields like countering terrorism and extremism. These visits also will bring to African nations the Moroccan expertise in managing migration, which will create an atmosphere for a cooperation with African migrants.

There is no shadow of doubt that those African states could also benefit from Morocco’s relations and strong political and economic interests with the European Union, and its membership in NATO, to strengthen military cooperation with these major entities. Morocco took on its shoulders the responsibility to be Africa’s voice in international forums, and thus far, the global policies towards African nations have changed dramatically due to the Moroccan efforts to promote Africa as a Continent of possibilities rather than a Continent of exploitation.

The withdrawal of Morocco from the Organization of African Unity (OAU), known today as the African Union (AU) back in 1984, had a remarkable impact on Africa on the economic and social levels, and affected security as well.

With the increase in terrorism and trans-national organized crime, it has become absolutely crucial for the Sahel, neighboring countries and African countries at large to put their efforts with the rest of the continent, and within the framework of the African Union.

Africa is currently facing many challenges, including calls for independence in Azawad, the region’s fall to armed Islamists allied with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and post-coup political turmoil in many African countries, which includes the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. The Kingdom of Morocco can have a huge impact on improving the sociopolitical structure of those nations due to its proven records in developing its own infrastructure.