Morocco and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) go a step further in the possible accession of the Alawi kingdom to the Community. In a significant visit, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, received the President of the Parliament of the Economic Community, Sidie Mohamed Tunis, with whom he held a meeting in which the Community's position on Morocco's future membership was emphasised.
During the meeting Tunis stressed that the Community will work for "Morocco to become a full member of ECOWAS, because we firmly believe that this is the best thing for all of us". In addition, President Tunis stressed that they are currently "analysing strategies, opportunities and possibly limitations" and stressed that, at present, ECOWAS members "are very positive" about Moroccan membership.
For this reason, and in order to achieve this goal, Tunis pointed out that "under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, we must all work together". With this statement, the president made it clear that relations between the Kingdom and the Community had entered a new phase. He also affirmed that the West African parliamentarians brought "fruitful results" to secure Morocco's membership.
Sidie's visit comes within the framework of the sixth edition of the parliamentary forum on social justice. Under the theme of "social dialogue and challenges of the social state" and under the initiative of the Chamber of Councillors in collaboration with the Economic Ministry and the Social and Environmental Council, the forum aims to intervene in an economic situation marked by the pandemic, which directly affects economic, social and cultural rights.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) brings together 15 West African countries and aims to promote economic integration in the region. In this geopolitical space, Morocco is playing an increasingly important political, economic, religious and military role. In this respect, the countries belonging to this African region have become important strategic partners for the Maghreb country.
The Community currently comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. In previous fora, countries such as Nigeria have been hostile to the Moroccan position on the Western Sahara issue. However, despite these differences, the Community has been "positive" about Morocco's possible accession, as its entry would be positive in terms of strengthening ECOWAS' influence in the economic and political sphere.
According to World Bank data, the continent is expected to experience average economic growth of 1.4%, a prospect that has given hope to the region and has allowed many countries to seize the opportunity to develop reforms that will be far-reaching in the long term.
Young people, who make up a large percentage of the population, will play a crucial role in this respect. Some of them are optimistic and motivated to start up, as long as the demands of the labour market can be met.
These investments represent a glimmer of hope for the region at a time when violence, jihadism and Islamic extremism are substantially shaping the present and the future. At the same time, the climate crisis continues to punish the countries in the region, states that maintain a significant economic dependence on the primary sector.