Rabat – Morocco has made South-South cooperation a priority of its foreign policy, said Mohamed Methqal, the director general of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), on Tuesday in Buenos Aires.
Methqal addressed a meeting on French-speaking economic spaces and South-South cooperation at the second high-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation, meeting March 20-22.
He said that, for two decades, King Mohammed VI has made foreign cooperation the major pillar of his foreign policy. The King has made 50 visits to African countries and signed 1,000 agreements.
Methqal highlighted the strong Moroccan presence in Africa in the banking sector. Moroccan banks are present in more than 30 African countries, he said.
Morocco is also working to develop structuring projects, the flagship project of which is the Morocco-Nigeria Pipeline, added Methqal. The project will serve “13 West African countries and promote competitiveness and improve production costs.”
Morocco’s bid to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is in line with the endeavor to link Europe and Africa in a network of tripartite cooperation. However, ECOWAS has not accepted Morocco’s application, and Morocco faced “political and social opposition within ECOWAS,” according to Carnegie Endowment.
In Nigeria, a major coalition of trade unions, industrialists, and NGOs lobbied the government not to open its borders to Moroccan products. The lobbyists said that Moroccan imports would undermine domestic production.
The UN Conference on South-South Cooperation is the world’s largest South-South cooperation meeting. It is taking place 40 years after the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action.
Under the action plan, developing countries defined the approach to technical cooperation, an aspect of South-South cooperation that relies on the exchange of experience and knowledge transfer between the Global North and South.