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Morocco Pushes For Acceptance Into ECOWAS
 
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17-May-2018  
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The Moroccan Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Mohamed Farhat, has indicated that Morocco joining the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will contribute to the further strengthening of the sub-region.
With a diversified economy which does not only rely on raw materials, but value-added products, he said, Morocco has over the years been the main African investor in West Africa, and its private sector proves that it is eager to connect with its continent and trust the African potential.

Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the Moroccan Accession to ECOWAS Conference in Accra yesterday, which was on the theme ‘Towards a strengthening of the West African Community’, he said Morocco was very committed to creating more local value, and being part of ECOWAS can help make that a reality for all countries. 

“Today, Morocco’s first export is the automobile industry, and there are ways that we could further integrate with other countries in the ECOWAS region; for instance, the raw materials to make car tyres so we could envision a partnership to produce part of the auto parts in the ECOWAS countries and in Ghana for instance.”

He indicated that he was sure of ongoing discussions between Moroccan economic entrepreneurs and Ghanaian entrepreneurs to seek convergence in terms of investment opportunities.

There are many areas that can be looked into for partnership like the food industry. “If you look at cocoa, which is one of Ghana’s biggest exports, one could envision exporting chocolate or chocolate paste more than just cocoa so we can improve the value-added products produced locally and help create jobs.”

He said one of the biggest challenges in Africa was creating jobs for the young people, adding that 70 per cent of the African population was under the age of 30, which poses a huge challenge to governments in Africa, including ECOWAS.

Mr Farhat said it is important for the governments to create jobs in order to have stability and economic growth, and to give opportunities to the youth and women as well.

He said given their experiences in computer science, the automobile industry, the food business, among others, they were happy to share ideas with Ghana and other ECOWAS countries for the benefit of the youth of the ECOWAS region.

He said they were looking forward to strengthening the historic ties they have with ECOWAS countries. 
“Ghana, through its first president, Kwame Nkrumah, and Morocco, through its King Mohammed IV, were the founding members of the Organisation of African Union, now African Union, back in the 50s, so we are just back to revive these strong partnerships which have always existed between Ghana and Morocco.”

Mr Franklin Cudjoe, Founding President and Chief Executive of IMANI Ghana, said the conference in Accra was not expected to endorse Morocco’s bid without asking critical questions about the political and economic challenges and opportunities ECOWAS member states must deal with.

He said the objective of the conference was indeed to listen to the Ghanaian perceptions and analyses regarding Morocco’s accession, and speakers were expected to share their views on the way that process can be implemented without disrupting the West African integrationist synergy, but rather by exploring how the sub-region can reinforce the exemplary regional community with the best “win-win” approach.

He advised local businesses to not only become local champions, but to see how best they can do business with their Moroccan business partners.

For his part, Mr Brahim Fassi Fihri, Chairman of the Amadeus Institute, said the Ghanaian Chapter opens a new window by involving ECOWAS English-speaking citizens in the regional initiative. 
“We need to continue sharing our views and enlarge the debate about the future Kingdom's accession in the ECOWAS English-speaking countries. There are legitimate concerns which are essentially the result of a lack of knowledge in the region regarding the Moroccan approach, built around the notions of mutual respect and balanced relations advocated by His Majesty the King Mohammed VI”.

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Source: The Finder
 
 

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